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The sculptures were superb, but we left the Borghese with a bad taste in our mouths

The sculptures were superb, but we left the Borghese with a bad taste in our mouths

Jan 17th, 2008, 10:06 AM
  #21  
 
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We also used the audioguide and had no problems with our visit to the museum in May 2005.
Lily is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:08 AM
  #22  
 
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Kristina, if you click on JulieS name, you'll see a post of hers where several people offered up their experience on both the audio and docent tours of the Borghese. Quite a few liked their guided tour, as well as the audio.

I took a ContextRome tour of the Borghese myself, and loved my guide and how much she taught me.
amyb is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:10 AM
  #23  
 
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The Borghese was high on my list of things to do in Rome and we weren't able to get in on the only day we had to go there during our trip to Italy. It was closed for no apparent reason, (to us, anyway).

You were fortunate to see what you did, although, I do empathize with you.

When my husband and I went to Vienna, we were excited to see the Secession bldg/ museum. We paid 8 bucks each to get inside and the only room they had open was a room with a huge Klimt mural. In my mind, if you've seen one Klimt, you've seen them all.

But when I consider all the great art I've seen that I wasn't expecting; it all balances out.
L84SKY is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:11 AM
  #24  
 
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DH and I were able to bring in a guidebook on our visit of the Borghese this past June.
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:21 AM
  #25  
 
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When my husband and I went to Vienna, we were excited to see the Secession bldg/ museum. We paid 8 bucks each to get inside and the only room they had open was a room with a huge Klimt mural. In my mind, if you've seen one Klimt, you've seen them all.

Oh, that would be the Beethoven Frieze, and it's not just any Klimt....but I'm sure you read about why in your guidebook.
amyb is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 11:19 AM
  #26  
 
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I've taken some tours and used some audioguides. At the Borghese I used the audioguide and was very happy with it. I found the 2 hour time limit fine for me. Postcards, bookmarks, etc. are always priced rather high at museums and other tourist sights - in the US too. Anyone know what a souvenier postcard for a special exhibit costs at LACMA or the NY museum of modern art? Bet it's comparable!

At Pompeii, I was intersted in using a guide on my second visit, hoping that I would have a more indepth experience. When one of the guides at the entrance offered a tour for 90E (one person), I asked how long it would be. 2 hours was the answer, and right then I knew that it was not for me! When I told him I planned to spend at LEAST 4 - 5 hours AND that it was my second visit - his eyebrows shot up.

It seems that guided tours are more structured and timed for people who want to see highlights.

My tour of the Vatican Museums with Context Rome was 4.5 hours long and very indepth - like an art seminar for a group of 5. Even so, there was NO WAY we could have covered everything in the museums and I knew that in advance, one of the reasons I did the tour. I was very happy with it.
Dayle is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 02:28 PM
  #27  
 
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I think the point many here are making is not that we don't want to hear the negatives. It's just that julies has posted several separate posts, each complaining about an aspect of her trip. What about a trip report that tells about the things you enjoyed, interspersed with the things that went wrong, instead of just focusing on something that wasn't up to your expectations or cost too much. Although I have to agree, 1 Euro for a postcard isn't that surprising, and certainly not obscene!
SusanP is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 03:04 PM
  #28  
 
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Geez. I read the original post here and thought it sounded like a poster trying to be helpful. I found the main point to be that they were disappointed in themselves for choosing the tour and were letting others know their feelings -- in other words saying "if we were doing this over again, we would. . ." Must everything posted here be "everything was perfect and we wouldn't do anything differently"?

I clicked on julies name and found a lot of posts, including one about this trip where she lists 14 things -- mostly good ideas (not gripes) about things that would make a trip to Rome better and more enjoyable. Several were quite specific and "new to me" ideas. I see numerous other posts about how to book airfare and various other aspects of travel. This is clearly a poster TRYING to be informative and helpful, and instead she gets raked over the coals for daring to find anything that was less than flawless on her trip.

And please note, the poster has made it clear the museum was very worth while and has repeated how lovely the sculptures were. Anyone who sees this simply as some sort of whining how everything was miserable, just plain didn't read the post very well. I sure didn't see a single effort to discourage ANYONE from visiting the Borghese, only some very well intentioned comments on HOW to do it.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Jan 17th, 2008, 03:33 PM
  #29  
 
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Hi Julies,

Just wanted to mention I too was offered the English tour. It too started a bit late which was getting me worried because of the 2 hour limit thing.

However, we had a wonderful older woman as our tour guide. Her English was a bit strongly accented, but for the most part we could understand her. She was really wonderful and brought that museum alive for me and my 2 teenagers. We still talk about it. I didn't feel cheated because she was so great, and the sculpture was so wonderful, but certainly we didn't get to see everything at the Borghese. I could have done another hour easily and I am no expert on art.

Anyway, we had some other experiences in Rome that were less than satisfactory so I feel your pain. I would have a hard time going back to the Vatican and I know lots of people who found this the highlight of their trip. Cattle call for us - expensive tour that was just barely Okay... by the time we got to the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta it was hard to care - we had been up since 7-30 am and at the meeting point by 9 waiting, waiting, waiting...We never got into the Vatican until about 11 am!

