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Tours of Rome
led by Alan Epstein, Ph.D
"Dear Alan, I cannot thank you enough for two extraordinary days in Rome. Only someone with your energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of beautiful Rome could have made a cold, rainy day in January so interesting and so much fun. Your tour offered us an intimate and unique perspective that gave rise within each one of us an appreciation and love for Roman history, culture and art. We will never forget weaving in and out of Rome's narrow streets discovering and admiring its hidden treasures and stepping through the doors of plain facades into the exquisite halls of San Clemente and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva...It will be impossible for anyone of us to forget the profound contributions the Romans made to our civilization which you illuminated and described so vividly. Thank you for your time, your knowledge, your restaurant suggestions, and all the other bits of information you shared with us that helped make this an unforgettable trip. I have raved about you to a number of friends and acquaintances and hope they use you."
"Dear Alan, We left Rome with our sense of how the
modern world unfolded, completely transformed by
your deftly guided journey through the ages of that
city on the hills. You did a marvelous job. My family
was engaged, captivated, enthralled and educated
in countless ways by your special sense of Rome
and its place in the scheme of things. My children
are still talking about it.There are so many things
that they will never forget: Michangelo's Moses,
Bernini's St.Teresa, the water fountains of the
Virgin Aqueduct, and, of course, Rome's gelato emporiums.
But I expect that our guided walk through time in
the basements of the Basilica of St. Clemente will
stay with them forever. In short, we were completely seduced
by the city's beauty and charm, thanks to seeing
it through your eyes. We do hope this was only the
first of what will many visits to Rome. And we would
certainly expect to take advantage again of your
expertise when we do.
The Los Angeles Times
York Bureau, New York
I am re-reading Pat Conroy's novel, Beach Music,
and I have just finished the part in which the main
character and his daughter are living in Rome in
Piazza Farnese. I know that they will return to
South Carolina, and I am saying to them "Don't
do it - stay in Rome!" And thanks to you, that's
how I felt when my wife and I reluctantly boarded
our Delta Flight to return home last month. After
our magical day with you, the sights and sounds
of your Rome are as fresh in my mind as if I were
still there. We especially appreciated the fact
that you designed our time with you based on what
we wanted to see and not on what a guidebook said
we should see. You showed us parts of Rome that
are off the beaten path and that we never would
have seen without you. From our meeting in the market
in the Campo dei Fiori through our ciaos
at the wonderful ristorante you recommended, we
truly saw Rome as the Romans do. This was
the fifth time my wife and I had been to Rome, but
your historical asides and insightful comments on
contemporary life in Rome made us realize that we
had never truly seen Rome until this trip. From
each of the six of us who walked with you that day,
Attorney at Law
Columbia, South Carolina
Alan, Thank you so much for your brilliant guidance
in Rome. You are a 15 on a scale of 10. We had guides
again in Florence, Venice and London, and none of
them can hold a (Roman?) candle to you. We will
recommend you without hesitation and hope to return
to Rome for more great experiences in the future."
& Bob Glass
San Francisco, California
Wow! One 8 hour day with you in Rome did more to
put history into a perspective that made it meaningful
than all the classes I took in high school and college.
Walking through the city with you, as you explained
the cycles of life of the city fit together so many
pieces of dry knowledge that had seemed meaningless
before. When we went onward to Pompei, the Greek
Isles, Ephesus, and Egypt afterward, the things
that I saw had meaning largely because of what I
learned from you.
I want to thank you for your wonderful day with
us. I will tell anyone making this trip that they
must begin by spending a day with you."
Gary, Sally, and Megan Fairman
Orange City, Florida
a sincere thanks for the interesting tour of Rome.
Having read your book, As the Romans Do,
studied Rome several times when in grammar school,
and heard so much about its special status from
so many, who had previously visited, I had high
expectations. I would say in retrospect, that these
expectations were exceeded. I was quite impressed
by the range of sites we visited, but even more
impressed by your knowledge of the ancient culture
and ability to explain how and why events or structures
developed as they did. I am a naturally curious
person, and love to engage in dialogue about history,
politics, and cultures and found our exchanges very
interesting. I was also impressed by all of the
out of way, easy to overlook, sites and details
you provided. The city is truly remarkable and combined
with the life style, climate, and attitude of the
Romans, I can see why you have found it so attractive.
The weekend Isa and I spent in Rome was truly remarkable,
and was one of the highlights of my adult life.
