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Scratching my head over Scavi response - need advice!

Scratching my head over Scavi response - need advice!

Apr 29th, 2006, 08:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 195
Scratching my head over Scavi response - need advice!

Hi there--

I've read the 5,252 threads about the Scavi tour and thought I had it nailed. I e-mailed about two months ago and just got my repsonse. Here it is:

I am writing in reference to your request for a reservation for 4 people  to visit the excavations under St. Peterís Basilica.

 Every visit to the Excavations is led by a specialized Guide. Groups are composed of about 12 persons. Only those who are 15 years old or older will be admitted to the Excavations - no exceptions will be made.

Visitors No.   3

So they booted my 13-year-old off the list although he would be with three adults. Any advice as to what to do? We leave in 4 weeks. Thanks!
italy06 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 238
I think it is pretty clear, unfortunately. No exceptions will be made. Either none of you go, or two of you, while one finds something fun to do with you son.

I'd op for none. There are so many things to do, missing one is unfortunate, but shouldn't ruin the trip.

I'm sure that experience has proven that 15 is the minimum age that they can feel fairly secure that rules will be followed and reverence shown. Actually, I know some 40 year olds who aren't as mature as some 13 year olds, but certain guidelines probably do need to be adhered to.
cchottel is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I have been confused about this Scavi age rule.

Yes, it tells you on website that children 11-15 can visit if accompanied by an adult, so I thought 'fine, I can apply to take my 13yo boys' - (we are going to Rome in October so I haven't emailed yet).
julia_t is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Ooops - hit 'post' by accident.

I would also like to know whether other Fodorites have managed to gain admission with under 15s, and if so - how. Did the youngster enjoy it and was it worth it. Or has this problem cropped up before, because I too have read almost every post on every thread regarding the Scavi Tour and I cannot recall this particular issue. I have just read about under 15s who have been allowed on the Tour.

Enlightenment please!
julia_t is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 137

I really wanted to take my niece who is a gifted student and fond of art history and would have loved the scavi. Unfortunately she is 8 years old on a 9th grade level. I think we are going to take her to the catacombs and on our private tour we are going to San Clement which I am sure she will enjoy.
We too will be there in 4 weeks arriving may 25th leaving for Florence may 31st. I am sure you will have a great time no matter what.
dewdrops is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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What am I missing here? I've read over and over again (and I have NOT read 5,252 posts) that only those over 15 years old are admitted. Are you saying that in all those posts you read you never saw that? Or are you suggesting you thought they were just kidding and for you they would make an exception? What does the idea that the 13 year old will be with three adults have to do with anything. If she were only 2, she'd still be with three adults, so is that the same thing?

I guess the bottom line is -- what are you scratching your head over --the fact that you never heard you had to be over 15, or the idea that you can't understand why the rules don't apply to you? I don't mean this to sound rude, but I can't think of a third possibility for confusion here, so it must be one of those two things.

May 1st, 2006, 12:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,087
Neopolitan -

The Vatican website - http://tinyurl.com/2yb63

- clearly states the following:

<<The visit, conducted by our authorized guides, lasts about an hour and a half.
Each group consists of about 12 people who must be at least 15 years old (exception will be made for children between 11-15 years old accompanied by a parent).
Individual ticket:
€ 10,00 per person (mailed from USA $ 12,00).
€ 5,00 for children authorized by the Scavi Office to take the tour (mailed from USA $6.00) >>

This certainly seems straightforward enough, and implies that there will be no problem with a 13 year old going on this tour.

The confusion has set in because italy06 has found that her youngster has been excluded from the reservation, with the words that only 15year olds or older will be admitted.

Italy06, perhaps you could try emailing the Scavi office and query this. It says on the website that the child need to be authorised by the Scavi Office, so perhaps a further email is needed. If they have changed the rules on the age of admission, then they should amend the website.

Good luck, and please let us know what happens.

julia_t is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 06:19 AM
Posts: n/a
My apologies. The information I had gathered for our Scavi Trip was NOT from that website, and my correspondance with the Scavi Office clearly stated that there are "no exceptions" to the under 15 rule. It doesn appear they can't quite make up their minds.

