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Vatican, Forum and Colosseum, Pompeii-group tour or self-guided?

Vatican, Forum and Colosseum, Pompeii-group tour or self-guided?

Apr 30th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 251
Wednesday, June 20th at 9 a.m. Only 41 more days until we leave for Italy! Woo hoo!
pmuzzy17 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 06:37 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Jayneann, we are also doing the Scavi Tour on June 19th in the am and the Context tour of the Vatican in the afternoon. When are you going to be there?
pmuzzy17 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 07:46 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Thanks for the tip on Francesca and the great trip report!
MarciaMarciaMarcia is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #24  
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Hi pmuzzy17,

I'm as excited as you!!! We will be in Venice June 19 - June 22, Rome June 22 - 26 and Positano June 26 - June 30!!! Will we be in any of the same places at the same time??

Vttraveler,

Thanks for taking the time to post! We are definitely leaving time to just "wander"! We've only booked the Scavi excavations tour and now the Forum and Colosseum tour! Any special restaurants your son enjoyed?
Jayneann is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 08:13 AM
  #25  
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One more thing, we did not hear back from
Francesca so we are doing a private tour with friends using Eternity Tours. We are booked for Sunday, June 24!
Jayneann is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 08:59 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Jayneann,
We will be celebrating my 50th (how the heck did I get so old?). We will be in Tuscany (Staying in Radda in Chianti as base) from 11 June to 18 June, Rome 18 June to 21 June and 21 June to 22 June briefly in Paris. Seems we just miss each other! Enjoy and I hope to read your trip report!

Pat
pmuzzy17 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:12 AM
  #27  
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Pat,

Oh my gosh!!! We're celebrating my 50th, too!!! I thought of visiting Paris, but the Amalfi Coast was too enticing for me to pass up! Next European trip!!!

Have a wonderful time and we can compare notes later! Happy Birthday!!
Jayneann is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:16 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Last October we took two 15 yr olds (boy & girl) on Vatican's own tour which was great. The guide (a more senior lady) was very informative and interesting. The boy (not mine)was a total horror when we took him to the Uffizi the week before - without a tour. You could have sworn we were pushing bamboo needles under his fingernail. However, he really enjoyed the Vatican tour.

One of the benefits of the Vatican tour is they tell you to exit the Sistine Chapel to the far right. This takes you straight into St Peters without having to queue for the security scanning. I don't think anyone would stop you using that exit if you were self guided as the Guide didn't come with us.

The kids were very happy to do their own thing at the Colosseum.

Sarvowinner is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 09:28 AM
  #29  
 
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bmk
Lyndell is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 10:38 AM
  #30  
 
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Yes, happy birthday to us! I have this unusual desire to be in Montalcino on my actual birthday - which is June 14th. We have to winery tours and tastings scheduled - one at 11am and one at 3pm. I am reading VANILLA BEANS AND BRODO and it is set in Montalcino. I also loved THE RELUCTANT TUSCAN set in Montalpuciano.
pmuzzy17 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 11:21 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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So, how do you book a tour with a Vatican Guide? Is there a site I can go to book before I leave?
alphaj13 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2007, 11:32 AM
  #32  
 
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We found a guide, or the guide found us, while in line for the VAtican museum. They took us to a American Express-like office nearby, we paid 50 Euros each (which included the tour and admission), then skipped many hundreds of people in line (close to the entrance). Kind of suspicious at the time, but was worth it. (I think we'd still be in line today, if it wasn't for the guide!).
Bitter is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 04:21 AM
  #33  
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Hi pmuzzy17,

It all sounds so wonderful!! My birthday isn't until August, but thought it'd be too hot to visit Italy then, so we chose June instead! I really did want to be on the Grand Canal on my 50th though!!! Guess I'll just have to pull out the photos, vino, and Venetian music on my day.......
Jayneann is offline  
May 1st, 2007, 06:15 AM
  #34  
 
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I've pasted the details on taking an official Vatican tour. The problem is that the fax may only be sent a couple of days before the requested date. We were already in Italy and the people minding our house didn't realise the printer was out of paper. On the off chance we showed up and our names were on the list and there were no problems at all.

Cut-and-paste from the Vatican's website, regarding Museums tours, with the fax number at the bottom.
(They have recently added a suggestion to include a Rome contact number, which is a good idea on the Vatican's part, and maybe indicates an awareness of the difficulty in using the fax system.)

"Following tours are available:
- Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
- Vatican Gardens
- Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel (just for already formed groups with at least a minimum of 20 participants)

GUIDED TOURS FOR INDIVIDUALS:
VATICAN MUSEUMS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (2 hours)

The tour itinerary takes visitors through the most significant cultural and religious areas within the Vatican Museums: the Pio Clementino (classical antiquity), the Geographical Maps and Tapestries Galleries (Renaissance art), the Raphael’s Rooms and The Sistine Chapel.

March through October: from Monday through Friday at: 10.30am - 12.00am - 2.00pm; on Saturday at: 10.30am and 11.15am (in Italian only)

From November through February: everyday but Sundays at 10.30a.m.

