Scavi tour: be aware

Dec 10th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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Scavi tour: be aware

Hi everyone
I just want to share my experience regarding the Scavi tour in Rome.
Before my husband and I traveled to Italy, this tour was the most important thing for me, since I'm Catholic and it has great value for me.
The e-mail confirmation for the tickets was the most wanted thing I waited for. I was soooo happy when I got that e-mail.
Well, when we finally went there, everything was fine until we entered the excavations. I didn't know I was claustrophobic until that moment. I thought I was going to die, I swear. There's not enough air circulation either. For almost an hour I feared fainting. What made me really panic was the signs that say something like "once you start the tour, you cannot leave". And those automatic doors closing behind me!! It was too much for me.
So, if you're claustrophobic, think twice before taking this tour.
ItalyLove is offline  
Dec 10th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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Well, if you expired, you would be in darn good company. I think it was the devil playing tricks with your mind.
degas is offline  
Dec 10th, 2006, 09:22 PM
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Since you've been on the Scavi tour, I had a few questions:
Were there any security checkpoints so that you had to get to the Vatican earlier to get through in time for your tour?
Were you allowed to take a purse or a bag? They say no backpacks or big bags I'm concerned that my purse might be a tad too big (even though it's only 6 litres) and they'll deny me entry to the tour. Is there a place to check them?
fuzzypuppy1234 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2006, 09:34 PM
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Well, I'm slightly claustrophobic myself, ItalyLove, and just did the Scavi tour in September, and did NOT in any way feel claustrophobic, unlike, say the underground tour in Naples, which I couldn't do, because the walkway part was literally inches and almost completely dark in parts-the Vatican Scavi tour is NOTHING like that-well lit, enough room, no very tight confined spaces, walkways, no, it didn't bother me at all, and as I've said before on this board, it IS a must-do tour - fascinating in all respects, well worth the 10 or 12 Euro admission cost.

Yes, you can take a purse-I took my small backpack-type sack, with no problems. Yes, you can take a camera, no pictures in the actual Scavi site, but when you get around to the fascinating tombs of the Popes, then you may take pictures.

Girlspytravel is offline  
Dec 10th, 2006, 10:05 PM
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Hi, I have a reservation for March. I am relieved with
Girspytravel's report , Thank you, G. you say there is enough space ! HOw wide would you say the walksway are? And how many steps, like how many floors up to gp at a given time ?
I am also looking forward to go there, I still am amazed to know that the tomb of Saint Peter has been located.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Graziella5b is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 05:14 AM
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At the beginning of my Scavi Tour in October, the docent reminded the group that individuals with health problems or claustrophobia should refrain from taking the tour. She also announced if anyone did have a problem underground, she would immediately bring that person to the surface.
Margaretlb is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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Can anyone comment on the ceiling height? Tim is 6'5" and I hope he will "fit" ok. Thanks!

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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The ceilings are not very high. Someone who is 6'5" might feel slightly cramped, especially when going through doorways and stairs. People of average height shouldn't feel that the ceiling is very low. But people with claustrophobia react differently. Some won't be bothered at all, but some might. When I last took the tour, there was a girl with claustrophobia and she caused all kinds of concern and delay in our group. Our guide would have brought her back up, but the entire group would have to go also as he wasn't going to leave us alone in the excavations. When she and her parents heard that her claustrophobia was going to cut short the tour for everybody, she got herself together, but it took some time. This is probably why they warn you ahead of time. Your reaction may ruin the experience for several other people.
Grinisa is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Liz, my husband and brother are both arond 6'3 to 6'3 and neither of them had much of a problem in the tour. They did have to duck to get through the doorways, and at times they were a little hunched over, but neither of them complained so I don't recall it being too big of a deal. It may be uncomfortable for Tim at times but I don't think its anything that should keep you from going.

tcreath is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Thanks Grinisa and Tracy-- I think it should be fine. I will let you know in our trip report!

Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 09:05 AM
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Graziella, you won't have any problem-I remember in parts there are actual walkways built, with enough space, and they do have good lighting down there-which I appreciated. If I recall correctly, there were lights from underneath in parts, as well as lighting overhead-but I did note immediately the good lighting, and thought what a difference it was from Napoli-which, like I said, I could not do most of that underground tour there-I had to wait in the larger area underground, because they were feeling their way along, with the guide using a flashlight-that was not going to work for me at all.

I recall good height, there were a number of taller men on our tour, and they had no problems.

There are of course, different gradations of claustrophobia-I don't like being in large crowds either-and I once had to jump out of an MRI test, because I couldn't, at that moment, handle being that closed in. But I was quite pleased with the Scavi tour-there has been great effort there, I think, to alleviate any sense of being too closed in underground-and remember, the Pope and the Cardinals go down there to pray, on occasion-so it can't be TOO uncomfortable!
Girlspytravel is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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The tomb of St. Peter was, I believe, located quite some time ago--it's the tomb of St. Paul that has been "found" again. It's in St. Paul outside the Walls.
Underhill is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I'm no expert on claustrophobia, and I don't think I have it. But one time I flew to England when 3 months pregnant. I had 24/7 "morning sickness" and had the misfortune to be seated in the middle seat of the 5 seat center section. After dinner, it took over an hour for the flight attendants to clear the trays. I had the one and only "panic attack" of my lifetime, knowing that if I got sick and needed to get to the restroom quickly, I absolutely couldn't. I bet that is akin to what some folks feel on the Scavi tour - a bit of panic knowing that if they really really wanted to get out, it would be very difficult and disruptive.
missypie is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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girlsthtravel is correct in there are different gradations of claustrophobia. Of course as ItalyLove found out, some don't know until they are placed in that situation. I have a moderate form, but was able to handle a trip into the dimly lit narrow catacombs because I knew it was a very short trip, and thank goodness, while the catacombs were more clastrophobic than the Scavi tour, I could feel the air circulation in the narrow catacombs.
While there are spots on the Scavi tour where the excavation "pokes" into side crypts that would be very tight, you do not have to go into these areas. The issue I had with the Scavi tour was the lack of air circulation and the heat. It wasn't long before all 12 of us were sweating through our clothing and hankerchiefs were at a premimum. I noticed none of these replies have mentioned the heat and lack of air circulation, so maybe these have been resolved since we went in 2003. I can sympathize with your plight. I do believe those with the moderate or less
form can take both of these tours with a little detemination, but if there is any doubt, some considertion may need to be given to others who will be going on the tour.
LBev769375 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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Call me paranoid but fuzzypuppy's question gets me to thinkin'. I don't think it's a great idea to share a lot of info about security checkpoints, etc. on public forums like this. Maybe it's because I don't know anyone who measures what their purse holds in liters....unless they are off to a PSU football game. Like I said...maybe I'm paranoid, the post just caught my attention.
PBandJ is offline  
Dec 11th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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LOL,PBandJ! I think you're on the paranoid side

I was asking about security checkpoints in terms of how much earlier I would have to get to the Vatican in order to get through any security checkpoints and still be in time for my tour. Besides, it's not as if security checkpoints are a secret. Everyone know airports have them and know that you pretty much have to get there at least 3.5 hours before your international flight in case the TSA "underachivers" are manning them.

BTW, I got my purse from Mountain Equipment Coop. They're a backpackers store and they use the litre to tell you your backpack's carrying capacity. This has carried over into their other carrying-type merchanise.
fuzzypuppy1234 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2006, 12:22 AM
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You might check this post which also has been running on the Scavi tour;
5alive is offline  
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