Experience the ‘eternal city’ in depth by uncovering its rich history and culture, wandering through ornate churches and opulent palazzos and marvelling at original artistic masterpieces.

At a Glance

  • Wander through Rome’s opulent palaces, including the Palazzo Farnese – one of the most important High Renaissance in Rome – and the Pallazo Barberini
  • Gain exclusive, before-hours access to the Vatican Museums and its expansive gardens and visit Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer residence
  • Marvel at original masterpieces by renowned artists, including Pietro Cavallini and Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Explore Rome’s charming streets and vibrant squares and savour its flavourful cuisine

In the company of head archivist of the Art Gallery of NSW, Steven Miller, visit a series of villas and palaces, including the houses of Livia and Augustus on Palatine Hill and the renowned Palazzo Farnese, and trace the architectural progression of history by wandering along Rome’s charming streets and squares.

Discover the enclosed convent of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, which houses one of Pietro Cavallini’s most famous works, and explore the Franciscan church of San Francesco a Ripa, filled with works by Bernini and other renowned artists.

Enjoy exclusive before-hours access to the Vatican Museums and its expansive gardens and visit the Pope’s summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.


This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.


02 – 09 October 2024 (8 days)

Tour leader

Steven Miller

Tour Status


Book now


Arrive in Rome on suggested flights and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including private transfers, travel insurance (a condition of travel), accommodation before or after the tour and a room category upgrade.

In the evening, join your tour leader, Steven Miller, for a welcome briefing followed by a special welcome dinner with Steven and fellow travellers.


This morning drive to the mythical Palatine Hill and visit the House of Olivia and Augustus,  thought to be the home of the first Roman emperor and his powerful wife over 2,000 years ago. The frescoes of the house are the best surviving examples of ancient Roman painting and were painted in what is known as the second Pompeiian style, comprised of vibrant splashes of colour, complex geometric motifs and slender architectonic elements giving a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

Continue to the Roman Forum and discover the very place where history took place, with processions, criminal trials, elections and intrigue all happening here. See the graceful ruins of the Temple of Vesta, the Senate building, the Arch of Titus and the Arch of Constantine, and the House of the Vestal Virgins.

In the afternoon, discover the collection of artifacts from the ancient Roman period at the Palazzo Massimo. Also preserved in this museum are magnificent frescoes, depicting a garden with trees and birds, which were recovered from Empress Livia’s villa at Prima Porta.


Today, on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, visit the Basilica of Santa Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians and Church music, in Trastevere. Within the Basilica, view Pietro Cavallini’s frescoes, a great source of inspiration to the artist, Giorgio de Chirico, with the most important fresco being the fragment of the Last Judgment that extends the entire width of the west wall. See De Chirico’s tomb in the nearby Franciscan church of San Francesco a Ripa, which also has masterworks by the artist Bernini.

In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the Casa Museo Giorgio de Chirico at the Spanish Steps, where the artist lived and worked the last 30 years of his life. A part of Casa Museo houses the artist’s personal collection of paintings, portraits and sculptures. On the second floor, see where his personal belongings and way of life have been preserved.


Embark on a journey of discovery of the Vatican City and Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Pope. First, enjoy a tour of the vast Vatican Museums and the Vatican Gardens. Then depart from the historic Vatican City railway station to Albano Laziale. Upon arrival, visit the Museum of the Apostolic Palace to roam the apartments and the papal portrait gallery.

In the Barberini Gardens, see the remains of a villa of the Roman Emperor Domitian. Stroll among the fountains and statues and admire the beautiful view over the lake from the garden terrace.

Return to Rome in the late afternoon and enjoy the evening at leisure.


After a morning talk, visit the chapel of the convent of the Brigidines of Sweden. The church is named after St Bridget, or Birgitta Persson, a Swedish noblewoman who arrived in Rome in 1344, and founded the monastic order of the Holy Saviour.

In the afternoon, visit the historical local market of Piazza Campo de’ Fiori. Thanks to the prominent buildings surrounding the piazza, such as Palazzo Orsini, the Campo de’ Fiori became a very popular part of Rome frequented by the city’s most influential figures.

Then, enjoy a tour of the Palazzo Corsini, a prominent late-baroque palace, erected for the Corsini family between 1730 and 1740. The palace houses extraordinary works of art, such as Caravaggio’s St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian Healed by Angels by Rubens.


This morning, travel to the Celio district and visit San Gregorio Magno, Saint Gregory the Great’s family villa. This villa was transformed by Saint Gregory into a monastery with a church, which he had dedicated to Saint Andrea Apostolo. It was only in the 11th century that the monastery was dedicated to Gregory. Visit the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, built in 398 AD by a Roman senator Byzantis. This historic basilica was used first as a domus ecclesiae (house church) by the Christian community and then became a place of pilgrimage to honour the Saints John and Paul, who were martyred during the reign of the emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus.

Later, enjoy a tour of the Palazzo Farnese, an architectural jewel housing an extraordinary collection of works of art. Highlights include the Carracci Gallery, the Salon of Hercules with the tapestries woven in the seventeenth century, the sarcophagi decorated with mythological scenes, the Murano Gallery and the stunning Camerino (Fitting Room) frescoes by Annibale Carracci.


Visit Villa Medici, built in 1540, an example of Mannerist architecture designed by Annibale Lippi and built for Cardinal Ricci da Montepulciano. In 1803, the Villa became the headquarters of the French Academy in Rome. See the French Academy, and take in the sculpture-filled gardens and orchard, a garden studio exquisitely frescoed by Jacopo Zucchi in 1577 and the cardinal’s private apartments.

Later, visit the National Gallery of Ancient Art in the Barberini Palace, the most important national collection of older paintings in Rome. Masterworks from the collection include works by Rafael, Filippo Lippi, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, El Greco and Bronzini.

In the evening, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner with Steven and fellow travellers.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.

For those returning home today, make your way to Rome Airport for suggested flights to Australia or New Zealand.



Per person, twin-share

AUD 6,950

Single supplement

AUD 1,250

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 2,000

Final payment due

02 August 2024

Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in a centrally-located 4-star hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner), excluding alcoholic beverages
  • Talks and discussions with your tour leader, Steven Miller
  • Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Gratuities for local guides and wait staff

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hotel and airport porterage
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, room service, minibar, taxis etc.)
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)


Your hotel
Rome – Hotel Ponte Sisto ****

N.B. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.

More Details

Tour code: AG2420

Fitness level: Above Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions here.

Suggested airline: Emirates
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.

Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Download booking form here.


Stay in touch

Sign up to receive news and updates.

Follow us: