This tour was really great. As it turned out, my wife and I were the only two people on the tour that day. Since this was our second trip to Rome, we had already seen many of the obligatory historical sights, and we thought this would be a nice change of pace. We were not disappointed. As we walked around various areas of the city, we stopped to sample some typical Roman foods such as fresh buffalo mozzarella, charcuterie, pizza bianco, pizza rosso, a pasta dish with wine and gelato. The food was plentiful, and the discussion centered around food during the tour was very interesting. We covered lots of ground at a very leisurely pace, and learned lots about the food of Rome and of Italy.
We met our guide at the Piramide metro stop to board the train to Ostia. The ride took about 20 minutes, and along the way, our guide spoke a little about what we were going to see. When we arrived at Ostia, we walked to Ostia Antica, about a ten minute walk from the station. We entered the excavation area, and stepped back in time. Ostia was the seaport for Ancient Rome, and was a lively city. We saw remains of bath houses, temples, residential buildings including multi-story apartments, and a necropolis. Our guide was so enthusiastic about what she was showing us, that it was very infectious. We also spent time in the theatre and the surrounding area where business was conducted by various companies, which can be identified by the floor mosaics in the shops. The whole place was brought alive by our guide. Ostia is in very good condition for an ancient ruin, and its layout is largely intact unlike other places, so you can get a real feel for the way people lived in the 1st century. At the end of the tour, we were free to return to Rome with our guide, or stay in Ostia and return later. It was a very worthwhile tour.
This was an amazing tour. We were a group of only six, which was just perfect. The guide was very knowledgeable. The tour was well paced, and we left with a real feel for the neighbourhood as it is, and more importantly, as it was before and during WWII
We were really looking forward to seeing some sights outside of Budapest. The tour started with a drive to Szentendre, but instead of going into the town, we were taken to a jewellery place to "learn" about diamonds, and to shop in the showroom. This took away valuable time from the three places we were to visit: Estergom, Visegrad, and Szentendre. The visit to the Estergom Cathedral was very interesting, and was not rushed. At Visegrad, we had our included lunch at a beautiful place. The food was very good, and the views were great. Finally, we arrived at Szentendre, but did not really have enough time to explore this beautiful place. Drop the jewellery stop to allow more time in Szentendre. The boat ride back to Budapest was really nice.
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