A wonderful resource on Rome

In December ’04 we visited Rome for the first time. Prior to leaving home, we booked two half-day “courses” with IDC Rome, Institute of Design & Culture (in the U.S., leave voice mail at 214/853-5603 [we did not use this], e-mail rome@urban-iconography.org or visit www.idcrome.org [the best place to get information]). IDC’s website says, “We don’t give tours; we lead discussions.”

Our family had a wonderful time with IDC guide Susan Sanders (cell phone in Italy, 333 931 3432). Susan, an American architect now living in Rome, is a wonderful storyteller and art historian. She made Rome come alive.

We took the “Angels and Demons” course “Rome Illuminated” as well as the “Rock Star” course focusing on Bernini at the Galleria Borghese; these 3½-hour tours were priced at $275 for up to six people.

A couple days later we called Susan and asked if she was available for a third trip on our last day in Rome. She was, so we investigated the “Lives of the Rich and the Famous” in a 2-hour course that cost $180 for our group. Actually, it lasted closer to three hours by the time Susan arranged our transportation to lunch, introduced us to the restaurant owners, discussed her favorite foods, etc.

Susan is a font of information about shopping, hotels and restaurants. She took us to wonderful, reasonably priced neighborhood restaurants and recommended others.

Pasadena, CA