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Sergio Grom

Sergio Grom

Ciao, a few words about myself: I was born and raised in Rome, where I still live in a nice and quiet area close to the Vatican. I started working in tourism in 1970 (for Hertz rent a car). In 1980 I moved to the Reception of a centrally located Hotel in Rome (front desk staff at Hotel Seven Hills). In 1987 I got my licence as a Tour Guide. In the following..20 years (Oh mamma mia!) I worked mainly leading Tours in Italy and Europe, but in the last two/three years mostly in Rome only: I love this caothic city! This is what Terri Fogarty, an important travel blogger wrote about our time together:Hiring a Tour Guide: Is it Worth it? My husband, Bill, and I had never hired a private tour guide before our recent trip to Italy. In the past, we read our guidebooks, consulted the internet, and reviewed to see what our writers had to say. We then did our own thing. We have also been part of large group tours, but this experience showed us the value of a knowledgeable, private tour guide to help us sort through the must-sees and the it-would-be-nice to see. It saved us valuable time and as you know,when on vacation, every minute counts.As we planned our travels, we set up a press trip with a great company called , a company that seeks out local guides who really know the territory to help you design the perfect tour that will meet your specific needs. We received complimentary tours during our visits to Rome and Pompeii/Herculaneum. But, that fact does not influence my assessment of the services we received. Our goal was to assess the value of a private tour guide against the cost. Our guides were all certified and highly experienced as you must pass a rigorous series of exams, both written and oral, in order to become a licensed tour guide in Italy. This is a very difficult process, with approximately only one in 10 applicants passing the examinations. This was evident, given the deep knowledge and experience of our guides. There are plenty of people who will approach you on the street telling you that you can pay them to get you into a museum or attraction without waiting in line. Do not do this; they are not certified guides and it will cost more money than it is worth. If you are inclined to use a private guide, plan ahead and talk via email with a guide before you even get to your destination. They are a font of knowlegdge and will help you get the most from your visit.We had been to Rome about ten years ago and at that time explored the city on our own. This time, we wanted to come away with a deeper understanding of the rich history of the city and to be assured that we were seeing authentic Rome and the Vatican. We saw the major tourist sites on our own but to get a more in-depth understanding of the city, we took a private 3-hour walking tour of Rome with historian and certified tour guide, Sergio Grom. Sergio met us at our hotel and quickly determined what we had already seen (the main tourist sights) and what specific interests we had. We love art and architecture, so he took that into consideration in planning our walking tour. He began with taking us to the Santa Maria della Vittoria Church to see Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Therese, a gem we would have missed entirely if on our own.In a most engaging, entertaining manner, Sergio provided us with a solid historical perspective of Roman times, the rule of the most significant popes through the centuries, and the relationship between the church and Mussolini in the late 1920s. We visited the most important churches and basilicas and finished with a walk through Rome’s Jewish quarter. We saw and learned so much in the three hours we spent with Sergio, that it can be said we came away with a new-found, enduring interest in ancient and contemporary Rome.