After what feels like the longest and most painful few days of travel I have finally made it to Italy and my first stop which is Rome. So far my family and I have done the classic Roman tourist “traps”: trevi fountain, Pantheon, Coliseum, Forum, and tomorrow we are going to the Vatican. But, despite the fact that these are the sites that everyone sees and learns about, I have found that what really made them special was having a private tour guide. My dad found this wonderful lady, Francesca, who has lived in Rome her whole life and has a tour guide company. She is an archeologist and walking around Rome with her was amazing. She saw everything differently: she showed us the different ages seen in buildings, how the Empire was built into the Middle Ages and then into the Renaissance. Her colleague Manuela took us through the Coliseum and gains sus access to the underground and to the arena and roof of the amphitheatre, which you cannot do without advanced tickets and a guide. Both women were so knowledgable and so fun and made Rome so much more special with their insider knowledge. If you’re ever in a city for the first time and you really want to see a lot and learn a lot I recommend finding a good guide, funds provided, to take you around. It isn’t the cheapest or most budget-wise venture, but they can show you a different side to the city.