Insight Vacations and Trafalgar launch new Rome experiences to address new Vatican changes

Insight Vacations and Trafalgar launch new Rome experiences to address new Vatican changes
Insight Vacations and Trafalgar launch new Rome experiences to address new Vatican changes. Image source: Unsplash

With The Vatican City announcing it will no longer offer the Bramante Staircase and Vatican Dining experiences to Tour Operators from 1 April 2024, award-winning tour brands Trafalgar, and Insight Vacations, part of the TTC Tour Brands portfolio, immediately announced the launch of five new and immersive experiences as a direct response to the changes. With guests still enjoying Locally Guided tours of The Vatican City by day, these new experiences leave them with an even deeper experience in The Eternal City.

Coming into effect for departures from 1 April guests will enjoy one of the following experiences as a replacement for either the Bramante Staircase or Vatican Dinner experience.

Insight Vacations gets their curious guests up close and personal with every destination and the creation of three newly curated, insightful experiences are no exception. Depending on their itinerary, guests will now enjoy one of the following encounters:

  • Private Entry to the 16th Century ’Pharmacy of the Popes’ & visit the Church of Santa Maria Della Scal Located in the Trastevere, guests will be accompanied by a Friar of the Carmlite order as step back in time as they visit this ‘by appointment only’ ‘Farmacia of Santa Maria Della’ surrounded by brilliant frescoes and walls adorned with bottles and equipment once used to mix medicines and deliver prescriptions to dignitaries, Popes and Roman aristocrats for centuries.The second part of the experience lies within the walls of Basilica Maria Della Scala, where guests will learn about, how as a result of multiple miracles, how it came to bear its name ‘Scala’ (staircase).
  • Exclusive to Insight Vacations, at the Basilica of Saint Praxedes, guests will be treated to a private after-hours experience. Commissioned by Pope Pasquale I to house the tomb of his mother, it’s home to some of the world’s best preserved Byzantine mosaics and the first sculpture by Bernini. The main event is a once-in-a-lifetime viewing of the Reliquary of the pillar where Christ was tied on Maundy Thursday.
  • Guests will spend an evening at­­ Ristorante ‘Di Rienzo’, Piazza della Rotonda, beside the Pantheon. Guests willdine on the flavours of ‘Lazio’ (Rome) including Caccio e Pepe, escalope of veal dressed in lemon and herbs or a ‘millefeuille’ of eggplant parmigiana and desserts including lemon sorbets and mouth-watering pastries.­­


For Trafalgar, the brand is proud to launch two new experiences that will unlock the best of Rome through storytelling, food and local characters:

  • Exclusive and only accessible after hours to Trafalgar, guests accessthe Basilica Santa Maria in Cosmedin, for a private after-hours visit to the famous ‘Mouth of Truth’ without the crowds. As they’re guided through the church, crypt, and the relics of the famous Saint of love, Valentine, they’ll learn about the church history and hear how legend has it that the mouth bites off your hand if you lie.
  • Roman flavours and ancient ruins will take centre stage as guests dine at Ristorante Pancrazio. Located just off Campo di Fiori, guests will love dining on top of the ruins of The Theatre of Pompey, built in 61BC and learn how just a stone’s throw away, the Emperor Julius Caesar is said to have been assassinated. Their evening of entertainment is topped off with a selection of the restaurant’s local ‘Lazio’ (Roman) dishes, a dessert of iconic Tiramisu and a selection of local wines.

In line with the recently refreshed Always commitment to both agents and guests, the immediate response and creation of these experiences is an example of how TTC Tour Brands are best placed in the industry to solve challenges and changes, with exceptional outcomes for valued Agent partners and their customers.