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Rome private tour guide and advance tickets


Feb 23rd, 2012, 10:12 AM
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Rome private tour guide and advance tickets

does anyone have current recommendations for a private tour guide in Rome? Also, do you really need to get advance tickets for attractions?
sharonliz is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2012, 05:52 PM
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We LOVED the private guide we used in Rome last year. Alessandra Mazzoccoli [email protected] guided us through the Colosseum (including the underground and third tier, which absolutely had to be pre-booked, but I don't know if those tours are still offered). She also guided us through Palatine Hill, the Forum and the Basillica of St. Clemente.

Her rates were quite reasonable, and she communicated with me promptly via email.

We purchased Roma passes (through our b&b), so only had to book the underground Colosseum tour in advance.

DH and I would both agree that she really brought ancient Rome to life for us. Our tours would not have been the same on our own.

Other tours we booked in advance were the Scavi tour at the Vatican (advance bookings required), and the Pristine Sistine tour with Walks of Italy which included the Vatican Museums (and the Sistine Chapel of course).

My general advice is to pre-book anything you can that you have your heart set on seeing.
abenedek is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2012, 06:25 PM
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If you don't want a tour for the Colosseum but want to avoid the lines, go to Palatine Hill and buy your ticket. It covers Palatine Hill, The Forum and the Colosseum. There is hardly ever a line, at least nothing like the Colosseum. Then, go to the Colosseum and walk on the left side of the really long line all the way to the turnstiles. Don't be shy--just keep going.

I think the Vatican is best with a guide--for the information and the lines. Your hotel can set it up for you.
Connie is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2012, 07:28 PM
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abenedek, thanks for the recommendation. You say that your guide was "quite reasonable." Can you share what you paid? Was it for a full day, half day, or more? And did she pick you up at your hotel? How many were in your group? Also, does she give tours of the Vatican? Thanks!
laurafromtexas is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2012, 08:40 PM
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We really enjoyed our 1/2 day with Daniella Hunt of www.rome-tours.com. She showed us the Colosseum and Roman Forum; we treated her to lunch afterwards at a great little place near the Colosseum that she had chosen. We used Context Rome for a tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's, and liked our guide. Highly, highly, highly recommend Borghese Gallery for the Bernini sculptures; you will need to book in advance.
Uma is offline  
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Feb 23rd, 2012, 11:11 PM
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You don't say how many are in your group -- that will make a difference. A guide is per hour while the tours are per person. For a party of 4, we found the price of a guide comparable to the higher-end (Context) tours.

From my trip report:

Guide: we opted for a guide, Alessia Aletta (.@gmail.com) to help us through Ancient Rome. It’s not inexpensive but is comparable to one of the fancy tours for a family of 4. We appreciated the knowledge that Alessia had and admired her passion. It initially started out as a 3-hour tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forums. I signed up for the lower/top level extra tour and that bumped it to a suggested four hours. With a break for lunch it ended up a 5-hour (pay for 4) deal which made for a long day – lots of standing. Glad we did it, but I think the adults got more out of it than the kids.

We also took the English tour at Galleria Borghese. The rest (Vatican, Capitoline, Ostica Antica, St. Peter's, etc.) were self guided without audio. The adults liked the info the guides provided. The kids preferred me as a guide. It's a balance.

The rate, if I recall, was 50€/hr for 4 hours.

indy_dad is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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I believe Alessandra is available for both full day and partial day tours. Either way, she charges hourly (as most of the private guides in Italy do). We paid 50€/hr for 4 hours, but wound up spending about 4 hours and 30/45 minutes on the tour.

Since we went overtime, I gave her payment for 5 hours. But she counted the money and said I gave too much! She refused to let us pay for the extra time, even though she truly earned it.

We (2 of us) met her at the Colosseum, which was easy to get to from our b&b. Since her rate is hourly, I didn't see the need to pay for her time to get us from Campo di Fiore to the Colosseum. However, she may be willing to meet at your hotel if you prefer.

I'm not sure if she does tours of the Vatican, since we did a group tour with Walks of Italy for that.

You'll have to email her to ask those questions. She usually replies at night.

If she doesn't do Vatican tours, you could also try Francesca Caruso [email protected]. She seemed to be well reviewed on these forums, but was not available for our dates. She had given me Alessandra's contact information as a recommendation since she was unavailable.
abenedek is offline  
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Feb 24th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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I have to concur with abenedek. We recently took the group tours in Rome with Walks of Italy (Pristine Sistine and Colosseum Underground/Top Tier tour). Both were excellent and had less than 12 people in the group. All of their tours have 12 people maximum. The Pristine Sistine was fantastic because we got to be one of the first people in the Sistine Chapel and we were in there for at least 15 minutes with only about 20 other people in the chapel. Afterwards they take you back through and it is wall-to-wall people, so the experience is great! Our guide Jon was fantastic and spoke perfect English.

For the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine we had Vincenzo and the tour was also amazing. They took us to the closed parts of the Colosseum, underground where the gladiators and animals were, and up to the highest level where you get amazing views. Once agin the experience of being away from the hoards of people that are filing through like sheep through the rest of the Colosseum was wonderful. Their prices were very reasonable and gave discounts for our children. All in all I'd say the experience was top rate. We also joined their city tour in Venice and it was excellent too, so if you're going elsewhere it may be worth looking into the other cities they tour in (they gave us a discount for booking three tours). Good luck!
spiceolife is offline  
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Feb 27th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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We also heartily endorse Alessandra Mazzoccoli who was recommended to us by Francesca Caruso. She was very knowledgable & spoke excellent English. Our group of 4 used her last October for a tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Forum and Pantheon. The tour lasted 4 hours and cost 50 Euros per hour. (She would not accept a tip.) At our request, she made our lunch reservations at Armando de Pantheon which is where our tour ended. Her website is www.romeandabout.com
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