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Old April 24, 2012, 08:52 AM   #1
thetimeshareguy
 
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Rome guided tours

Iím traveling to Rome with my 12 year old son from July 3 to 9 and plan to stay in some kind of three or four star hotel. Iím interested in recommendations for guided tours of the city and things like the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Forum, etc. (in part because I understand the tour guides can help us avoid long lineups).

Can anyone recommend a good tour operator for day tours, or multiple days? Is it recommended to book in advance or is it a situation where one can simply arrive in rome and thereís all sorts of operators with whom one may sign up sort of same-day?

Any tips appreciated.
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Old April 24, 2012, 09:32 AM   #2
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I'm envious! Would that my parents had instilled my lust for travel at 12!

Anyway, we found this outfit some years ago in Florence. Walking Tours of Florence. Now they are called ArtViva. Here's a link: http://www.italy.artviva.com/ We took their tour of the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel. It saved much time and we did indeed jump the line. They have headsets so you can hear the guide even though you may get a little separated. The Vatican Museum is so huge that if you spend just 5 minuted in front of each item it would take several years to get through. This tour hits the most important pieces.

I would recommend the Hop-on-Hop-Off buses. They are reasonable, give a good overview-with narration- and transport- and a place to get off your feet between sites. I preferred the red ones.

You can self-guide the Colosseum, except the recently opened lower levels where the animals, slaves and the works of the place- including the elevators to the surface- were kept. Fascinating!

With a guidebook, you can self cater the Forum.

If you have an iPod, or iPad, you can download a series of audio and video guides from www.ricksteves.com. We found them helpful.

If you are on a museum crawl, be sure to see the Capitoline. It was THE museum in Roman times. It still is.

A Rome Card- available at the rail station, airport, and I think online lets you in to (iirc) the first 2-or 3 attractions you go to free, then gives a significant discount on the others. We found it to be a worthwhile card.

Have fun! Great city!

Jim
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Old April 24, 2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for the great information!
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Old April 24, 2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passepartout View Post
I would recommend the Hop-on-Hop-Off buses. They are reasonable, give a good overview-with narration- and transport- and a place to get off your feet between sites. I preferred the red ones.
I second the Hop-on-Hop-Off buses (Guide only on bus), we use these a lot when we travel, but haven't tried Rome, YET:

http://www.rome-tours.net/?event=off...20Rome%20Italy


We did a full-day Grayline tour last time we were in Rome and enjoyed it. Had a guide (on bus and while we were walking in our group) with us the whole time to explain things and answer questions:

http://www.grayline.com/Rome/View_All

http://www.grayline.com/Italy_-_Rome...tican_Museums_


I'll probably use Grayline again when we're there in 2014.

Last edited by Ron98GT; April 24, 2012 at 01:40 PM.
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Old April 25, 2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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Rome In Limo

I found the tour company, Rome In Limo on these boards. I used them for a 2 day trip in Rome. It was expensive but for what I received....worth every euro!
My son & I saw more in one and a half days then most folks would see in several days. We had a driver and a guide. Before we arrived in Rome I sent a list of things that we wanted to see. We saw everything on the list plus a LOT more. We did not wait in any lines and "special" parking was used at certain sites.

The guide was excellent (as well as the driver). The half of the 2nd day was spent in the Vatican museum and St. Pete's. We walked from our hotel which was very close. The guide met us in the lobby with the van parked a half a block up for the driving portion.

I cannot say enough good things about everyone we came into contact with in this company.
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Old April 26, 2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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I found the tour company, Rome In Limo on these boards. I used them for a 2 day trip in Rome. It was expensive but for what I received....worth every euro!
Can you write or PM me what it cost? (approx.)
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Old April 26, 2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Count me as a fan of the hop on, hop off bus tours. We went a couple years ago, and the brief overview that you get from the hop on hop off bus tours is a perfect introduction to the city.

We did the same in Paris, too.

There was just so much to see, and the bus tours gave an excellent overview.

Also, no need to buy them in advance. Just go to one of the tourist spots and you'll see them going by. Check the schedules and find the one that makes the most frequent stops. (You don't want to spend a ton of time waiting, and every 15 minutes vs. every 30 minutes makes a huge difference) You can buy the pass right there.
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Old April 26, 2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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Rome In Limo

Check their web site romeinlimo.com

There are many different combo's you can do and that is what the price will depend on. I was given a quote before I made my reservation and that is exactly what I was charged...plus tip!

You can also check them out on Trip Advisor or the Cruise Critic board. A lot of those folks use them as well.

Have a great trip!
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Old April 29, 2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Passepartout View Post

A Rome Card- available at the rail station, airport, and I think online lets you in to (iirc) the first 2-or 3 attractions you go to free, then gives a significant discount on the others. We found it to be a worthwhile card.


Jim
Don't buy your Rome card on Friday. Lots of stuff is closed on Monday and you'll lose quite a bit of the value of the card.

Buy the card at a tobacco stand and you won't have to wait in a line to purchase it, and of course, once you have it in your possession, you'll avoid lines.

Our favorite museum is the Villa Borghese--allow time to enjoy the park.

We also spent some time seeking out a suburban mall that was reachable by subway so we could see how "real Romans" lived. That was a worthwhile experience.
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Old April 29, 2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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We also spent some time seeking out a suburban mall that was reachable by subway so we could see how "real Romans" lived. That was a worthwhile experience.
We stayed in a hotel in a suburban location on our last trip to Rome. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend the hotel or location (it was cheap, but just too far out), we really enjoyed staying a bit more "local". We bought some groceries at a nearby market. We found a great restaurant within walking distance. Nobody at the restaurant spoke English (and our Italian was VERY minimal -- foods and about a dozen basic phrases). But the food was so awesome that we ate there almost every night.
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Old May 2, 2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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We used Context Tours and they were fantastic (also hsve used them in NYC) - small tours with detailed information from experts in the field like archeaologists and art historians
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Old May 2, 2012, 10:59 PM   #12
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We used RomeinLimo for Rome and Amalfi coast. They were a great company to work with. Lots of CruiseCritic folks speak highly of them.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:29 PM   #13
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Deleted. Spammer caught!

Last edited by Margariet; September 9, 2012 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Not necessary anymore. Spammer already caught!
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:33 PM   #14
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Please note that this question was asked in April, and it was brought out of mothballs by a spammer, and that post has been deleted.
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Old September 9, 2012, 04:59 PM   #15
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Scavi

One tour that i enjoyed was the scavi tour UNDER the vatican. It is free and all you have to do is write the Vatican in advance and ask for Scavi tour tickets. Specifically, write the archaeological desk.
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