So now I do understand your "scratching your head". I guess we must assume that the website has not been updated and they have since changed their minds about those under 15?
May 1st, 2006, 08:19 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 195
Thanks, Julia T-

I did just that - I sent another e-mail and quoted their website and politely asked them to reconsider. I'll let you know what happens. We're going to buy the 3 tickets anyhow - worst comes to worst we'll be out 30 Euro or I'll send my husband and daughter and my son and I willl entertain ourselves another way- we're in Rome, that's incredible enough already.
italy06 is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Please do let me know how you get on italy06. There is plenty else to do and see in Rome, but I would like to take my 13year olds in October if possible.

Yet I have been back and searched some of the Scavi threads posted here, and came across people who had been granted reservations for their 12yo in December 2005. If there has been a change it must be fairly recent. Perhaps other Fodorites who have gained access could post. I recall someone who only recently went to Rome with a 13/14yo daughter and 2 toddlers and I'm sure I recall reading in the trip report that the daughter went in with the father and the mother went separately (because of swopping care of the little ones). And that was only a few weeks ago.

And Neopolitan, thank you for your reply. Many wouldn't have bothered to do so. It is appreciated.
julia_t is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi italy06 and all. The problem could be due to the fact that often websites originating in Italy are not always updated immediately when information changes. This I know for sure. But one would think that the Vatican website would be updated to show current rules etc.

Best wishes italy06, I hope you get this worked out..I hope everyone does.
LoveItaly is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 579
can someone please tell me what catacombs are comparable to the scavi tour? Also which would you recomend the aqueduct or baths for a tour and how do you secure tickets do you just walk up? thanks so much!
flycatcher06 is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,325
None of the catacombs are like the Scavi tour, but at the catacombs of San Sebastiano you do get to see a section of Roman mauseleums which are somewhat similar to the buildings in Scavi necropolis.
Grinisa is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 195
Hi everyone -

Just an update on my Scavi situation. I sent back a reply with my credit card number and to ask them to reconsider letting my son come with us and just today received my reciept and they charged us for 4 guests which would include my son! So hopefully this helps anyone else will an 11-15 year old. Good luck. I'll let you know if it all goes terribly wrong when we actually get there but I'm sure it will be fine. Thanks again for all of your help.
italy06 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 125
Hi, I am one who returned in Jan. 06 from Rome and the Scavi tour and my 12 year old accompanied us with no problem. When I requested tickets, I stated we were a group of 18, with four families and a grandmother. When they responded several weeks later they ask for names of our group, not ages. (I don't think I mentioned ages because it stated 11-15 year old kids could go if accompanied by a parent.) They did not ask for passports at the Vatican so his age was never mentioned. It just wasn't an issue. They did break us into 2 groups when we arrived, as our only trouble came from the fact the Swiss Guards didn't let us behind the barriers until a few min. after our designated time, and the man in the Scavi office was mad about that. But I just kept telling him it wasn't our fault and he let us go. Nobody gave my son a second look because of his age. He did think the first part of the tour was dry, but enjoyed the second half, but so did most everyone else. Jane
jane00 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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That seems like good news, italy06, fingers crossed it will be all right on the day. Don't forget to post back with a trip report and let me/us know how your son enjoys the tour (and the rest of the trip too!). I'd be really interested to know what is good for 13yo boys in Rome.

And jane00, thanks for your input too, it certainly seems as if it will be possible for 11-15yos to go on the tour, unless they really have changed the rules. I shall no doubt find out in due course when I apply for tickets.

Have a great trip, italy06!
julia_t is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 195
Thanks, Julia T! We are so excited and my son is thrilled to be included because they are studying Ancient Rome right now in school. Since you have 2 13 year olds and if you're ever looking for cool trip in this country, I posted my very first trip report a few weeks ago about traveling in Bryce and Zion National Parks. We had a great time. This is it:


I'll let you know about Rome!
italy06 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,522
Can't give you any feedback about the
Scavi tour as I didn't find out about it til too late, but we went to San Clemente and were pretty disappointed. It's quite dry and boring to be honest. however, we did find St. Cecilia's church in Trastervere and loved the crypt there, which is very atmospheric when you get to the chapel at the end. Hope you all get into the Scavi, and looking forward to reading about it here!
annhig is offline  

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