There were some advanced filters to narrow down our search:
The only downside I found was that the emails from Showaround (which said Giula had replied to our message/agreed to show us around etc), persistently went into my junk email folder - though that may be more to do with Hotmail than Showaround, as many other tour's messages go into my junk email folder :(
She was perfectly punctual (really important for us as we are always early and everyone else is always late). She was really bubbly and friendly and we got on straight away.
We found out that she'd actually lived in Bristol (where I'm from) so we had lots to talk about!
At my request, our first stop was at the Colosseum - it's really hard to get a good photo of the Colosseum on a selfie stick, and Giulia agreed to take a nice photo for us:
Next up we saw the beautiful Protestant graveyard, which was absolutely stunning, and reminiscent of British graveyards (except more beautiful and less creepy).
Rome has been Roman Catholic for a very long time (officially since 380AD), but many protestants passed through Rome, and as some died here they needed a place to be buried.
The pyramid is also incorporated into the graveyard, as it's a non-catholic burial place.
Weirdly, we stumbled across Keats grave here - I had no idea he was buried in Rome!
The old Testaccio markets were a bit grimy and grungy and would often see rats and cats hanging out there afterwards. So they revamped it, put in some nice little indoor stalls and put lots of money into it.
But Giulia says the locals don't like the revamp - everything is more expensive.
The Slaughter House
Our next stop was the old slaughterhouse which has now been partly renovated to house a museum, coffee shops and markets.
What we all liked about it was the fact that some of the old slaughter bits haven't been renovated yet and you can peak in:
We stopped for a coffee here.
The Graffiti Tour
Where Giulia really excelled, was with her knowledge about local graffiti artists. We love graffiti and it's always great to hear the stories behind them, better though, Giulia had actually met and toured with some of these super famous artists!
First we saw this piece by Roa:
Roa comes from Belgium and typically does large animal pieces. This 30 metre one is a wolf, because Rome's symbol is... the wolf! (Remember the story about Romulus and Remus?)
Next came two pieces: an anonymous face by Sten&Lex and a gangster by MTO:
There were many more great pieces like this one about mental health:
This one by an Argentinian artist:
Blu was nominated by the Observer as one of the top 10 street artists in the world.
This piece was massive and is painted onto a squat where 400 people live. The piece is a massive piece of symbolism highlighting the issues he wants to fight: pollution, war and the housing crisis:
One year later he came back and painted the side of the building:
It's a pirate ship which represents an industrial metropolis ready to sink.
What a liked the most is the idea that he did all this work without scaffolding - just ropes!
Find out more about Showaround and our day in our vlog!
All in all, we think Showaround is a great way to see a city whilst on holiday or travelling, who knows a city better than its locals? Who else knows the hidden sites tourists just don't get to see?
To book your own tour head over to their website - www.showaround.com and make sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Special thanks to Giulia for showing us around!
We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same! We also want to make it clear that we sometimes use “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.