Thank you again for helping to make it special."
wanted to take a moment to thank you again,
Alan, for your tour of Rome. My entire family completely
enjoyed every minute of it. It was the first time
in a while that over dinner our conversation turned
to the arts and the beauty that surrounded us. You
were such an important part of that experience.
I couldn't help but notice that you have made the
city yours and more importantly that the city has
made you hers. There has been a couple opportunities
already that we have been able to highly recommend
you to friends that are planning a trip to the Eternal
City. We would also be interested in having you
be our guide for a Vatican tour or other suggested
places when we return in the Spring. Again thank
you. You made our trip memorable and helped us to
feel truly part of a great city."
GMAC Real Estate
can't thank you enough. We've done London and Paris
on our own (pretty well, I must say) but this was
the best. From breakfast at a local bar to the monuments
to the behind the scenes nooks and crannies we were
captivated by your knowledge and enthusiasm. My
wife and I, our daughter and her friend were spellbound.
You took us down small alleys and into courtyards
filled with ancient statuary that we would never
have found. We saw sites the bus tours miss and
the tour guide books don't even mention. To go into
so many churches and monuments and still keep the
girl's attention is pretty amazing. You did it with
your understanding of the art, architecture, politics
of the time, and intrigue between the Popes and
the artists that created Rome. Our time with you
changed our future travel plans for the better.
When you said you knew someone to show us Pompeii,
you didn't say Judith was the best on the planet.
How we envy you all. To talk money, your fees, a
little daunting at first glance, were the best travel
investment we ever made. You made every minute count
three times over. We hope to see you again. On our
trip home we decided to retire to Italy. Really!"
and Jamie Flowers
Shop Owner & Elementary School Teacher
Grazie, Alan. Well, Cyndy and I are back in New
England and have finally settled back into our native
time zone. Just wanted to drop you a quick note
to thank you again for a memorable day in Rome.
It exceeded my expectations. Three things in particular
struck me that cold/rainy day..... First, Rome really
is an incredible place ---- although Cyndy and I
put in another good three days after our time together,
I still felt as if we'd only scratched the surface.
Second, your passion and enthusiasm for this special
place is so complete, so genuine and so contagious.
Although I'm certain you've walked and talked through
that route hundreds of times, we felt as though
it were a first for you and us. Third, it was interesting
to hear a "review" of the city and life in the city
NOT from a native (as is many times the case with
guided tours), but from a fellow American who has
chosen to adopt Rome as his home. You were able
to give us all the facts and figures that any native
could, but also you were able to provide us with
insights on Roman life from our own perspective
as visitors from the states. Our only regret: That
we didn't schedule an additional day with you during
our stay. Oh well, we will be back and we will definitely
be in touch when plans are in the works. Ciao."
1998, Rome, Italy changed our 17-year-old daughter's
life, thanks to our tour with Alan Epstein. It isn't
easy to thrill three teenage girls, unless of course
you are a teenage boy, but Alan's tour achieved the
almost impossible. His astute observations and his
infectious enthusiasm provided incredible insights
about life in the Eternal City. A walk with Alan becomes
a vehicle for understanding the complexities and beauty
of Roman culture. His stories opened our daughters'
eyes to a world brimming with pleasure and passion,
unlike any they had seen before. Our oldest daughter,
realizing that her world had the potential to expand
beyond suburban Philadelphia, experienced an attitude
change. She can't wait to embrace her life with open
arms, "as the Romans do," eager to learn more about
the world and continue on the journey she began with
Alan. From the water fountains that we thought were
broken fire hydrants, but that, in fact, are bubbling
with the pure, potable water of the underground springs,
to the ancient works of art tucked away on almost
every street, Alan regaled us with fascinating stories
and facts. Alan's help was invaluable, not just entertaining.
From understanding why one should never sit down in
certain coffee bars, to finding out where to eat like
kings but pay like paupers, and even how to use the
public bus system, Alan's tips helped us find our
way effortlessly, even though we don't speak Italian.
Without question, after 25 years of travel, this is
the best trip we've ever taken. Don't miss Rome and
don't go without Alan Epstein!"
Author, How to Teach Your Child About Life
While Having A Life of Your Own
depth of knowledge about Rome is surpassed only by
his love for it. He was surely a Roman in a past life,
for he took us back to Rome's classic era in remarkable
detail. He knows extraordinary places not on the usual
circuits, and tells fascinating stories with delightful
animation and passion. By the end of the tour, you
won't know whether you are more in love with Rome
and the Italians, or with Alan himself. It will probably
be some of each! I never want to visit Rome again
without Alan by my side. I would be missing too much."
