Italy trip is near; final questions.

Oct 24th, 2007, 06:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Italy trip is near; final questions.

Hi everyone, from formally Julie_Hurst screen name. We ARE going to Italy on Nov. 1 - YEAH! Had a heart cath on Monday. Was more afraid of trip being cancelled than of the cath! Results were good - so we ARE going!

So now I am doing the last of my arrangements, one of which is a guided tour of the Vatican Museums from the Vatican itself, not a tour company.

Question - must we stay with the tour or can we "duck" away without causing an international scene!? It is only 2 hours & we want to see other rooms not offered on the tour. We have been to the Museums before, but still have much to see. We want the tour so we will not need to wait in line.

I assume we should leave before the tour group goes into the Sistine Chapel. I've read that once in there, the tour folks are scooted out of the Museums.

Also, the tour will give us their headsets. If we duck away, is there a place "inside" for us to return the tour headsets & rent the individual tour headsets?

Question - I just reserved our transfer from Rome to CIA via I found that recommendation on this board. Is that still a good recommendation - no problems anyone knows of? I got quoted 35 Euros (apartment arranged transfer was 80!).

Question - We have visited Ostia Antica, but are going back. I think I read that if we go further down the track, there is more to see - beach, town? If so, anyone know how far from the O.A. stop & names of the stops? We will have a weekly transit pass.

Question - Tivoli - Not sure we will have time, but if we do, anyone know of a group bus tour? We don't want to pay for a private tour, don't want to rent a car, & don't mind if we don't have a lot of time. This trip we have most days scheduled with extensive walking touring, so we will be satisfied with just a look-see of the Trivoli spots. Can do a more extensive visit next time.

Question - Tarquinia - Any advice? Not much discussion about this place. Prefer public transit - anyone know the easiest way? Any other suggestions on how to make the best of the trip?

Thanks a lot everyone, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,298
They have lots of tours and excursions. Have a great trip
TravMimi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Julie - The main bus tour companies in Rome - Vastours, Appian, Carrani, Greenline - all offer Tivoli excursions:





Alternatively you can get there cheaply by public transport (- Metro to Ponte Mammolo, then bus).

As regards Ostia, I wouldn't bother going any further than Ostia Antica. The beach area of Ostia Lido is nothing special - and you certainly wouldn't want to swim there as the Tiber flows out nearby

Hope this helps...


P.S. You may have found these links already:
Steve_James is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,633
Julie - You won't be rushed out (unless it's closing time). Just don't take the exit to St. Peter's. I would tell the guide you want to see more than just what is on the tour and rent the audio guides then so you don't have to backtrack to the entrance later.

You can take a boat on the Tiber to Ostia Antica, if it works with your schedule. It's 13E per person round trip and allows several hours at Ostia.
kybourbon is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414
Hi Julie,

Glad you get to go! I went to Tivoli on my own using the metro and bus. Wasn't hard at all and took a little more than 1 hour.

Would have loved a tour of Hadrian's Villa, as they were completely out of English version printed guides. Still really enjoyed it.

LOVED Villa d' Este! A beautiful, lovely, delightful, wonderful place. The foutains are amazing. I noticed everyone was walking around just smiling!

Buon viaggio
Dayle is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,134
I just used romeshuttlelimousine and they were on time, helpful and friendly.

I used vastours through to book my trip to Tivoli. They used a small van for our small group of people, about six of us, it was perfect for a quick overview.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Thanks everyone for your replies. "Doing" our bills right now so haven't had time to check out the generous offerings of links, but I definitely will do so & I do very much appreciate them.

Thanks, Steve for the advice on O.A. Looks like we will just do the 1 stop.

kybourbon, thanks for the boat info. We decided that we want more time than the boat allows. Good idea about telling the guide in advance. I don't want to be arrested for not giving him/her the headset!

Steve & Dayle, every post I read about public transport after getting to Tivoli indicated it was a big, cumbersome, & time-consuming issue to get from one tourist area to the other, once there. Did you not find that?

SeaUrchin, good to know about the shuttle service.

TravMimi, don't want to leave you out. I will check out your link; thanks.

So far, for our 8 full days, we have scheduled/planned on Ostia Antica, Gallery Borghese, Domus Aurea, Vatican Gardens tour, Vatican Museaums tour, Appian Way, Ancient City, San Clemente, & probably Tivoli, & maybe Tarquinia. Then I have pages of many other places. Some of these we have already visited, but want to return. Oh well, Rome ALWAYS requires a re-visit!!

Any more advice is still welcome. Seems like no one visits Tarquinia! Maybe that is trying to tell me something!


JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 25th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 15,692
Julie--I had Tarquinia on my list of things to do in Rome last spring but we found we didn't want to leave the city except for going to Ostia Antica the last day. I think it would be a worthwhile excursion if you are interested in Etruscan history.

I found info on public transit options on the site
Vttraveler is online now  
Oct 26th, 2007, 12:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Julie - Tivoli by public transport is really quite easy. It's also much cheaper than the excursion tours - which cost € 50 approx.

Buses to both Villa Adriano* and Tivoli (- 2 different services) leave from PONTE MAMMOLO Interchange.

[Ponte Mammolo can be reached from Roma Termini on Metro Line 'B' - Dir: Rebibbia]

* There's is a DIRECT bus to Hadrian's Villa which drops you at the entrance.
[This is the 'Tivoli via Prenestina' bus from Ponte Mammolo].

From Hadrian's Villa you can then take the orange 'shuttle' bus up into Tivoli town for Villa d'Este.

On your return to Rome you can get off the bus either at Rebibbia metro station or Ponte Mammolo for the metro back into Rome.

Due to bus frequency it's usually better to go first to Hadrian's Villa direct from Ponte Mammolo - then up to Tivoli for Villa d'Este.

Hope this helps ...


N.B. Villa d'Este is CLOSED on Mondays.

Steve_James is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414

I did the trans route described by Steve, although I didn't quite get it right. I got off the bus when some other people did and we ended up walking quite a ways to Hadrian's.

After, I got the orange local bus up to Tivoli, and from there returned on the bus directly back to Ponte Mammolo. Departures are frequent and cheap.

The visitor info booth in Tivoli was extremely helpful. Can't say the same for the folks at the ticket office at Hadrian's Villa.

Remember to have small E notes. No credit cards taken at the villas and no change available.
Dayle is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Steve, great info. Thanks a lot. Don't mean to be pushy, but would love for you to fill in the blanks, make corrections for me, and hope you can answer my questions:

1. At Termini, take the metro B line marked as GOING TO 'Dir: Rebibbia'. Is that right?

2. Get off of the metro B line at the 'station/stop of Ponte Mammolo'. Is that right?
--Where do I look to be sure it is the right stop before getting off?
--Do you know the stop before our stop, so we can be ready?

3. After exiting the metro, which way do we go to get to the bus?
--Do we buy the tickets on board or at a ticket booth?
--Do we buy a round trip ticket?

4. Take the 'Tivoli via Prenestina' bus from Ponte Mammolo to Hadrian's Villa.
--Is it a special color or marked bus, or the same as the others?
--Since Dayle got off at the wrong place, how do we know when to get off?
--Do you know the hours of the bus for November?

5. Enjoy Hadrian's Villa

6. Board the 'orange shuttle bus' from Hadrian's Villa into 'Tivoli town' for touring the Villa d'Este.
--Is there a special place to catch this bus?
--Is it the only orange bus or a specially marked orange bus?
--Do we buy tickets on board or at a ticket window somewhere?
--Do you know the hours for November. May be shorter & don't want to be stuck out in nowhere & no way to get back!!

7. Get off the 'orange shuttle bus'
--where? Is there only 1 stop?
--Then are we at Villa d'Este, or do we walk somewhere, or do we catch another bus?

8. Enjoy Villa d'Este.

9. You said on way back to Rome, get off bus at metro.
--Is there another bus we take to & from Villa d'Este?
--How do we get back to the metro in Tivoli?

10. In Tivoli, board Metro B line at either the Rebibbia or Ponte Mammolo station.
--Am I correct to assume that we take the Metro train marked going to Rome?
--Which sounds like we should buy a round trip ticket when we depart Rome - right?

I realize that I made it sound very complex, but it appears doable by us. Would just like to have it outlined in sequence to make the day easier, which equals more enjoyable. I do need to find out about the hours of everything though, since November is off season.

Do you know how much all of this metro & bus transport plus a guided tour at each place costs? Don't want to spend almost as much as a bus guided tour (I assume they include guided tours of the 2 places).

Do you know anything about English tour headsets or guided tours at each site?

Thanks a lot Steve. Sorry to be such a pain!

JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 10:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Vttraveler, thanks. That's a great link. I'll print it & take with us.

Dayle, that's what I am trying to avoid - going the wrong direction & expending lots of extra energy. We will be very worn out by our many physically extensive site visits on this trip!

I'll be sure to stop by the info booth. Great to know about the exact change. I'll have to find out how much it costs & be prepared.

Thanks, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,528
hi, julieagain,

don't worry about worrying - we're getting a water-taxi in Venice from the airport to the rialto at easter and I'm already worrying about it.

I can help with a few of your worries:

in the vatican, i think that if you rent a headset, you have to deposit a passport of something similar. So you will have to return to your point of entry before you leave. this means that you can't duck out of the back door of the sistine chapel straight into St. Peters as described by R. Steves. [in fact, it isn't straight into St. Peter's but down the stairs, round the corner, down some more steps, and THEN into St. Peter's but it's a lot quicker than walking all the way back round the walls and queuing up to get throguh secuity again.]

I'm surpirsed that you are able to get a tour of the Vatican gardens at this time of year - good for you. I'd love to read a report of it.

Tivoli & Villa D'este. I can't help you with hadrian's villa. But getting to the ponte mammolo is easy - just get the metro B there. if you are staying in central rome, this will be northbound, direction Rebibbia. you will know that it's the right station as the route is marked on the inside of the train [I guess that you do not live somewhere with a metro system] and you can see where you are by the names in VERY LARGE LETTERS on the walls of the stations. all you have to do is make sure you pay attention when you get to the station before yours.