Rates: full fare € 21.50; reduced € 17.50
The above rates include admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS (2 hours)
The guided tour of the Vatican Gardens is also a glimpse of the Vatican City State, the smallest independent state in the world: Journey through natural settings, historic monuments and works of art that span its 2000 year history.
From March through October: at 10.00 am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From November through February: only on Saturday at 10.00 a.m.

Rates: full fare € 13.50; reduced € 9.50
The above rates include guided tour service and headset.


GUIDED TOURS FOR GROUPS

VATICAN MUSEUMS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (about 2 hours)

Every weekday with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 21.50; reduced € 17.50

The above rates include admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS AND SISTINE CHAPEL (3 hours)

Everyday except on Wednesdays and Sundays, with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 25.50; reduced € 17.50

The above rates include the admission to the Museums, guided tour service and headset.

VATICAN GARDENS (2 hours)

Everyday except on Wednesdays and Sundays, with advance reservation

Rates: full fare € 13,50; reduced € 9.50

The above rates include guided tour service and headset.

HOW TO RESERVE (FOR INDIVIDUALS)

It is necessary to book in advance by fax.
For the reservation this office requires the names of all the participants to the tour. If we do not receive the list you may not join your requested booked tour. The list must be received at the moment of the reservation.
Bookings are valid only if you receive our confirmation fax.
The fax must be shown at the “Guided Tours” desk on the day of the visit. In case of no written reply from this office, the booking is considered not valid.
An advanced booking is needed from one month to one week prior to the date of the visit. The cancellation is accepted, up to 12 hours before the visit.
While asking for the reservation, we appreciate, if possible, a contact number or address in Rome (or Italy).

HOW TO RESERVE (FOR GROUPS)

It is necessary to book in advance by fax.
For the reservation this office requires the names of all the participants to the tour. If we do not receive the list you may not join your requested booked tour. The list must be sent at least 3 days before the booked visit.
Bookings are valid only if you receive our confirmation fax.
The fax must be shown at the “Guided Tours” desk on the day of the visit. In case of no written reply from this office, the booking is considered not valid.
An advanced booking is needed from two months to two weeks prior to the date of the visit. The cancellation is accepted without charges up to 48 hours.
While asking for the reservation, we appreciate, if possible, a contact number or address in Rome (or Italy).
In the event the confirmed group does not appear, the Museums nevertheless must require the payment for the reserved guide’s fee of € 80.

USEFUL INFORMATION
Tickets have to be purchased the same day of the guided tour.
Meeting point and departure is from the Guided Tours desk inside the Museums.
To avoid any queue, all visitors, individuals or groups, with reserved guided tour through this Office, are entitled to enter through the main gate of the Museums on Viale Vaticano. Facing the Vatican Museums entrance door, the line on the right is specifically for reserved guided Vatican tours.

We suggest to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment.

Reduced rates for pilgrimages and school groups: on the day of the visit a letter of the parish signed by the local Diocese or from the school signed by the Principal must be presented at the Guided Tours desk.

All the reservations, dates and departures times may be changed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances related to activities of the Holy Father.

Cancelled guided tours may be rescheduled.

Visitors not attired properly will be refused admittance.

OFFICE FOR GUIDED TOURS
Fax reservation : 06 6988 5100
Sarvowinner is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 05:17 PM
  #35  
 
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Hi again, Jayneann--
About restaurants my son enjoyed: he is a really picky eater and left to himself will order plain chicken or steak rather than trying something more interesting. He ate a lot of pizza , too. And of course gelato.
One thing he did enjoy to his great surprise were the fried artichokes that are a Roman speciality We were staying in the Jewish ghetto section and found good restaurants there with these plus a variety of main dishes we could all enjoy. We ate at Da Giggetto which is at Via Portico d'Ottavia 21, right next to the Portica d'Ottavia ruin. We also ate a smaller, less expensive, much less known, restaurant on the same street, Il Portico (#2) and found the food to be very good there, too.

Near St. Peter's we ate with friends and friends of theirs at Da Vito e Dina, 50 viale degli Scipioni, also quite simple and with good food.
In figuring out what our son likes best I would say family restaurants which don't seem too stiff and formal to him.

Another thing that might help give some background information on the Vatican/city for your 17 year olds is reading Angels and Demons. Not great literature and perhaps easier to sell for that reason. My son enjoyed it and actually remembered what it said about the Pantheon and Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. I could not persuade him to try either the book or great BBC series of I Claudius despite high recommendations from his older brother and me.

Vttraveler is offline  
May 2nd, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #36  
 
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Posts: 251
Jayneann, I would have so laughed if we shared a birthday. I do hope we catch up and trade our trip reports. I am in the process of getting help with a last hurtle - how to get to Florence and a nice Fodorite is helping me in detail!
pmuzzy17 is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 10:13 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 252
We did an official Vatican tour last summer and I know we faxed them, but I am not sure what is considered a "group" or individuals? We are a family of 4. Would we apply for individual tour or group tour? The prices look the same. We did not realize we had gotten the tour until we arrived at our hotel to check-in and the front desk person said we had a fax from the Vatican. That is something you don't hear every day.
mauitammy is offline  
May 3rd, 2007, 10:14 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 252
I should add that we are returning this summer and our daughter is joining us this year, so we want to do another tour, but aren't sure whether to apply for a group tour or individual tour. Thanks.
mauitammy is offline  

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