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Elisa T.

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  • Born in:
  • Nationality:
  • My Studies:
    Cultural Anthropology, Art History, Tourism
  • Languages I speak:
    Italian, English
  • My Tours are:

    Exciting! My passion for history and art will lead you to discover the stories, legends and hidden gems behind the official stories.

If I was a phrase I would be:
"One should never bathe in the same river water."
For your Italian holiday I recommend you read:

Love and Sex in Ancient Rome
Alberto Angela

Angels and Demons
Dan Brown

The Sistine Secrets: Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages in the Heart of the Vatican
Roy Doliner

La Fuga del Bove
Elisa Taddei

I recommend you try:
About me:

Ciao belli! I am Elisa Taddei, a local tour guide born and raised in the Eternal City- an authentic Roman from Rome.  My career has always been focused on Tourism and Art History as I studied at the best tourism high school of Rome, named after the great explorer Christopher Columbus, to study to be travel agent. Soon after my first internship with a travel agent, I realized that organizing holidays for clients would not be enough for me- I wanted to be part of the trip. Then I visited ancient Ostia’s archaeological excavations with on a field trip, and our guide was so excellent that her explanation really made the past come alive.  I felt a thrill and in that moment as I had found what would be my perfect place in the world. I was only 18 but my idea was clear…I wanted to become a tour guide.
So I graduated and then I gained experience as a guide during my internship while I was studying Cultural Heritage at Tor Vergata University in Rome. After few years, I took the professional exam and I became an Art Historian- it was like a little dream come true. In addition to university, my best teachers have been my European trips and my clients, whose questions encouraged me to improve my knowledge about Rome from many different points of view and even helped my English pronunciation! Recently I became an independent writer, with the publication of my university thesis in Cultural Anthropology about a medieval festival in Montefalco (a town in Umbria).

Being a tourguide is...

...a way to meet clients and part ways as new friends! Their smiles are the best tips for me and pure satisfaction is when people are able to hear your voice, follow your steps and look at your fingers pointing out the best works of art for hours without getting bored, all while being more than happy to share that experience with you. I’m not a teacher explaining an art history lesson, but I’m a storyteller entertaining you while you learn how my ancient city has changed through the centuries.  To support my words I often use digital pictures that can help you imagine an enormous temple when you’re only looking at one marble column.

The answers I have always looked for are about why historical figures did what they did, the real reasons behind their decisions and the facts, secrets and symbols they used to hide them…studying and transmitting that information is my mission. I think that dates, names are less important as they rarely stay in your memory for very long…what remains engraved in the mind are motivations and mysteries of the official history and also funny or dramatic stories behind them. I am a very flexible person so it’s easy for me to create tailor-made tours for all different kinds of clients, but generally I’m oriented toward young couples looking for an adventure in Rome and families that like to learn and taste Italian culture through monuments and ice cream. I am also the mother of a very curious baby girl so one of my specialties is to be able to narrate history as a fable: heroes, princesses and monsters are behind every corner of Rome, the secret is to find the right way to describe them and search for the happy ending even in stories that apparently do not have one.

Another reason why I love this job is that you never stop learning, not only from books but even more so from guests.  The cultural exchange with people from all over the world enriches my mind and my soul every day.

My favorite Italian Gestures

Keep your fingers crossed! / Incrociare le dita!


‘Incrociare le dita’ is a gesture that consists of putting your middle finger over your index finger and is designed to bring good luck. I always do it when I ask customers for a review at the end of the tour thinking, “I hope they will leave me a five-star review!” Originally this gesture had a religious significance because it represented a sign of the shortened cross, as if to ask for divine protection. Today, the meaning of this gesture has nothing to do with Christianity, and if your fingers are hidden behind your back, its meaning is completely different. If you cross your fingers in secret it means you are aware of making a promise that you will not be able to keep, and you want to protect yourself from the consequences.

My daughter, for example, always does it when I ask her to promise me not to eat too much candy when she visits her grandparents. She crosses her fingers behind her back and automatically annuls her promise. I can only hope that with all those sweets she doesn’t get any cavities...and I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Help Center Activity:

How to reach Ostia Antica archeological site by train

July 24, 2017 10:08

It is not too complicated to reach ancient Ostia ('Ostia Antica'- the ruins of the old port of Rome and the city around it) by train. Line B metro line will take you to 'Piramide' station, and from there you can easily change trains. You'll need to take the Roma-Lido line, also called 'Freccia del Mare'. There is a train every 15 minutes and...

Where to find info about metro or bus itineraries?

March 27, 2017 09:03

Hello travelers, for those wondering how to reach a certain place in Rome by bus or subway but don't know how, there is an useful website to help you calculate your route: http://viaggiacon.atac.roma.it/?service=calcolapercorso (you can select your desired language) You simply write the address of your destination and it tells you the best...

Rome in a Day

Hi Colin! This is Elisa writing! Thank you so much for your interesting question... I believe that both tours are fantastic! They are exactly the experience you are missing if you have already visited the classic itineraries :) ... the Capitoline Museums are wonderful and most of the works of Art that make up the collections come from the city of...

Shore Excursions

Dear Ms Sasha M. Thanks for reaching out to us. The archeological excavations of Ancient Ostia house the ruins of a little city built around the old port of Rome. Due to a flood, its monuments were buried under sand for centuries, and thus, very well preserved- just as Pompeii was preserved by the ash of Vesuvius. In Ancient Ostia today, it is...

Our Private Driver Services

Hey Rachel, Thank you so much for your comment! I enjoyed so much spending the morning with you, it is always nice to be with someone who is interested to my stories :) I am looking forward to seeing you in Rome again!

Rome Metro System

Hello, I'm Elisa and I made this video a few years ago to help people to take the subway (underground) in Rome. I hope it will be useful for you. In the last few years, the price of tickets has changed. The new prices and the different kind of tickets are described in the article above. There is an important news, now there are 4 metro lines:...