Not to be confused with “New Europe” tours, the New Rome Free Tour is its own brand of international free tours, carrying the “Rome” moniker wherever these licensed guides go. In Rome, they’ll take you to fourteen-plus sites in the city center, explicating the significance of each cobblestone along the way. The tour meets in the early evening, so be sure to hit up the guide for nightlife advice to make your transition seamless.
This tour company has you covered with three different tours offered in three languages. If you have the stamina, you could do the Vatican Tour in the morning and the Colosseum Tour in the evening, thereby covering your Westward AND Southward expanses from the Spanish Steps. Both tours are available in English and Spanish (the latter on select days). If you truly wish to discover the French influence on Rome, don’t miss the La France à Rome Tour, which takes you to all the French sites in the city center and claims to be the city’s only free tour in French.
Rome Free Tour keeps it simple with two daily tours no matter what the weather or holiday. You’ll get the usual mix of ancient ruins and urban modernity, but their City Center Tour mixes it up with stops in the Temple of Adrian and Navona. As with New Rome, you’ll be in the thick of it when going-out time comes around, so be sure to get advice on where to get your dance on. Before heading to the Spanish Steps, check their website and facebook page for updates, offers, maps and racy pictures of Italian hardbodies.
Romeing isn’t technically a “free tour” company, but their partnership with student travel site bus2alps.com has the connections to get you in for free. This late tour is not for the heavy-lidded, but even if you’re all touristed out, Romeing’s friendly tour guides will keep you awake with sheer enthusiasm. The tour stays central, so you won’t have trouble staggering to bed (or to the nearest bar) when it’s all over.
Effectively completing the allowable permutations of the words “Free,” “Rome” and “Tour,” Free Tour Rome offers three free options (though I ought to throw in the disclaimer that they do charge a 2.50 EUR booking fee, so it’s not 100% free). Their three tours are split into themes to help you absorb more knowledge without getting overwhelmed: the City Tour focuses on central Rome, the Classical Tour delves a bit deeper into history and ancient lifestyle lessons, and the Night Tour lets you experience some of the city’s most atmospheric tungsten-lit spots.