Let an expert be your guide on walking tours of cities, guided tours of museums, city bus tours, or guided excursions in Italy
A tour of the gruesomely fascinating Teatro Anatomico—a gross anatomy lecture hall from the baroque era—inside Bologna's Palazzo di Archiginnasio, the world's oldest modern university. Even if you're a die-hard solo traveler and scoff at the folks being herded from one sight to another in the big tourist clots of a tour group, you can get a lot of mileage out of sightseeing guides once you're in a town or city.
Bus tours of the city, escorted day trips to outlying sights and nearby towns, walking tours around town, guided tours through museums or cathedrals, private guides—these are all what I call microtours (as opposed to the macrotours of fully escorted bus trips).
Local guides who concentrate only on one city or sight are usually experts, not tour bus escorts who’ve merely memorized a canned spiel for each town, stop, and sight along the way.
By combining do-it-yourself planning and travel with microtours, you can get the best of both worlds. The best microtours are packed with more information (history, background, anecdotes, details, and explanations) than any guidebook has room to print.
A tip: On any tour, be a head-of-the-class nerd and stick next to the guide. Walking from stop to stop on the tour, you’ll be able to chat on your own with her and ask questions, and you’ll also get to hear her answers and explanations to everyone else’s questions.
To find a microtour or private guide, peruse the offerings at:
- City bus tours
- Walking tours
- Museum and sight tours
- Day trips (escorted or solo)
- Only in Italy...
- Fun / offbeat experiences (cooking classes, segway tours, gladiator training, shopping, biking, etc.)
- Private guides
- Guided tours to Italy (if you want the whole trip to be guided)
- Guidebooks (if you want to be your own guide)
This material was last updated February 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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Copyright © 2008–2012 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett