We, the Pellegrini Family, deal on regular basis with several US Travel Agents who are members of the famous Virtuoso Agency ( most famous upscale clientele & services ). Besides being Official Rome Guides, other than the Vatican City State, we are also members of FEG (European Federation of Guides), SNGT (National Associations of Italian Tourist Guide) and WFTGA, (World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations).
Our Company, Rome Travels s.r.l., operates in Italy since many years to offer a wide range of services related to the tourism in Italy: Incentive Tours, Private Tours, Group Tours, Special events, private transportation. The cities where we operate are: Rome, Tuscany (for Florence, Siena and all the Tuscany Tour/Chianti Tour), Naples (Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Capri, Ischia), Sicily (Taormina) and, of course, Venice.
Ours, Rome Travel s.r.l., is a certified Travel Company: our VAT # is: IT 09939201001 and regularly registered at the Rome Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, myself personally, Cristiano Pellegrini, I am one of the 62 licensed Tour Guides of the Vatican City State out of over 1.200 of Rome official tourist guides. This does not mean that the other Guides of Rome cannot explain inside the Vatican. Not at all ! It simply means that I was selected after a Master in History of Arts and Theology at and in the Vatican & final written and oral exams operated by the Direction of the Vatican Museums to cooperate on regular basis with them in case they have an official visit of a foreigner delegation, Ambassador(s), or special groups and VIP tours at the Vatican. And this is a further guarantee of quality/certified services that we give you.
After 15 years of Catholic School in Rome, I attended the course of Art History at the Lateran Pontifical University of Rome, Vatican City and, successfully, a Master in Theology and Art History once I have been selected to become an Official Tourist Guide of The Vatican City State. I am not saying that The Vatican is my home, but it's kind of like.
Differences in costs, if any, are due to ourselves, since in this case myself or my father Sandro or my brother Federico (The Pellegrini Bros: he is both Pro Tour Guide in Rome and Florence) or someone else that we know and entrust of our team of licensed Tour Guides, will take care personally of you and not leaving to other uncertain guides (and what is even worse, so often not licensed and certified).
We are referring to those you can get through the hotels or those who have fantastic web sites or even the so called " driver-guides" . Unfortunately for this career and job, most of the internet clients don't know that we must be licensed to operate and work. In this regard, I could give you a long list of their web sites.... But we are here not to offend the faked competition, but to explain the reason why it's absolutely better for your tour to entrust who is operating legally since 1971 also doing private tour packages.
There are many, too many web sites who just offer you to skip the lines at the Vatican with a guided tour too. But they use unlicensed tour guides. Dear internet visitor and friend, the 99% of the visitors in Rome don't know that the in the guided tours, whoever is the tourist guide, he/she must have the license to operate ( with the Blue Badge ). And these companies give fake guides who are not certified, qualified and who did not surpassed any exams. Plus, these fellows don't pay taxes ! They are simply cheating the tourists, as they just learn by heart many tours. We are sure that they may be entertaining with their group and private people but have no idea of what the profession of being a tour guide is. If you are interested, just send us an e-mail and we will providing you all their web sites.
On the other hand, visitors do not know we have to have a special badge - like in UK, the so called " Blue Badge " - to identify who is a true and licensed guide - and pay taxes - and who is not. People don't know this unfortunately and they pay them as well. That's why I am here : to explain the great benefits and advantages to be guided by someone who passed lots of exams and who guided hundreds and hundreds of visitors through the Vatican City State and the Rome City.
LAST: dear Internet User and Guest, you are not supposed to know the world of guides in Rome. We do. We also know that it is hard to choose a Rome Tour Guide and a Vatican Tour Guide, other than many other services, when there are so many on the Internet and, we know, many that are less than perfect and perhaps outright hoaxes and not certified. But we want to say that we definitely wait for you, your family and friends to host you in our best way with fun, joy, smiles and ourselves. Ciao!
Cristiano and Federico Pellegrini - Rome Travels s.r.l.