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Museum reservations across Italy: how to book in advance?

Museum reservations across Italy: how to book in advance?

Jun 7th, 2006, 01:18 PM
  #1  
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Museum reservations across Italy: how to book in advance?

I noticed this website on line to reserve tickets for museums across Italy:
http://www.weekendavenezia.com/bigph...leve&skin=ctev

However, the on line service charges extra fees (pricey!). We will be first in Venice, then Florence, on to Rome and would like to book some of the museums in advance. We will be leaving in two weeks (end of June) so it will be busy and don't want to keep our 3 kids in lines too long... otherwise they'll lose interest before we've even entered.. especially with the heat. Any suggestions/tips from you well-traveled fodorites? Thanks, Lisamarc
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Jun 7th, 2006, 01:35 PM
  #2  
rex
 
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Even average hotels will do it for you, for a nominal price (2-4 euro per person?)

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jun 7th, 2006, 01:46 PM
  #3  
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geez, something that simple and didn't even know.. can we wait until we arrive to have the concierge book or should we do it in advance with the hotel via email? Since it's the high season (end of June-July), I just wasn't sure. THANKS! Lisamarc
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Jun 7th, 2006, 01:52 PM
  #4  
rex
 
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My answer was chiefly directed at Florence.

For high season, I would ask them to do it right away, especially for the Uffizi and Accademia.

Galleria Borghese (Rome), you do yourself (online, I think).

In general, I don't think that reserving ahead is possible (for example, Doges Palace, Guggenheim [Venice] or Vatican Museum[s], to name a few leading examples).
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Jun 7th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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I would email them now and ask them to make the reservations.

Tom
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Jun 7th, 2006, 02:10 PM
  #6  
MaureenB
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Good advice to book museums in advance, and to ask your Florence hotel to help you. Our hotel charged no fee for its service, but the Uffizi and the Accademia both add a very small (2 or 3 EUR?) fee per ticket. Money well spent when you see those lines!

There are a couple of threads here regarding getting a reservation for the Vatican Museums directly with the Vatican. It's a fax process, and can be frustrating. It worked for us, though, and was fantastic to walk to the head of that two-block long line. Do a search on this forum for details. Or go directly to the Vatican website and look for their instructions on where to fax your request. I think it's the only way to get a reserved entrance time. The tour is very good, about 2 hours, with headsets.

Then, heed the advice to go directly from the Sistene Chapel, out the side door, into St. Peter's Basilica. That way you don't go back outside into that long St. Peter's line. The door from the Chapel closes around 4:30, so try to get your tour of the Museums no later than 2:00.
Good luck and have fun in Italy!
 
Jun 7th, 2006, 04:53 PM
  #7  
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Great advice...I will look for that thread about Vatican and fax.. in fact I think someone provided a phone number... I will get on this tomorrow since it's two weeks away! Grazie! Lisamarc
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Jun 8th, 2006, 03:32 AM
  #8  
ira
 
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Hi L,

Secret Itineraries tour of Doge’s palace Phone number is 011 39 041 520 9070. English-speaking operator.

You will not be charged for your tickets if you don't go on the tour.


Uffizi and Academia Museum Reservations
The easiest and cheapest way is to call Florence 1016868 (dial around number), 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) then 055-294-883 8:30-18:30 M-F and 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time. You will get an English speaking operator and in 2-3 minutes YOU CAN RESERVE FOR BOTH. This is through the reservation service at the Uffizi and costs beyond the normal entry fee only about 3 euro for the service. This is MUCH cheaper than the commercial booking services.

You will not be charged for the reservations unless you use them.

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Jun 8th, 2006, 06:44 AM
  #9  
MaureenB
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lisamarc, there is a phone number posted on my thread, but I will tell you it was of minimal help, and then only because I assured him that I had actually faxed my request earlier. He would only tell me what day to expect my faxed confirmation from the Vatican. They only send out confirmations about two days in advance of your tour date. Mine was for Monday and it arrived here at home on Saturday at 5 a.m., for example. So, maybe have your confirmation faxed to your hotel, if you're already on the road. It's a very difficult process to navigate with the Vatican. But worth it, if it works out.

It's not easy to find the fax number, as it's somewhat buried in the Vatican site, under Education or something like that. I wish I still had it. If you find it, could you post it for others?
 
Jun 8th, 2006, 07:00 AM
  #10  
MaureenB
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Below is a cut-and-paste from the Vatican's website, regarding Museums tours, with the fax number at the bottom.
(They have recently added a suggestion to include a Rome contact number, which is a good idea on the Vatican's part, and maybe indicates an awareness of the difficulty in using the fax system.)

"Following tours are available:
- Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
- Vatican Gardens
- Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel (just for already formed groups with at least a minimum of 20 participants)

GUIDED TOURS FOR INDIVIDUALS:
VATICAN MUSEUMS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (2 hours)

The tour itinerary takes visitors through the most significant cultural and religious areas within the Vatican Museums: the Pio Clementino (classical antiquity), the Geographical Maps and Tapestries Galleries (Renaissance art), the Raphael’s Rooms and The Sistine Chapel.

March through October: from Monday through Friday at: 10.30am - 12.00am - 2.00pm; on Saturday at: 10.30am and 11.15am (in Italian only)

From November through February: everyday but Sundays at 10.30a.m.

Rates: full fare € 21.50; reduced € 17.50
The above rates include admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS (2 hours)
The guided tour of the Vatican Gardens is also a glimpse of the Vatican City State, the smallest independent state in the world: Journey through natural settings, historic monuments and works of art that span its 2000 year history.
From March through October: at 10.00 am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From November through February: only on Saturday at 10.00 a.m.

Rates: full fare € 13.50; reduced € 9.50
The above rates include guided tour service and headset.


GUIDED TOURS FOR GROUPS

VATICAN MUSEUMS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (about 2 hours)

Every weekday with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 21.50; reduced € 17.50

The above rates include admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (3 hours)

Everyday except on Wednesdays and Sundays, with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 25.50; reduced € 17.50

The above rates include the admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS (2 hours)

Everyday except on Wednesdays and Sundays, with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 13,50; reduced € 9.50

The above rates include guided tour service and headset.

HOW TO RESERVE (FOR INDIVIDUALS)

It is necessary to book in advance by fax.
For the reservation this office requires the names of all the participants to the tour. If we do not receive the list you may not join your requested booked tour. The list must be received at the moment of the reservation.
Bookings are valid only if you receive our confirmation fax.
The fax must be shown at the “Guided Tours” desk on the day of the visit. In case of no written reply from this office, the booking is considered not valid.
An advanced booking is needed from one month to one week prior to the date of the visit. The cancellation is accepted, up to 12 hours before the visit.
While asking for the reservation, we appreciate, if possible, a contact number or address in Rome (or Italy).

HOW TO RESERVE (FOR GROUPS)

It is necessary to book in advance by fax.
For the reservation this office requires the names of all the participants to the tour. If we do not receive the list you may not join your requested booked tour. The list must be sent at least 3 days before the booked visit.
Bookings are valid only if you receive our confirmation fax.
The fax must be shown at the “Guided Tours” desk on the day of the visit. In case of no written reply from this office, the booking is considered not valid.
An advanced booking is needed from two months to two weeks prior to the date of the visit. The cancellation is accepted without charges up to 48 hours.
While asking for the reservation, we appreciate, if possible, a contact number or address in Rome (or Italy).
In the event the confirmed group does not appear, the Museums nevertheless must require the payment for the reserved guide’s fee of € 80.

USEFUL INFORMATION
Tickets have to be purchased the same day of the guided tour.
Meeting point and departure is from the Guided Tours desk inside the Museums.
To avoid any queue, all visitors, individuals or groups, with reserved guided tour through this Office, are entitled to enter through the main gate of the Museums on Viale Vaticano. Facing the Vatican Museums entrance door, the line on the right is specifically for reserved guided Vatican tours.

We suggest to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment.

Reduced rates for pilgrimages and school groups: on the day of the visit a letter of the parish signed by the local Diocese or from the school signed by the Principal must be presented at the Guided Tours desk.

All the reservations, dates and departures times may be changed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances related to activities of the Holy Father.

Cancelled guided tours may be rescheduled.

Visitors not attired properly will be refused admittance.

OFFICE FOR GUIDED TOURS
Fax reservation : 06 6988 5100

 
Jun 8th, 2006, 08:17 AM
  #11  
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Maureen: I was just about to cut and paste the same thing. Thanks! Lisamarc
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Jun 8th, 2006, 09:12 AM
  #12  
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Ira: I tried to call the number at the Doges Palace but only received an Italian recording. I will call first thing tomorrow morning to see if a person answers in English.. if not, I'm pretty sure I can make reservations in Italian.I'll practice. Thanks so much for your help! Lisamarc
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Jun 21st, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #13  
lynzy
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Hi, lisamarc. We, too, will be in Italy next month and wanted to reserve tickets in advance. I found a website that allows a person to reserve tickets for vitually every "must-see" musuem in Italy, including the Doge's Palace in Venice, Uffizi, Leaning Tower, etc. I think it is worth it for you to look into it. The site is: http://selectitaly.com/index.php
 
Jun 21st, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Jun 21st, 2006, 12:43 PM
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I had my hotel concierge reserve the Doge's Secret itinieries. No cost to me at the time of reservation. The hotel promptly made a reservation and replied back the next day with a reservation code. I did this about two weeks before my arrival.

I did not reserve any other museums in Venice. Walked right into Guggenheim and Accademia simply by avoiding the mid day cruise ship / tour group crowds.

For Uffizi and Accademia(Florence), you must act fast. Either have your hotel do it for you or call the direct number. The waiting line for these two can be enormous.
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 04:30 AM
  #16  
 
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I've used this company for Milan, Florence and Rome museums without any problems.
http://selectitaly.com/index.php
LisaS
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Sep 14th, 2006, 05:07 PM
  #17  
 
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I too have been satisfied with selectialty, but have only used them for transfer service in Venice.

For the Vatican Museum tour I reserved through www.museumrome.com. Ask for Gabriella.

Chuck-
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Apr 13th, 2007, 11:51 AM
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Apr 13th, 2007, 05:49 PM
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Apr 13th, 2007, 06:43 PM
  #20  
 
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If you want to book museums in Venice, without paying fees, and calling (you might not get through) you can go to the Venice museums own website here, for the Doge's Palace and Ca'Rezzonico, also the Secret Itineraries Tour:

http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/f...e=prenotazioni

Then, scroll down to the Secret Itineraries Tour, click "visit in English" and it will take you to this site, where you can follow the directions as to the date you want to reserve-full price tickets, 16 Euro:

http://www.teleart.org/itinerarisegr...al=english2006



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