A Vespa Tour of Rome

I have made it nearly 6 years in Rome without ever having been on a scooter.

But the dolce vita allure of skimming through Rome’s traffic on a cherry red Vespa?

Vespa Tours in Rome by scooteroma

I’m human. I couldn’t resist forever.

When Giovanni pulled up on a gleaming new motorino,  I was ready.

After a few minutes, I found myself relaxing back into the seat. Riding behind an experienced driver, there was little for me to do except enjoy the sun and the scenery.

Santa Maria Maggiore

Scooteroma Vespa Tours are customizable and private, meaning we were free to pick our own route and linger at certain spots that struck our fancy.

We cruised past the Colosseum and wound our way to Santa Maria Maggiore.  In the shade of the basilica, I learned about the history of Esquilino neighborhood.

Rome church

The beauty of two wheels is that you are not confined to the city center.

We continued past the colonnaded streets around Piazza Vittorio and zipped outside of the Aurelian wall.

Roman road

Giovanni explained why Rome is truly the Eternal City – even the roads used 2,000 years ago are still operating today.  Romans of 2016 follow the same pathways, right through ancient aqueducts.

Another perfect example? The terme di caracalla – an ancient bathhouse that is now the summer stage for live opera performances.

Terme di caracalla

Nothing in Rome goes unused.

Even the stadiums where chariots once raced to entertain the citizens of Rome.

Circo Massimo

You can still freely access Circo Massimo to this day. Though, now you are more likely to find joggers and picnic parties.

After chatting about history and scootering by Piramide, we toured Aventino – a perfect place for a coffee break and one of my favorite cafes.

scooteroma coffee break

While a Vespa gives you the ability to cover a great range in terms of area, you still feel connected to Rome. This is no air-conditioned tour bus, keeping you comfortably separated from the chaos of Rome.

To see Rome by Vespa is to really see the city.

You see Rome in all its hand-gesturing, yelling, shining, crumbling, new, ancient glory.

The breathtaking views? Well, that is just a bonus.

scooteroma-14

By the end of the 4-hour tour, I was feeling pret-ty confident about my riding ability. (Riding takes approximately zero skills. Your only job? Don’t rock back and forth).  When Giovanni dropped me off, we were discussing what kind of scooter I should buy.

A Vespa tour makes even more sense if you are on a tight schedule. Starting from the center (from your hotel or meeting at Via Veneto), Scooteroma will make sure you see neighborhoods and monuments that would take days to cover by public transport.  At the end, you will have a map of the city, marked with all your stops, plus other points of interest.

Annie and Giovanni, the owners, are incredibly down-to-earth and knowledgable.  The dolce vita factor of the Vespa ride is just one part of the tour- along the way you will learn about the history of Rome, as well as all the current foodie and shopping hotspots to ensure you make the most of your trip to Rome.

Love. It.

Many thanks to Scooteroma for having me as a guest, and for photos 1 & 7. The tour was a truly unique and lovely experience!

7 Comments

  • Reply Alexandra June 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    My boyfriend has a motorino and I love being a passenger, but the downside is that public transport now seems even more unbearable – being stuck on a bus for half an hour, knowing that on a motorino, it would take less than 10 minutes!

    Anyway, I’ve never done a formal scooter tour, but this seems like a great way to see the city.

    • Reply Natalie June 22, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      Yes! I am seriously considering getting one… but would prefer to be a passenger rather than a driver…

  • Reply EJane July 12, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Great post! I’m planning a trip to Rome for November. I’m completely anti-motorcycle, and yet, I think I want to do this. Why is this any different? Because it’s European? I dunno. But it looks amazing!

    • Reply Natalie July 12, 2016 at 6:41 am

      I agree! You are going much slower and the traffic is very used to watching out for motoring, and it is a part of the driving culture here. It was fantastic!

  • Reply Explore Rome: August 2016 Events – An American in Rome August 1, 2016 at 9:34 am

    […] where it now stands on Esquilino hill.  Giovanni first tipped me off to the event during our Vespa tour of Rome, and I have been waiting to go. The show starts at 9 pm and runs until […]

  • Reply 6 things I’ve Learned from 6 years in Italy – An American in Rome September 28, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    […] I want to take a Vespa tour even though I have never been on a scooter? […]

  • Reply Terri in Cali October 13, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Hi again Natalie. I went to Rome last month from California with 6 of my girlfriends ( the Sexy Sette) for my birthday celebration and booked us a tour with Annie and 6 of her very capable and very cute boy drivers. It was the highlight of our trip!!! The girls are still talking about it – seriously! I have been to Rome many, many times and the last time had actually hopped on one of my friend’s motorino and rode from my hotel to Monti to dinner and back. So wanted to experience that again, but this time to see more of Rome and for a longer ride. It was curiously relaxing yet exhilarating at the same time. The drivers were very fun, informative and excellent drivers. My friends got a great overview of Rome and a little Roman history lesson at the same time. They got to see many places that they would not have seen on our own and we avoided any traditional crowded and cookie-cutter tour. I will not be driving a Vespa on my own in Rome anytime in my future, but I will go motoring with Scooteroma again next time in Rome!!!

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