To Join a Tour or Not to Join a Tour

Old Jan 13th, 2006, 09:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To Join a Tour or Not to Join a Tour

We are planning a trip to Italy in September. We will fly from Calgary to London. Spend a couple of days with family and then fly to Rome. We're not terribly well travelled (one outstanding trip to Crete 2 years ago) and we're making the plans on our own. We would like to spend 3 or 4 days in Rome before we head to the country. We strongly suspect that we would not be fans of Tours, however, we want to get the most out of our time in Rome. Here's the question. Should we try to hook up with a tour(s) while in Rome or would we get more out of making it up as we go along? If tours are recommended, any suggestions how to proceed? We will make our own arrangements for accomodations.

We are very excited and appreciate any suggestions. Also, stay tuned for additional enquiries.

Hyggebo is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2006, 09:36 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,099
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Based on the small Fodor's wars that break out over "to tour or not to tour group", I have to declare your post just plain inflammatory.

If you have a bone of independence in your body, skip the tour, get the Rick Steves Rome 2006 book from Amazon.com (or your local big book store) and do your own tours (his walking tours, especially of the Vatican is worth the price). If you like to follow someone around with a broken umbrella, who will point at things and lead you around in a herd, do that. There is no right or wrong answer -- some people like to have stuff planned for them and be instructed to be in the lobby at 8 a.m., others like to amble the back streets and not see a single major sights, while a few of us OCD types like to plan the living heck out of a trip, with a little time sprinkled in for "winging it." There are, I'm sure, other traveling types as well...

I also suggest that you make sure you have 4 days in Rome. I was there a couple of years ago and I could have easily spend 5-7 days there, and 4 was a bare minimum.

Rick Steves' books also have great tips for the less-than-seasoned traveler, and overall I think his information is the most accurate and comprehensive.

Happy travels.

Jules
jules4je7 is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2006, 09:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Surf right onto http://www.romewalks.com/
and/or
http://rome.contexttravel.com/index.php?sess=ct&sr=1.
Both are excellent companies, offering a variety of 1/2 day, small group or private tours of various landmarks in Rome. Perhaps you could do a couple of tours and reserve some time for just hanging out.

Anna Roz
anna_roz is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2006, 10:25 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think the 2-4-hour walking tours are just perfect for fitting into an independent trip, and if you choose right, they will be given by knowledgeable, enthusiastic guides. I think you can have the best of both worlds.
WillTravel is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2006, 10:33 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,893
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I generally agree with Jules. Rick Steves' guide really helped us on our most recent trip when we went out to Ostia Antica. We also used his guide for a preview before going to the Vatican and St. Peter's.

However, I did get a private guide for our tour of the Colosseum and Forum. I wanted a guide who was good with kids to make it come more alive for them. That really worked for us.

Another thought is that it might be fun to do a "night tour" so that you see everything lit up. I did not end up calling this driver, but here is a discussion of an evening tour another couple did of Rome:

http://tinyurl.com/9xgm4

For doing your own research, look to the Sister Wendy Beckett books and videotapes. I don't think she has one just on Italy. There is one on her favorite European works of art. The few pages on Rome are worth checking it out from a library.

One book I discovered before our trip was called "A Catholic's Guide to Rome" by Frank Korn. It is on Amazon.

It is respectful of Catholicism but not religious in nature. It will tell you the histories of the various churches, which saint lived in the cell at the church you are visiting, etc.

Have fun researching!


5alive is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 03:08 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 397
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want to do something different, check out my friend Tony's photographic walking tours at http://www.imaging-in-italy.com/

I did his week-long course a few years ago, my full report (and resulting photos) are on http://beginningwithi.com/italy/travel/rome.htm

best regards,
Deirdré Straughan

beginningwithi.com (personal)
www.tvblob.com (work)
DeirdreStraughan is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 04:19 AM
  #7  
tod
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do yourselves a favour and find a recent post by knoxvillecouple. It is extremely interesting and has loads of tips about their trip to Italy. In Rome they hired a guide(as well as elsewhere) and give the website address and his name.
tod is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2006, 04:33 AM
  #8  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi H,

Hop on/off tours or 1/2 day guided tours can be very enjoyable for the independent traveler.

No reason why it has to be either/or.

ira is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
CarolBarrella
Europe
6
May 20th, 2010 06:58 PM
Mikkih
Europe
9
Mar 6th, 2008 03:42 PM
Robin4
Europe
8
Jul 2nd, 2006 09:56 AM
kamilayne
Europe
16
Jan 9th, 2006 09:36 PM
soupnazi
Europe
13
Jan 5th, 2006 06:07 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -