The Scavi Tour: I blew it!

Aug 8th, 2012, 01:18 AM
  #1  
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The Scavi Tour: I blew it!

Totally forgot to book my Scavi tour tickets and now they are sold out.

Anyone know if there are any sneaky ways of acquiring tickets after the fact?
cdispoto is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 03:32 AM
  #2  
 
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Sometimes there are cancellations. You can ask your hotel to contact the Scavi office when you get to Rome. But,, IMHO a small chance.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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Try www.ebay.com
traveller1959 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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I think having your hotel call will be your best option. You have a better chance if you only need one or two tickets.

Before they added the screening process last year, you could sometimes convince the Vatican employees to let you go back to the office and check. They would tell the Swiss Guard to let you go back for a minute. Now that there is a bag screening area, I'm not so sure they will let you.

I don't imagine you would find them on ebay since it isn't an actual ticket.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 8th, 2012, 06:59 AM
  #5  
 
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When we took the tour (admittedly not at the height of the tourist season, but there'e never a low season in Roman tourism), there were people getting in by just walking up.

Probably your chances are higher by going to the entrance and asking if you can join the next tour with no shows than going through a concierge (though you might have to hang round for an hour or so before getting lucky or giving up). This isn't a football match with an established network of ticket touts, but trying both options is obviously more potentially successful than just one.

But a bit of throwing yourself on the Vatican's mercy and a spot of blarney never hurts.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Definitely go 1st with the hotel staff calling upon your arrival.

Say you are in Rome Mon-Fri, by calling on Monday anyone who was courteous enough to call and cancel beforehand has left an opening and you might get the 1st shot at it.

If there are no cancellations then on the day you plan to visit St. Peter's Basilica go to the entrance, clear security, tell the Swiss Guard that you want to "Make reservations at the Scavi Office or check for cancellations".
Which as you can see in their website below is an acceptable way to book "reservations".

Get there before 9AM, do security and enter at 9:05 with the 9:15 tour group but hang back and let the others with reservations enter the small office before you, then just hope for a 'no show' and an opening.

If not, then perhaps they have another cancellation made after your hotel's earlier attempt for that same day?

Just remember if you see another tourist without paperwork in their hands he/she might be doing the same thing, so don't hang-back too long.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/in...090216_en.html OR http://tinyurl.com/8osqq9o
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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>>>Probably your chances are higher by going to the entrance and asking if you can join the next tour with no shows than going through a concierge (though you might have to hang round for an hour or so before getting lucky or giving up).<<<<

While there may be hourly tours (I don't really think there are since they last 1 1/2 hours), they aren't all in English. If you speak any other languages, then it might be possible to get in one of those tours.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 8th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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"While there may be hourly tours "

When I was there. tours were leaving every 15 mins or so, and we regularly overlapped with the tours before and after us. There seemed to be at least half a dozen guides on the job at any one time.

I've never seen the point of fussing about languages. If the choice is between a tour in a language you've got no insight at all into (like, for most of us, Mandarin or Uzbek - or in the case of the Vatican, Korean) and no tour at, an incomprehensible tour wins hands down every time. If the choice is between a language you've got a smattering of and no tour, it's not even worth debating. These days you can always google the place concerned before or after, even in the most remote places.

But in this case, it's an even bigger no-brainer. Even if you've mismanaged your life so badly as to be completely monoglot (how and why?), just take the virtual tour first, and keep a record. In English: http://www.vatican.va/various/basili...i_english.html

As always in life, a bit of initiative and determination will overcome whining negativism. Obviously a maxim Kentuckians have yet to discover.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 05:14 PM
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I hope it works out for you...maybe your hotel will be able to help. Try whatever you can, you never know what can happen! (I will be showing this to my husband who makes fun of me and the painstaking planning I do (including booking things as soon as you are allowed) and I booked our Scavi tour first! I'm not so crazy after all!)
denisea is online now  
Aug 8th, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Denise: you are SO right! Husbands take note! I booked (by great good luck, on the internet) but DH really loved the Scavi tour, never really realizing that my anal-retentive booking ahead skills made it possible!

