Last week when I was in Rome for Samsung’s Regional Forum we had a half day to spare before leaving town and were offered the chance to see Rome on a Vespa – I jumped at the chance and loved it – despite a bit of a surprise.
Just hours before the tour it was made clear we were not in fact riding the Vespa’s – who’s insurance would cover that! Instead we would be the rear passenger. Big deal? Not for some, but I’m not one for keeping close quarters with strangers so it didn’t really strike me as a great idea.
We decided we would turn up, check it out, and if we didn’t like it – we’d stop at any time.
These were not big bikes – these were classic style Vespa’s, small, made for short trips and occasional passengers. Our riders and guides were young men in their 20’s, my man was a farmer by day – doing Vespa tours to stock up on the income I assume.
This was a three hour tour – and I was worried how comfortable that would be. Worries were gone at our first stop – Trevi Fountain.
We park, get off, walk down, enjoy the sight, then walk back, get on, get going again. A common question was “where would you like to go next”. Our guides were keen to know what we’d already seen, what we were interested in, so they could make the tour as enjoyable as possible.
They didn’t disappoint.
A trip the the ruins of the Forum started a bit “blah” for me, a bunch of marble and stone ruins. However listening to the passion with which these young men spoke about the history of their city really brought it all to life – and I was captivated from that moment.
The Colosseum from a different angle, in fact most places from a more local angle – rather than shoulder to shoulder with tourists.
We rode down a long road – one of the very first to be built leaving the city heading South to see the giant original stones which made up the road.
Through and along the Aurelian Wall – another thing I’d never seen on previous visits as a tourist.
Then – to my surprise, a Pyramid – yep, in Rome. Not Egypt size, but legit – Pyramid of Cestius built in 12 BC this is really quite amazing.
With our tour about to wind back to it’s start point, there was one more thing – “Could we get some Gelato?” I asked – they obliged, and took us to somewhere off the track, and very special. It was amazing.
A final stop at the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola to view the sunset and we headed back to our Hotel.
Door to Door, lots of stops, plenty of bumps, no hold ups because we scooted around traffic and it was one of the best tourist experiences I’ve had.
I’m told it came in around 500 Euros, so $800, for three of us, so pricey, but worth it for something special.
Web: Happy Rent, Rome
Photos: All shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8!
Trevor Long travelled to Rome as a guest of Samsung, the Vespa Tour was arranged and paid for by Samsung.