Rome-site guides?

Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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Rome-site guides?

Which sites should we have guides for? I haven't been to Italy in 10 years and my fiance has never been.

I want to make sure we get as much out of trip.

We definately want a guide for the Vatican. We hope we will be selected for the official Vatican tour.

JustSandra is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2006, 07:58 AM
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hi justsandra i went to Rome for the first time this year and loved it so much i've booked to go back next year !!
we didn't have a tour anywhere as we found them too resricting ... but other than the Vatican i think a guided tour if the Colosseum might be a good idea we found it more fun to have a "GOOD" guide book and find a lot out for ourselves...The Forum has lot's of people offering tours many of them students trying to earn a bit of cash !! but it's up to you whether you book in advance (before you go ) or find one at the sights
Our view on some tours is that you stand and listen alot and can't wander and explore !i suppose it's all down to personal choice ..but a lot of places offer an audio guide that you can hire and then go round in your own time..
Hope this helps
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 11:34 AM
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Hi justsandra, maybe I shouldn't respond to your question as I haven't been to Rome yet. My sister and I are going for 5 nights in October and, as she's never traveled overseas and this is most likely her only opportunity, I've done alot of research about walking tours. The general consensus seems to be that a tour is really helpful with the Ancient Rome sites. Alot of people also believe that a Vatican tour is an effecient use of time. And of course there is the Christian angle if that's of interest (which is is to us). After researching lots of the tour companies, I booked with three companies as follows:

Ancient Rome - booked two 4 hour tours with Context Rome. Our Ancient Rome board expert, paradiselost, highly recommends this company and any member that's used them speaks highly of the experience. Also, great reviews on tripadvisor and slowtrav

Vatican - Through Eternity Tours as they also receive excellent reviews and their tour is the longest at 5 hours with a lunch break. Also, I booked them for Saturday when their tour begins in the Basilica and ends in the Museums so I can remain in the Museums until my heart's content (or they through me out)

Christian sites- Anno Dominie which also has good reviews and a Pilgrims Way tour that visits three of my personal "must sees".

Although taking tours is not my thing, for this trip I was very interested in efficient use of our time and being sure Sis came away feeling that she's "seen" Rome - at least be able to know that she saw and understand the sites we'll be visiting. For myself, if my past track record holds, I'll probably be back in Rome sometime in 2007/08
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Could you give me contact information for Anno Dominie and Pilgrim's Way tours? I googled those names, but did not come up with any tours for Rome.
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Dawn, here's a link to the Pilgrims Way page . Their e-mail address is [email protected].
Their other tours also look really interesting. Be sure to check the "Within the Wall" page as there are several tours listed there. There's an Medieval Rome listing that intrigues me. This is the period that seems to get overlooked so that would add another layer of context to Roma. Can't wait until October.
Margaretlb is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 12:35 AM
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Thanks everyone! Once again, the folks on this board have built up my confidence that I can handle this trip of a lifetime.

I have faxed the Vatican for one of their tours. They have not responded. Should I book an alternative now? Or wait until I arrive in Italy. I am afraid of missing out on both opportunities.

I will definately look at Context Rome.
JustSandra is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:01 AM
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We arranged a tour with Francesca Contento, a private guide who had been mentioned here and as a Rick Steves tour local guide. With her, we saw San Pietro in Vincoli, the Colosseum and the Foro area. The cost was 45 E per hour for 3 hours; we were a group of 6. She did a fantastic job, even managing to keep us reasonably comfortable on an extremely hot day. Her email is : [email protected]

We also used Context Rome for a couple of tours. They were excellent, but very pricey and a little long for my taste. The guides were well informed though.

All the guides we had enhanced our understanding of what we were seeing; we did not appreciate fully what we were seeing when we went on our own. But then, we didn't rent audio guides or whip out guidebooks to read either. Ideally, for some of the churches, I would have liked to have seen it with a guide for his historical and artistic features and then gone for a Mass in order to experience what it is like to worship there. We missed out on such an opportunity to attend Mass at St. Peter's Basilica at the Chair of Peter because we were all exhausted at the end of our tour.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Margaretb-You will LOVE your Context Rome walks!Their docents are the tops in their fields,archaeologists and art historians working in Rome.I've taken most of their walks(small groups,6 max.) and loved them.The small groups allow for greater flexibility and spontaneity.It's well worth the money.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:58 AM
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We used Context Rome for our tour of the Vatican - it was our third trip through so we wanted more indepth info than a guidebook offered. We were extremely pleased and highly recommend them to others. We did have to wait in the painfully long line to get into the museum (just as you would on your own) but they used the time to share their knowledge with us and the "clock" didn't start until we were inside. Hope this helps...
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