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Rome Religious Studies Tour

The City of the Popes offers a fascinating tour for your students where you can visit the Papal Basilicas, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. You can also learn about the Jewish history of the city, as well as the Roman period and early Christianity.

Here are more details of an example tour itinerary as a starting point, but at Kipling Tours, we can tailor-make any itinerary just for you.

Call or email us to start planning your trip

  • Day 1

    Fly to Rome - Walking Tour

    Today you fly to Rome. On arrival, you are met at the airport by a guide and private coach and transfer to your central hotel. You have lunch and then in the afternoon you have a guided walking tour of the historic centre taking in all the famous sights. You start at the Spanish Steps made famous by Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (requisite film watching before any trip to Rome). This a congenial spot to relax, sit on the steps and people-watching. Continuing your tour, you soon reach the Trevi Fountain. A water source existed on this spot since Roman times, but it wasn’t until the mid-1700’s that the fountain we see today was completed. It is traditional to toss a coin into the fountain to ensure a return to the Eternal City. You next cross the Via del Corso, one of Rome’s principal shopping streets, and soon reach the Pantheon which was built by Hadrian and later converted to a church.  The Pantheon has an incredible domed roof and houses the tombs of the artist Rafael and also Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of a unified Italy. The tour concludes in the wonderful Piazza Navona. Here, in addition to admiring Bernini’s fountains and the local artists’ works, you may also wish to sample the world famous tartufo ice cream.

  • Day 2

    St. Peters and the Vatican

    This morning you have a guided tour of the Vatican Museums which house one of the most impressive collections of archaeology in the world Highlights of the tour include the magnificent Gallery of Maps, a stunning collection of frescoes which date from 1580 and depict in glorious colour the Pope’s dominions. The centrepiece is undoubtedly Michelangelo's extraordinary ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. 

    You continue to St. Peter's Basilica itself.  The majesty and size of the Basilica is truly unforgettable and there are many treasures and artworks, including the famous Pieta sculpture by Michelangelo and Bernini’s magnificent Baldachin over the Altar.   Perhaps the most fascinating is Bernini’s final masterpiece, the Monument to Pope Alexander VII. The Pope is surrounded by the allegorical statues of Justice, Prudence, Charity and Truth, with the Angel of Death holding up the curtains over the Door to Eternity.  Perhaps for us the most interesting aspect of this creation is Truth who has her foot placed on the globe, directly over England, where the Papacy had so much trouble in its attempts to reduce the spread of the Protestant Church and return England to Catholicism in the sixteenth centuries.

    If the queues are not too long, take the trip to the Cupola or Dome, for a superb view over St. Peter’s Square and the city. The dome ascent has to be paid in cash and is not included in the tour price. You ascend the narrow staircase which actually climbs inside the dome at an ever-increasing angle before finally emerging to the small viewing platform where the views are probably the best in Rome. Typically, a visit to the Museums and Basilica will last four or five hours and you will emerge into the sunlight at around 2pm for lunch at one of the pizza places close by.

    The afternoon is free, or alternatively we can arrange a late afternoon visit to the Castel St. Angelo. Originally built by the Emperor Hadrian as his mausoleum, but never used as such, the Castel St. Angelo has been rebuilt over the centuries and became a Papal fortress in the fifteenth century. Legend has it that a secret tunnel linked it with the Vatican itself so that the Pope could make a hasty getaway in times of crisis.  The Castel St. Angelo provides a fascinating visit for your students. The various levels each reveal a different chapter in the building’s history, and indeed that of Rome.  As you make your way up, new vistas open up over the city until the top is reached by the angel itself, and a superb panorama opens up across the city.

    Dinner this evening will be a city centre restaurant.

  • Day 3

    Jewish Quarter & Colosseum

    This morning you visit the Jewish Quarter, a vibrant and lively area with many kosher cafes and restaurants. You first visit the Great Synagogue of Rome with its spectacular vaulted ceiling, and the Jewish Museum. The Museum is fascinating and shows the history of the Jews in Rome. After the Museum visit a guide from the Jewish Museum will escort you on a short tour of the neighbourhood, pointing out the history of this area which goes back to the 1500’s when a Papal order, hostile to the small Jewish community, required all Jews to relocate to a small area which was walled in and locked at night. This Jewish Ghetto continued until relatively late in the nineteenth century and was the last in Europe until the rise of the Nazi’s.

    In the afternoon you visit the Colosseum before making your way past the Arch of Constantine and into the Roman Forum. You can see Trajan's Column and may be able to ascend the famous Vittorio Emmanuel monument for a birds-eye view of the city

  • Day 4

    St. Clemente, Scala Sancta & the Papal Basilicas

    This morning your private coach will pick you up from your hotel. You first stop is at the Basilica of Saint Clemente which is an ancient church built over the ruins of much earlier churches. In the crypt, vivid early Christian frescoes date from the eleventh century whilst below this level you can discover an early Roman house and a temple dedicated to the Cult of Mythras.

    You continue to the Scala Sancta, the Holy Stairs, so called because they are said to be the stairs that Jesus climbed on his way to his trial before Pontius Pilate. The stairs are said to have been brought to Rome in the 4th century. Many people will stop and kiss points on the steps where glass reveals what is said to be drops of Christ’s blood. Adjacent and across the street you can visit the Papal Basilica of San Giovanni in Lateran, the official Cathedral of the diocese of Rome.

    You then travel outside the city walls the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls which by tradition contains the Tomb of St. Paul and also displays the chains in which he was brought to Rome for trial.

    Time permitting, you can visit the shopping centre at Eataly which is the perfect place to buy Italian food gifts before heading to the airport and your homeward flight.

Prices start from

£499 for a 4 day tour

Half board basis based on flights with Easyjet.  We include local English speaking guides, all admissions and Rome airport transfers by private coach

includes flights

  • Hotel Edera

    Comfortable 3 star hotel situated within 8 minutes walk of the Colosseum

    The Hotel Edera is one of our most popular hotels in Rome. It is located in an upscale district between the leafy Colle Oppio Park and the Via Merulana and within an 8 minute walk of the Colosseum and its metro station. The area is very quiet and without traffic noise but it has quick access to a range of shops and restaurants which are within a 5 minute walk on the Via Merulana.

  • Columbus Hotel

    Character 3 star hotel just a few steps from St. Peter's Basilica

    The Columbus Hotel is located in an exceptional position on the Via Della Conciliarzione, within a few hundred metres of St. Peter’s and the Vatican. Indeed if you have a room at the front of the hotel, you can look out of your window and see the Basilica. The hotel is an older style property with lots of character and is ideally placed for exploring Rome on foot.

  • Medici Hotel

    Chic 3 star hotel on the Via Flavia

    The Medici Hotel is a comfortable 3 star property situated on the Via Flavia, within 10 minutes walk of Republica metro station. The area is bustling during the day but quiet at night. The hotel is located within the Aurelian Walls, in a building that originally belonged to the Medici family

  • Cicerone Hotel

    Modern and spacious 4 star hotel within walking distance of the Vatican and Castel St. Angelo

    The Cicerone Hotel is a 4 star hotel offering premium accommodation in a very central location. High season rates make this an unlikely contender for a school trip, but if you travel during low season this may be one to consider.  The location is perfect with many of Rome’s key sites within close walking distance.

  • Archimede Hotel

    Good quality 2 star hotel located conveniently close to the metro

    The Archimede Hotel is a simple 2 star equivalent hotel offering exceptional value in a central location. It is within walking distance of the Termini railway station and its adjacent metro, facilitating travel around Rome to such sights as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps and the Vatican.

talk to our experts today: 01935 816920 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

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