Author, If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single
arrived in Italy during a cold, wet April and attempted
going it alone. After seven miserable days of feeling
lost and lonely, we contacted Alan Epstein of As the
Romans Do. His warmth and knowledge of Italy and what
would make us happy helped us tremendously, not only
did he find us the quintessential flat on a farm near
Cortona, he changed our whole experience of Italy.
When we arrived in Rome, we were greeted by a dynamic,
intelligent, and caring person. Even the sun came
out. We walked all over the city -- from sightseeing
to shopping -- we did it all. My partner and I were
like dependent puppies as we followed Alan all over
Rome, not only gaining insights about Roman history
and culinary feasts but being charmed by his storytelling
and style. I look forward to joining him again soon
for more adventures in Italy."
San Francisco Bay Area, California
impeccable taste and attention to details put an elegant
touch to a memorable experience for all sixty of us.
The history, the culture, and the habits of the Romans
intertwined in an enlightening and most original tour
of the Eternal City. Some of the participants said
it was the best time of their lives -- especially
the mystical walk at night on the Appia Antica, the
ride through the ancient center, the dinner accompanied
by opera singers in a marvelous country-like-setting
in the heart of the city"
European Sales Manager
thanks so much for showing us Rome the way we never
would have see it without you -- the neighborhoods,
shops, monuments, and best of all the real character
of the city. Clearly, it's a labor of love for you
and it shines through in your presentation of the
many anecdotes and long history of the city. It was
a very special trip for us."
President, Co-op Communications
San Rafael, California
now that we are all back in our respective homes,
I want to take one more minute just to say a big THANK
YOU. The day we spent with you was the highlight of
our trip, and that was a unanimous opinion. Jeff told
us later that he had never taken a more enjoyable
tour. Brandy loved Rome because of you. Mother was
enthralled - and because of your knowledge, enthusiasm
and kindness was actually able to complete this 5
mile marathon - not bad for an 86 year old. Tom and
I had a great time - and because of you we will certainly
be back to Rome. To sum up our experience, I repeat
Brandy's comment during the day... the previous two
days we saw Rome; the day spent with you we experienced
Rome. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Alan: Just a note to let you know how much I loved
Rome because you brought it all to life. I also admired
the fact that you had the courage to live your dream
and how happy you seem. Your enthusiasm was contagious.
Thanks again - all my best - Lil"
Sakol (86 years old)
Alan, con la presente voglio ancora una volta ringraziarti
per la bellissima mattinata passata insieme per le
vie di roma. Il tuo amore per Roma č contagioso e
le tue conoscenze impressionanti, per non parlare
delle tue grandi capacitą di comunicazione (non č
solo questione di cososcere bene la lingua, ma anche
il modo in cui si modula la voce e soprattutto la
mimica);insomma in poche parole sei bravissimo!!"
Concierge, Hotel de Russie
both wanted to thank you again for sharing your insight,
knowledge, and love of Rome with us during our recent
stay. From a personal standpoint, I wanted to experience
Rome from a local's perspective. Coffee in the local
"bars", walking your legs off, and being overwhelmed
by the tastes and smells of Rome will be in my memory
for years. I never realized how young the United States
really is until I spent two days in Rome. Pat was
equally happy to relive ancient Rome with a scholar
and "Roman." For such a huge city, the people were
not pushy or tense like you would think, but happy
to go about their day. What a pleasure. I can see
why you and your family fell in love with the city
and the people. We hope to return some day after we
retire from racing and really see Italy....with you
as our tour guide of course."
Springer & Pat Patrick
Owners of Formula One Driving Team
had the pleasure of having Alan Epstein guide me through
this magnificent city and I have been forever spoiled.
How I enjoyed a visit to a neighborhood trattoria
for an indescribable feast "as the Romans do" or a
walk with him by my side describing how the old and
new collide in this historic city. I won't return
to Rome unless he is at my side. Not only is he fluent
in the language, but Alan's ease with the idiomatic
phrases, the Italian mystique, the culture, the monuments,
the love of life is a once in a lifetime experience.
In the comparatively few years he has lived in Rome,
he is Roman. His book will make you wish you were
there too. So go. But make sure you take him with
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