Flanneruk: you are a SCREAM !!! I simply can't wait for your comments anytime on any subject!
taconictraveler is offline  
Aug 8th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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>>>When I was there. tours were leaving every 15 mins or so, and we regularly overlapped with the tours before and after us. There seemed to be at least half a dozen guides on the job at any one time.<<<

I've been on the Scavi tour several times and never encountered another group underground. I've seen groups above ground finishing as we were entering, but my tours stayed in the Scavi much longer than 15 minutes. I've also gone back to the Scavi office before when I was unable to get reservations online. That was the old security setup though. My last Scavi tour (Sept. 2011) things had changed quite a bit and it won't be as easy to get access because of the new screening process.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 8th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Denise: you are SO right! Husbands take note!

Hey, what's gender got to do with it? I plan just fine, thanks.
indy_dad is offline  
Aug 9th, 2012, 06:59 AM
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"I've been on the Scavi tour several times and never encountered another group underground."

3 of 4 of my tours were the 1st of the day so no one ahead of us but there was a group trailing behind us. But with a head start we never actually encountered each other.

The tour enters the street (Via Cornelia) roughly at a location ~1/3 of its length. From there you go right and visit this 1/3 section at that end of the excavation, then you backtrack past where you entered and resume the tour of the tombs.

When the next group enters you and they are going in opposite directions and by the time they backtrack there should be a wide gap between the 2 groups and I only saw another group when they entered at that 1/3 location.

flanneruk's "15 mins or so" is for the time seperation between groups which is possible and I'd say it is not likely more than 30 mins.

"...things had changed quite a bit and it won't be as easy to get access because of the new screening process."

But access will still be allowed after a security check as far as we know?
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Aug 9th, 2012, 08:08 AM
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No offense meant Indy Dad...I do all the vaca planning and navigation in our duo! I wish I could go on vaca with "me"!

It may be a stereotype, but the women are usually the planners but I am thrilled to hear you are a great planner. It really does make for a much better trip! Hear's to ALL the planners out there! Cin Cin!!
denisea is online now  
Aug 9th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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Indy Dad: me, too. No offense. I'd like to go on vacation with YOU, so I won't have to do all the planning. I have a couple of guy friends who do all the planning, so sorry for the stereotype, but Denise is probably correct. It's mostly us women who are anal-retentive and plan, plan, plan.
taconictraveler is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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I am wondering how far in advance should one be asking for Scavi Tour tickets and how long it takes for a response. I requested tickets over a week ago (for October) and haven't yet rec'd a response - I sent my request to the Excavation Office.
Is there a different procedure?
raz1024 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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It may take well more than that to get a response - and they don;t send negative responses. If all tickets are sold for the dates you provided you won't hear back. How far away are the dates you asked for?
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 18th, 2012, 06:43 PM
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Walter - My tours have always been late in the day so perhaps that's why I haven't encountered other groups.

It wasn't easy getting access to the Scavi office last time I tried it. The Vatican employees really didn't want to let me go back. I had a copy of my rejection from the Scavi office and showed it to them. I really don't think they would have let me if I hadn't been alone. They gave to ok to the Swiss Guard after they allowed me to pass their gate.

raz1024 - Check your spam folder. Usually you get an acknowledgment that your request has been received right away.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 19th, 2012, 07:25 AM
  #19  
 
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kybourbon - I checked my junk & blocked files and nothing there. I have resent my message to [email protected] and still no automatic acknowledgement that my request has been received.
I am wondering if this is the correct email but I rechecked and it's the one they say to mail to.

nytraveler - The dates we requested are
2nd week of October (5 days given as options).
Any other ideas (other than calling the number)? - or am I being too impatient?? or just too late requesting - I know it says it is best to request 90 days in advance, I initially asked more than 2 months in advance.
raz1024 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2012, 07:44 AM
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It's possible a lot of people are on holiday (August in Italy is vacation). I'm sure the Pope is at Castel Gandolfo and much Vatican staff would be off. The Scavi office was also closed Aug. 14-16 so they may have a backlog in addition to less staff at this time.

I use a gmail when making reservations in Europe as my regular e-mail blocks a lot of e-mails from other countries (they don't even make it to the spam folder).
kybourbon is online now  

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