As you come up the stairs and out of the station, the ticket office is in the left-hand corner. [toilets are in the basement in a corner near the drivers' rest rooms! - it took me several "goes" to find them].

you can get an "andate e ritorno" ticket. this will do the Rome - Hadrian's villa bit and the return from Tivoli to Rome. I don't know about the shuttle. it is further than you think - at least an hour. certainly the villa d'este was well worth it and we had a very nice lunch afterwards. only go if it's nice weather - the villa is essentially a garden and would be no fun if it's raining.

the villa d'este is in the middle of Tivoli - it wil be obvious when you get there. it is the other side of the road from the bus stop and just a bit closer to the town from the information office which is right opposite the bus stop.

when you've seen/eaten your fill, the return bus stop is just by the information office - that side of the road. the bus stops 1st at Rebibbia then at ponte mammolo. you can get the metro back into Rome from either stop. you are obviously gonig southbound, direction Laurentina, but if you are staying in central rome, you'll need to get off a long way before this.

it's very difficult to go in the wrong direction - don't worry about it. Villa d'este cost about E10 I think and there were english guides and maps there.

good luck!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
That's great, Ann. Thanks a lot. Goooollly - how did you guess that we don't live in a public transporation area!! It's funny, though. Our Rome apartment owners last year had no idea how to use the Rome bus system - they said they always drive! They didn't even know how to tell us which side of the street to use for each route. So, I guess sometimes, living with public transportation doesn't mean one uses it!

We like the idea of going on our own to Tivoli because then we do not have to risk bad weather when pre-booking a tour; just decide last minute. Your description makes me feel well prepared - thanks.

I guess I want "all" of the answers before going because I am the travel arranger pre-trip & the tour guide on the trip. DH & DS don't by any means get upset at dysfunction (in fact they are very appreciative), but I do feel responsible if an unpleasant and/or valuable time consuming situation is caused just because I didn't pre-plann well!

Our tour of the Gardens should be interesting. Probably not much garden in November, but just being behind the scenes will be impressive.

Hope your water taxi in Venice goes well. However, from what everyone posts, it seems that is the easiest, fastest, & most "refined" way to do the Venice transfer thing! Have fun.

Thanks again, Julie
JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 26th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,528
hi, julie,

glad to help. I guessed because you didn't know about the routes being posted in the metro cars and written large upon the walls.

though you might not be able to read them for all the graffiti!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Hi Julie - It looks like Ann's answered all your questions

Tivoli is best as a midweek trip. Avoid Sundays (- bad traffic day) and Mondays (- Villa d'Este closed).

Ponte Mammolo is the penultimate stop on Line 'B'
9 stops from Termini (- or 11 from Colosseo ...)

Here's a Metro map:

The 'Tivoli via Prenestina' Cotral bus* (- direct to Villa Adriana) is very infrequent - so N.B. you need to time it right around the bus timetable.

[Otherwise you'll end up on the 'Tivoli via Tiburtina' bus like Dayle did, and have a LONG walk ]

* Your best bet is to catch the 08.45 'Tivoli via Prenestina' bus from Ponte Mammolo (- arr. Villa Adriana 09.47).

The next one is late morning ...

Bus operator: Cotral. Here's the link:

When you get off at Villa Adriana, check the timetable for the Shuttle Bus up to Tivoli (- I think they're about 1/2 per hour ...). That way you won't have to hang around waiting ...

Cotral buses back to Rome from Tivoli are very frequent.

I think Ann's answered all your other questions.

Enjoy your visit

Hope this helps ...


Steve_James is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 04:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
P.S. Ponte Mammolo bus station is on 2 levels.

If I remember, the 'Tivoli via Prenestina' bus leaves from the upper level (- up the escaltor).
Confirm with the ticket clerk ...

Steve_James is offline  
Oct 27th, 2007, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414
Yes, the bus to Tivoli left from the ground level, one up from the metro exit.

Julie, I bought my local orange bus ticket at a tabacchi/gellateria across from the bus stop.

A lovely local nona made sure I got off at the right stop in Tivoli. It will be right at the infor center which is a kiosk in the center of the street. The road goes up a steep hill into Tivoli and does a 90 degree bend. That's where you get off.
Dayle is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 02:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,021
Dayle - The one you took ('Tivoli via Tiburtina') leaves from ground level.

If I remember, the Villa Adriana bus('Tivoli via Prenestina') leaves from the upper level (- 2 up from the metro) - unless it's changed ...

Steve_James is offline  
Oct 28th, 2007, 04:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 417
Thanks a lot, Steve & Dayle. With what Ann gave me & all of your info, sounds like a doer for us! Having the metro map ahead of time is a big help.

Sorry, for so many questions. Here in the Midwest, we don't use public transport (& of course, don't have much of it!)! We always seem to figure it out when we travel, but knowing ahead of time sure makes the job much easier & more pleasant!

JulieAgain is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 AM.