Proud Official Partner of

Camilla Verdacchi

Tour of Ancient Feline Rome

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If today cats are part of our life, we owe it to the ancient Romans, who were the first to import this pet from Greece and Syria, as well as spreading it throughout the West during their conquest campaigns.

I was born in Rome, and this tour was born from a double and intense passion of mine: Rome and cats.

My childhood memories are crowded with feline colonies that I could meet in every alley, next to every church, in every garage.

Today the world of metropolitan cats has changed a lot, thanks to the sterilization and awareness campaigns aimed at eradicating the sad phenomenon of the abandonment of our little friends.

 But why tie Rome to felines?

 Well, nothing could be more logical!

 Since ancient times, the Romans have adored cats, which arrive in Rome thanks to the legionaries returning from the distant provinces, more than twenty centuries ago, from Greece and Syria.

However, it is from us that - in addition to being used to hunt mice - this pet is appreciated for its affection and for its incomparable beauty.

The citizens of ancient Rome, in fact, would not have strictly needed a cat, in their domus, to eradicate mice: this task, at the time, had already been entrusted for centuries to the weasels and ferrets, which the Romans had wisely domesticated for such a purpose.

The import from overseas of this pet marks an important novelty for Romans: while, with the honest and reliable ferrets and weasels, due to the intrinsic nature of these animals, the relationship could have limited affective bonds, a full affective interaction becomes possible with cats.
Romans fell in love with this animal, able to interact with human beings, by responding with gestures and loving attitude to human's cuddles.

Findings and ancient texts tell about the cats of imperial Rome, about the love of the emperor Augustus for his cat, about the Roman matrons who surrounded themselves with cats of all races and colors, which were decorated by them with collars, silk ribbons and embroidered bibs; about centurions who decorated their shields with the effigy of the cat, and about the temples dedicated to the goddess Isis, with statues dedicated to them, as well as crowded with cats free to circulate within such sacred places.

Effigy of a cat in a mosaic found in a Roman domus

As we have previously said, the Romans contributed to the spreading of cat throughout Europe; this archaeo-feline walk will take you to the most cat-wise historycal places, anecdotes, tales, and above all of splendid cats, kittens and real roman strays...

We will start from the Pyramid, and from the nearby Non-Catholic place of remembrance, where important historical figures rest, such as the poets Keats and Shelley, Antonio Gramsci, as well as August von Goethe, son of Johann Wolfgang, and where - recently - they were joined by the great writer Andrea Camilleri. This place is home to one of the most famous feline colonies in the capital.

From there we will reach the Colosseum, where dozens of specimens have always lived, and we will talk about the figure of the catwoman, an all-Roman character feeding the stray cats and taking care of them. Among such kind of women we will remember the most famous of the "cat-women" Italy has had: Anna Magnani, icon of cinematographic neo-realism, who, outside the set and her work with great directors, enjoied the company of her many domestic cats, and taking care of the feline colonies that surrounded his house, not far from Alberto Sordi's, near the Baths of Caracalla.

Anna Magnani and her cats

In a few minutes, from the Colosseum we will reach Largo Argentina; here is the so-called Sacred Area, an incredible archaeological area brought to light in the 1920s.

Here, according to the most credited historycal theories, Julius Caesar was killed; here, since 1929, the cats of Rome have decided to live.

Hundreds of cats found their refuge here, and are taken care by volunteers of all nationalities, roaming free and proud among the ruins and ancient marbles.

We won't miss a visit to the Marcello Theater and the Portico of Ottavia.

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The Roman actor Alberto Sordi, talking to a cat in a famous scene at the Portico d'Ottavia.

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Trilussa, maybe the most famous Roman poet, who wrote much about Roman cats.
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 If you already know this page, and if you share my passions, you may have already guessed the next stop: Piazza Vittorio, and the so-called "Porta Alchemica".

Here, in the gardens of Piazza Vittorio, among the ruins of Alexander's Nymphaeum, dozens of stray cats appear, play purr and dwell, regardless of the noise of trams, thousands of passing-by humans, and children who play and run .

A little-known , surprises-hiding place in Rome.

 On the other hand, cats also speak, according to us Romans.

In Rome it is also said that cats are ready to support the gaze of a king.

Are you ready for such a challenge? I'm waiting for you!

COMING TO ROME? FIND THE BEST RATES FOR YOUR FLIGHT & HOTEL

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Some reviews of people that I have had the pleasure of guiding on my tours

Daniela L.
Daniela L.
The tour I wanted
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The tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill that I have wanted to do for a long time. Camilla was a perfect choice. Prepared, friendly, patient with my many questions. I will recommend her to my friends. Thanks Camilla!
Fabio T.
Fabio T.
The squares of Rome are very interesting
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My wife and I went on a tour of Rome's squares with Camilla. Although I was a little skeptical at first and took this tour by suggestion of my wife, I must say it turned out to be spectacular, and that Camilla was simply a fantastic guide.
Gianna B.
Gianna B.
Vatican exploration to remember
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I had always tried to imagine what was behind the Vatican doors. This tour finally introduced me to a reality that had intrigued me all my life.
Roberto R.
Roberto R.
Rome in a Day
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Without straining we were able to see in one day all the most famous glimpses of Rome, also recognizing many places seen in the great films of Italian cinema. A day that I would suggest to anyone who goes to Rome.
Cristina C.
Cristina C.
Forum and Palatine
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We all know the Colosseum, but perhaps we know less about the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Camilla has a perfect way to make you "travel" in Imperial Rome, among historical data, curiosities, secrets ... Not only a great day, but also useful, very useful!
Luigi Z.
Luigi Z.
As a teacher I tell you: do it!
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All my life I taught History and Letters in high school, and I thought that a tour like the Colosseum could tell me little, and in fact I had organized it mostly for my wife and my daughter. Actually, this guide has been able to illuminate some aspects of the life of Roman citizens that were completely unknown to me. We never know enough about Rome.
Emma G.
Emma G.
The Sistine Chapel is an incredible emotion
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Before doing this tour of the Vatican I knew that the Sistine Chapel is one of the most important and famous works of art in the world, but I would never have imagined the emotion that entering that place caused me. There are no words to describe it. Thanks Camilla, for your expert and complete guide.
Mara K.
Mara K.
How nice the tour of the squares!
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When we think of the squares of Rome we always imagine the most famous ones, such as the Spanish Steps or Piazza Navona. But those who are not from Rome, like me, often do not even suspect how beautiful many other squares of this incredible city can be! I recommend you do this tour with Mrs. Verdacchi, you won't regret it!
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If you have toured with me and want to say your opinion about it, send your review.

My tours are a constantly working lab, and they can also be "tailor-made"

Both with regards to continuous enrichment of single tours, and with regards to continuous enrichment of the catalogue, my work to make my offer as rich as possible never stops.

Rome offers twenty-seven centuries of history, and many lifetimes wouldn't be enough to tell them all.

In addition to the tours that you can see on this site, I encourage you to contact me for any type of guided tour of Rome and its Province, including usually inaccessible places and wonderful places close to Rome, such as Tivoli with Villa d'Este, Villa Adriana and Villa Gregoriana, Ostia Antica, or the Castelli Romani.

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