The Best Tours and the Very Best Restaurant in Rome, Italy
Establishment: The Best Tours and the Very Best Restaurant in Rome, Italy
Published: August 3, 2015
Photos By: Robin Roth
Story By: Robin Roth
Editor: ROA Staff





Dark Rome Tours,” have transformed the average tour operation playing field into ultra intriguing and unique types of tours.

Their big ideas, small beginnings and modest roots echo that simple fact. Their initial concept was to take a small group of visitors around the historic center of Rome and tell the stories that tourists would never hear otherwise. Such as the “dark” mysteries and legends that ironically bring the city to life.

That pioneering tour, “The Dark Heart of Rome,” was so successful that it became the stepping-stone to multiple others. Now their tours have expanded from one city to the next, from one country to another, and have grown into the global brand that they are today… City Wonders.

In my professional opinion, they truly have the very best tour guides and they are proficient in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese as well. Everything this company (Dark Rome Tours and City Wonders Tours) does is top of the line from the tours themselves to the guides to the headphones and bus companies. Most of the time when you are on one of these tours, guests get to skip the lines and gain VIP access to practically every major museum and monument that matters the most.


I say BRAVO, TO THE BEST OF THE BEST TOUR OPERATIONS AROUND. To find out more about the company and their tour selections log on to: or


Full Day Tuscany from Rome including Brunello Wine Tasting and Gourmet Lunch

To begin with, the Dark Rome Tours expert guides are nothing short of phenomenal, amazingly informative, fun to be around and full of excitement. It is clear to their guests how much they love what they are doing. As they celebrate their tours with fun, joy, and enthusiasm daily; it rubs off onto everyone on the tour.

To be perfectly honest, this tour that focuses on the famous Val D’Orcia region of Tuscany was truly my most favorite tour ever. If you just take one tour in Tuscany, this is the one to jump on. It is a whole day tour that starts in Rome.

Speaking of ancient Rome, it is one of my favorite cities in the world. However, I recommend taking a day off from the hustle and bustle of Roma, to enjoy this one-day tour to Tuscany. You will be thrilled that you did!

The most important thing to know, is bring a camera …

On the Tuscany tour, no matter which side of the bus that you sit on, it won’t matter, as the views are equally breathtaking. So much so, that your mind will be taking memory photos. 

This journey to Tuscany is nothing short of magnificent

The entire tour is a vision of beauty for your eyes to behold. 

This charming, picturesque journey into the tranquility of Tuscany was awe-inspiring, to say the least. I took so many photos that my camera was out of breath.

The landscapes, the blissful nature, the rolling hills, the rustic villages and vineyards in Montepulciano, were overwhelming. I pinched myself just to make sure it was not all just a beautiful dream.

I got to taste local cheeses and wines from Pienza. Pienza is a small village with ancient architecture and spectacular views of the rolling countryside. On our free time I relished just getting lost among the winding streets and purchased some of the towns notable pecorino cheese. And, No… I didn’t share with anyone!

We all got to experience and hear the Gregorian chant by the monks at Sant’Antimo Abbey. We went on a casual guided tour of the ancient Etruscan hill town in Montepulciano. This is one of the places that the movie Twilight was filmed. It was so very quaint and looked as though it came out of the pages of an ancient storybook. We stopped at the vineyards of Montalcino, which is where Italy’s best wine, Brunello di Montalcino, is produced. In addition we also toured Fabro and Poggio Il Castellare.

As I am a foodie and wine gal, I am sorry to admit that my favorite part of the tour was the authentic gourmet Tuscan lunch in a Tuscan wine vineyard. Here we tasted some great Brunello wines, including Brunello di Montaicino one of Italy’s finest red wines. The wine tastings were accompanied by bruschetta and a spread of cold cuts. Then followed a sinfully delicious three-course lunch including pasta that are all local specialties, many of which have been grown and prepared just outside.

The food was not touristy in the least, which I so appreciated…

Our adorable guide Siriana Nichil, was not only a delight to hang out with but so animated, personable and informative. She made a tour that I would rate an A go to an A+!

The 12 hours or so that the trip lasted was packed with things to see and do and miraculously seemed to just fly by in a relaxing manner. The only bad part of this tour is that it had to inevitably come to an end. 

This is an enchanting and an astoundingly visually beautiful experience that I whole-heartedly recommend for your visit in Rome.


Crypts and Catacombs Tour...

BOO! This was a tour I never would dream of taking, but was talked into it by another travel journalist, and I am so glad that I did. There is no way possible not to love any Dark Rome Tour. They do everything so right that even a tour you aren’t interested in turns out to be one of your favorites. That is where they definitely excel and are better than all the other tour companies. I am not sure if it is the out of this world amazing enthusiastic tour guides or the way their tours are conducted. Either way, they are the best of the best to be found.

So, this journey down into the Eternal City's underground burial chambers and the eerie Capuchin Crypt and its famous long winding catacombs, was so out of the box fascinating and captivating. Our tour guide Jessica, tried her best to make it even more exciting and scary (if you will), but she only achieved to make us laugh even more. She was so great and fun that I wanted to take her home with me!

This tour was just plain old cool, fascinating and intriguing. This journey was kind of like Halloween on steroids yet, very respectful and surreal all at the same time. 

Much of what Roma has to offer is buried underground and by taking this excursion, (and by the way, it is the only tour that takes you to crypts and catacombs from different historical eras in locations across the city), I was able to uncover the underside of Rome.

