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Mirabilia Urbis Tours
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9 - 14 of 29 reviews
Reviewed 19 January 2017

Daniella guided the two of us on a half day through the Vatican, St Peters Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. She was absolutely amazing...definitely up there in terms of best guide ever. Smart, knowledgeable, funny, really interesting, organized, and a fantastic communicator. She knows so so much about everything, and we learned so much. Daniella made history come alive. Also, meeting first for coffee to get an overview of what we were about to see was extraordinarliy helpful. I don't think you will find a better guide in Rome than Daniella Hunt.

Date of experience: November 2016
2  Thank emc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 29 September 2016 via mobile

We highly recommend Daniella Hunt of Mirabilia Urbis for tours of Rome and surrounding areas. My husband and I haven't used guides on our prior trips to Rome, but this time we were focusing exclusively on ancient Roman architecture, and wanted someone expert in that subject who could add to what we had been able to learn from earlier trips and from studying on our own before this trip.

Daniella was perfect for us. We had a full day of the Roman Forum, Palatine and Imperial Fora, half days in the Forum Boarium area and the Pantheon-Ars Sacra area, and another full day in Ostia. Daniella is extremely knowledgeable about the ancient sites in Rome and vicinity (though we gather she is also expert in medieval and Renaissance and later periods). She is also a lively and engaging communicator, and does a very good job of keeping her clients' attention by drawing them into the discussion of what they are looking at. She is personable and fun, and was very attentive to our comfort and convenience at all times, knowing when to pause and rest and when to keep charging. (We are both in our sixties, and not as nimble as we used to be.) Daniella jokingly referred to herself as our "surrogate mother", and lived up to that title by taking great care of us.

Our impression is that Daniella works hard to gear her tours to the specific interests and knowledge level of her clients--that was certainly the case with us. So even if you've been to Rome before and feel that you've already "done" the Forum, Colosseum and other ancient sites, we're pretty sure that a day or two with Daniella will open your eyes to many things you never knew or thought about before. And if you're new to ancient Rome, Daniella will do a much better job of showing you around the main sites and monuments than you could ever do on your own or with a guide book. We definitely plan to engage Daniella again on our next trip to Rome, perhaps next time focusing on a different era or a different historical theme.

Date of experience: September 2016
4  Thank WendyK312
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 September 2016 via mobile

We visited Rome with what we thought was a fairly decent grasp of the basics of the ancient Republic and Empire, and not planning to do more than self-guide through the major attractions in the Eternal City.

We ended up being in Rome over Easter, though, and so the desire to avoid silly lines pushed us into a cheaper group tour for what was advertised as a half-day Colosseum/Forum/Palatine trip. What it ended up being was 80% Colosseum, a skimming of the (much more vital and important) Forum and a quick stop at the Palatine to wrap up. The only thing that the group tour achieved was guaranteeing we had a huge crowd everywhere we went.

The other thing we discovered is that the Forum, which is the most critical site for anyone interested in ancient Rome, is extremely difficult to parse without help. The collection of collapsed columns, portions of walls and half-temple/half-church buildings is spread over such a mish mash of times as to be almost incomprehensible without help.

Enter Daniella. After some quick Internet research, reviews suggested she is the best for an English speaking tour of any part of Rome. And in this case, the Internet was absolutely right.

She took us through the Forum (with an interruption to see the houses of Augustus and Livia - well worth it but book ahead), and managed to bring the space to life. She separated the various eras, explained the different heights, and generally brought the area into focus. There is probably no other single more important place in the history of Western Civilization, and Daniella managed to delineate that crush of history into comprehensible concepts. If you are hesitating because of cost, don't. You have spent however much to be there, and it behooves you to make the most of that. The small group tours aren't significantly cheaper, but they are significantly worse.

One major note for parents struggling to get their kids to appreciate the historical sights along the way: Daniella had our 13 year-old boy completely transfixed. After weeks of him skimming through museums ("The huge mosaic of Alexander the Great? I didn't see that..."), proclaiming that art galleries are 'boring', and deep-sighing after an hour at Herculaneum, we didn't expect him to be as enthralled as his parents. But like a great teacher, she managed to strike that balance of cool and knowledgeable that made him want to impress and engage. He has since begun reading historical fiction and is now fascinated by that period. Quite an impact!

When we return to Rome, and we're already planning another visit, we are going to do at least two more days with Mirabilia Urbis. It was the highlight of the last trip, that's for sure.

Date of experience: March 2016
1  Thank V3650NBgrahamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 May 2016

We took two 5-hour tours with Daniella, one of the Vatican (St. Peter's, the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel) at the beginning of our trip to Italy and the other of the Forum and Colosseum on our last day. Daniella was a truly special tour guide. She not only showed us the key sites in all of these places but she helped us to understand and appreciate the significance (artistic and historic). She brought an encyclopedic knowledge of ancient and Renaissance Rome and a lively ability to convey that knowledge. We felt privileged to be able to spend two days in Rome with Daniella Hunt.

Date of experience: April 2016
2  Thank Smithlack
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 March 2016

My daughter, a college freshman studying Classics, remarked after Daniella's four-hour tour: "I hope to get tours like that for all the sights we visit from now on." Despite miserable rain and cold, Daniella proved to be the ultimate trouper as our guide. She was thorough, entertaining, deeply knowledgeable, and well-worth the price of our private tour of Rome's Forum and Palatine Hill. I felt like I should receive college credit for her wonderful walking seminar, given how much I learned. This was our best visit to Rome thus far thanks to Daniella's well-organized, interactive, and enlightening presentation. We HIGHLY recommend her.

Date of experience: March 2016
2  Thank Amy494
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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