Women of Rome

Half Day

Rome’s hidden history of Women in Power.  Gabriella will paint a surprising picture of the power that women had in ancient times.  From Jean of Arc, to Lucrezia Borgia.The first mention of the first and only female Pope appears in the chronicle of Jean di Mailly.  Most versions say that she was a talented and learned woman who disguised herself as a man, often at the behest of a lover. Due to her abilities she rises through the church hierarchy, eventually being chosen as Pope. While riding on horseback one day, however, she gives birth to a child, thus revealing her gender. In most versions she dies shortly after, either by being killed by an angry mob, or from natural causes, and her memory is shunned by her successors!  Is this legend? We will never know!

We will stroll in the places of early female monasteries, and visit one of these female monastery’s still famous today, and see the place where in the year 855 Pope Joan was killed. We will talk about the famous Marozia, the extraordinary woman who, at the beginning of the Xth century ruled Rome. She was the lover of many Popes and the mother of a few. We will visit the basilica of St. John’s in Lateran, the very first residence of the Popes, from the IVth to the XIVth century,  and see the famous “Sedia Stercoraria”  a marble chair with a hole in the middle, said to have been used after Pope Joan, to check that  the pope elect, had all of his “things” in the right place.

We will take a bus and end the tour at the Rome’s “Casa Internazionale Delle Donne “, (international women’s house) in the “Trastevere” quarter, that was built in the XVIth century as a shelter for street women. We will talk about the history of the place and the role that it has still today for the women of Rome. In this artistic section of the city, famous for artisans and good restaurants, lunch or dinner together is an option.


We will continue on from the half day tour and take a walk in the Jewish Quarter where Beatrice Cenci used to live before being beheaded by Pope Clemens the VIII in 1600 for having killed her father who was abusing her. Her ghost is said to be still lurking around the place. If we are open, maybe we will see a sign of her! We will see the “vicolo delle zoccolette” zoccolo means wooden shoe, where the Roman prostitutes used to noisily walk around to attract clients. We will talk about the “high flyers” who frequented Popes and Cardinals, and we will visit Campo dei Fiori, where lived Vannozza Caetani, the famous mistress of Pope’s Alexander the VI of Borgia and mother of Lucrezia Borgia, and we will visit where the Roman noble women used to go if they wanted to get rid of their husbands!

Prices do not include meals or entrance fees into museums.
Transportation is included.
Pick- up at your Hotel.

Reservations will be confirmed with payment at the time of booking with check or paypal. Your tour is fully refunded if cancelled 30 days in advance.


HALF Day 9,30 – 12,30

  • Per Couple 250,00 €
  • 3 people 90,00 € each
  • 4 people 80,00 € each
  • 5 people and more 60,00 € each

FULL Day 9,30-4,30

  • Per Couple 350,00 €
  • 3 people 120,00 € each
  • 4 people 95,00 € each
  • 5 people and more 80,00 € each

“By the way, Gabriella was fantastic. I really enjoyed the tour
with her, and I too highly recommend her. Doumina, you
have an amazing network of the finest people working with
you in every aspect of your business. Thanks again for
Kathy Hill