The tour starts at one of the ancient Roman Catacombs. This is one of the Eternal City’s underground burial chambers. The long winding passages reveal millennia of history among tombs and inventive handmade memorials, taking us to a time when Christianity was considered a simple cult whose members were executed as pagans and buried as martyrs. Years ago, one could see bones all about, but the tourists stole them for souvenirs and so subsequently they were removed.

Jessica took us to visit the unnerving Capuchin Crypt also known as the 'Bone Chapel.'

This was a journey through the centuries ends and incredibly eerie and mesmerizing.

In the Capuchin Crypt and Museum lie the remains of 4,000 Capuchin monks literally resting in pieces. Their remains have been used to decorate the underground crypt with vertebrae chandeliers, real-life skulls and cross-bones and robe-clad skeletons leering from the walls. Was this all gruesomely strange or respectful art? I could not decide.


We also witnessed a whole host of artifacts that offer an insight into the life of a Capuchin monk. By the way, this is where the word and product cappuccino comes from.

We visited San Clemente Basilica, which is the 'Lasagna Church', where we descended from the 12th century to the 1st. Talk about a blast from the past!

Digging deep under the city of Rome, we discovered a layer of history not covered on other tours. We investigated long-forgotten passages and temples hidden beneath streets and piazzas.

Then we progressed to Basilica San Clemente where the sound of running water drove one clergyman to dig his way through the floor tiles. What he discovered was the “wedding cake”. Like layers of history piled on top of each other so that visitors today climb down to a 4th century church, the 2nd century remains of a Mithraic temple and finally, an incredibly preserved 1st century Roman street. Here ruins reach 57ft deep. It made me pause and ponder exactly what else lies beneath the rest of Rome. It’s so fascinating.

This memorable tour was outrageous fun, intriguing, and beguiling. Go for it!


Private Borghese Gallery and Gardens Tour…

This beautiful Borghese Gallery and Gardens tour is a touristic gem that often sells out, so book early. I appreciated tremendously this private tour with skip-the-line entrance.

This gallery houses priceless paintings and sculptures including works by Titian, Bernini, Caravaggio and Canova. Villa Borghese, the prior residence of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a dedicated art patron commissioned many of the masterpieces himself. The unbelievable collection includes Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s ‘Apollo and Daphne,’ Raphael’s ‘The Deposition,’ a number of early works by Caravaggio, as well as the scandalous, ‘Pauline Bonaparte’ from the genius of Canova.

The massive, yet peaceful gardens and remarkable architecture of the Borghese Gallery and Gardens are among the most astonishing and serene villas of its kind.

Its amazing to think once on the grounds that this gallery in right in the heart of Rome’s center. This opulently manicured Garden of Eden is a blast from the past like the rest of this one of a kind city. Simply divine!




To Me…



Via di Porta Pinciana, 14 - 00187 Rome, Italy

Ph. (+39) 06 42168837 - Ph. (+39) 06 42168838

Fax (+39) 06 42168870 -

P. IVA 06876680635

I find that I am always at a loss trying to describe the refined, sophisticated, classy, and absolute chic dining treasure of the Mirabelle Restaurant in Rome Italy. Everything about this establishment in the center of Rome is of the highest level of stylish and gourmet perfection.

It is located on the seventh floor of the Hotel Splendide Royal Roma and presents proudly one of the most divine, "epicurean terraces" in Rome. I don’t care how cultured one might be, this view and restaurant is impressively the crème de la crème of restaurants anywhere in the world.

Mirabelle has large windows that open onto a breathtaking view that sweeps from the buildings Umberto of the Pincio, to the heart of the city eternal. It will make an imprint not only in your eyes and heart but also in your taste buds and soul as well. Dining at Mirabelle is pure bliss, serenity, and magnificent joy.

The luxurious cuisine of Mirabelle has established an unsurpassed excellence in extraordinary and imaginative cuisine.

I have dined at Mirabelle whenever I am fortunate enough to get to the spectacular ageless city of Rome.

This time in Rome, I decided to try a sunset Apéritif experience. It was a heavenly and most memorable experience.

I would love to share some of the astounding gourmet, creative, and ingenious delicacies I was fortunate enough to taste and enjoy.

I was given many tasting samplings that were all out of this world delicious and unforgettable food explosions of wonderful tastes.

I devoured as you will too the:

Crocchetta di Pollo Aromatizzato al Curry

Arancino Con ‘Nduja

Baccula Castellato al profumo di Tartufo

Sushi con Tonno e Avacado

Con Gamberi e Melone

Canape’ Misti di Pesce, Salumi e Formaggi

Foie Gras prafinato alle Mandorfe con Cuore di Cioccolato

Piccola Pasticceria:

Cannolo Siciliano con Ricotta e Pistacchio di Bronte

Cioccolato al Latte con Burrata d Andria

Macaron al Pistacchio e Limoncello

Financier alla Liquirizia e Caffe

Scorze d Arancia Caramellate

All appetizers were perfectly paired with the most tremendous, refreshing wine Pinot Grigio Colutta 2014 Friuli Venezia Giulia.

I want to unequivocally thank with the greatest admiration and respect, Luca Costane the restaurants charismatic and stunning manager. I would also like to shout bravo to the brilliant Stefano Marzetti, Executive Chef, whose personal and professional assets, have now extended to the international arena…

If you are seeking a dreamlike, once in a lifetime food experience with immeasurable Roman ambiance and the best restaurant in Roma that you will remember for the rest of your life, … than you, are seeking the renowned Mirabelle!