If I ever go back to Rome (as a grandmother or something) I might go to the Vatican again, but only if I've saved enough money for a private afternoon tour when it's not so crowded. My girls are still glad they saw the Sistine Chapel though, so maybe it wasn't a total disaster The younger one often touches her fingertip toward mine to receive the divine knowledge... hee, hee.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 04:20 PM
  #30  
 
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Thank you for posting that, Patrick.
Holly_uncasdewar is online now  
Jan 17th, 2008, 04:36 PM
  #31  
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Thank you NeoPatrick for pointing out that I did write a very long post (which apparently all my critics never bothered to look at) about tips for Rome.

Gruezi--I'm sorry about your tour of the Vatican Museum. That was one of the highlights of our trip, and we almost hadn't visited the museum after hearing about how crowded it always is. For us it was a much more pleasant experience, and we would return in a second if we ever return to Rome. I don't feel the same way about the Borghese no matter how beautiful the sculptures were.

I didn't bother to relay initially, when complaining about the extreme unfriendliness and rudeness of the museums' staff at the end of our visit, that the man being pushed out the door next to me (someone I had never laid eyes on before) made a loud comment about not letting the door slam and hit you on the ass on your way out. He was also obviously appalled at the treatment we were all receiving. Frankly, I have never been treated this way at any museum or store or restaurant or any place I have frequented. At least the Italians were able to yell back in Italian, and there were quite a few of them doing do. This wa not gentile bit of rudeness.

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that way too many people here become extremely peeved if anyone dares to disagreed with their cherished assumptions or memories about a place. Not everyone agrees about everything all the time.
julies is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 04:40 PM
  #32  
 
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Thank you, julies, for sharing your experience in this and the other detailed descriptions and suggestions you've posted from your recent trip. Since you had posted a specific question regarding taking a guided tour vs. the audiobook, it seems perfectly logical to me that you would pass on your opinion based on your experience. I think it's well tempered, especially since you were made to wait, then screamed at. I really appreciate your hard work to post them and your good intentions in doing so.
SusanSDG is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 04:49 PM
  #33  
 
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Yeah, I think the "governess" contingent should lighten up.

Julies' post was, perhaps, a bit of a vent -- as one may do here, among friends -- but it was temperate, well reasoned and well documented.

Personally, I won't go anywhere that rations my time to that degree.

Anyway I saw the Borghese a jillion times when 1. I was young and 2. it was totally, TOTALLY uncrowded (we're talking '70s here).
tedgale is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 05:06 PM
  #34  
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Make than genteel in my earlier post. the dinner timer buzzer was going off.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 05:15 PM
  #35  
 
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julies: "Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more apparent to me that way too many people here become extremely peeved if anyone dares to disagreed with their cherished assumptions or memories about a place. Not everyone agrees about everything all the time."

Exactly - Why is it that if someone disagrees w/ negative comments they are "jumping" on the OP. Why are "negative opinions" worthy of consideration while the flip side is not??

we all have our own opinions and positive is just as valid as negative . . . . . .

janisj is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 05:26 PM
  #36  
 
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Well, headsets go in a particular, regimented order too. So that would not have been a good choice either if you just wanted to browse.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 05:47 PM
  #37  
 
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Janis, while reading your "we all have our own opinions and positive is just as valid as negative . . . . . ." it occurred to me that you tried very hard to tell me that I can't attempt to go to Prado given my short layover in Madrid.

Actually I remember that you've tried to tell me that I can't do some other things also.

Was there some reason that my opinions are not valid? The next time you may want to remember what you preach before you jump in.
111op is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 05:59 PM
  #38  
 
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Patrick: "only some very well intentioned comments on HOW to do it."

Well I wouldn't necessarily say this is true either. I read the whole post again. Where were the specific recs? Take the audio guide and your own guidebook? That's two sentences out of how many?

The other thing you could get out of this is don't visit right before a staff meeting. But well, who could have predicted that?

I don't know. Perhaps they did scream. But then I think that Italians and Greeks can be more direct than the French, for example.

Of course I wasn't there, so I don't really know. But a shortened tour shouldn't add to an "extremely negative experience" even with the door slamming and what not. Surely worse things have happened on trips?

Maybe the readers are picking up on the rhetoric?
111op is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 06:06 PM
  #39  
 
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Huh?

What?

Can someone translate?
tedgale is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 06:12 PM
  #40  
 
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Well I can't speak for everyone, but I know that if it's as the OP described, I most likely won't think of it as an "extremely negative experience."

Translation: I think it was overblown.

I mean, a museum visit was cut short. They wasted 40 euros. She took so many paragraphs to write this. Granted, it's entertaining.

But then, of course, different people react to things differently. I get upset over things that others probably won't be upset about.

I freely admit that I've written many useless paragraphs over esoterica like whether German trains can be late, however. It is a public forum so people are free to express their opinions. But then, of course, the flip side is that people must be open to being criticized as well.

If you don't like it, fight back.

111op is offline  

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