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What do I need to reserve in Rome

Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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What do I need to reserve in Rome

I am leaving in a few weeks for Rome and want to visit all the major attractions. Yes it will be hot and I am wondering if there is anything I need to reserve in advance before I go...I don't want to be waiting in those long lines I have been hearing about! We have 3 days - please give me ideas of an itinerary! The Vatican is definitely on the list!

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Most places such as the Vatican, Colesseum, Forum don't take reservations, unless you want to go with a guide then you would want to set that up before you go.

The one place you WILL need a reservation for is the Borghese Gallery. Here is their website, you can order them on line. http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/edefault.htm
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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You could also reserve private tours for the Vatican and osme of the other sites, but walking in and renting the audio guide is not a problem (but there may be lines, particularly at the vatican museum).

ANd yes, follow jgg's advice, if you want to go the the norghese gallery, book in advance. It's absolutely necessary. They strictly limit the number of visitors per hour. It's also well worth seeing. I missed it my first time to Rome, but went my 2nd time. I adored it.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Wonderful, I will book the Borghese reservations. Thank you1
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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MaureenB
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Search this forum for info. on Vatican Museums tours, offered by the Vatican. It's the least expensive way to go, and the only way to get a reserved entrance time. I posted all the details a few weeks ago.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:32 PM
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bking
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:43 PM
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Hi indovina, I agree with all of the above. If you are going to the Coloseum and the Forum, I recommend hitting the Forum first, and then getting the combo. ticket for the Coloseum and Paletine hill, at the Paletine hill entrance, which is right next to the Forum. There is no line there, and you will be able to bypass the HUGE line outside the Coloseum. You can also bypass the long line by accepting one of the tours you will be offered right outside the COloseum. I was just in Rome a few weeks ago, and spent nearly 2 hours in line for the Vatican Museums and Sistine chapel. I had to go in the morning due to other plans myself, but others here have reported shorter lines in the afternoon. Rome is more crowded this year than my past trip, so I would agree with another poster who said that there might be lines in the afternoon also, which did not used to be the case. I tried to get the Vatican's tour via their website: vatican.va, but did not get a reply. THat tour is supposed to be the one that allows you to enter through the exit, and avoid the line. My hotel offered me a tour that would bypass the line, but it was way to expensive for me! Have fun on your trip! pp
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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bking?? what is that? The first thing I thought of was Burger King!
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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That means bookmarking. You can reply to a post that way, and then it will show up together with all of your posts, when you click on your name. (sorry no whopper will show up though!)
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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We were in Rome from July 5 to 9 this summer. You do not need to book tours for the Vatican or other sites. To avoid lines at the Vatican, go around noon or after. We went on Thursday (Wednesday is the Papal audience and may be very crowded) at 11:30 and waited about 40 minutes to get in. At 2pm we noticed that there was no line at all at the entrance.

To avoid a line at the Colosseum, buy your ticket at the Palatino or Palatine. The ticket for the Colosseum includes the Palatine, which is the hilltop ruins of the aristocrats homes that overlooks the Roman Forum and Colosseum. There are never any lines there because people don't know about it. We were third in a line of 5 people, got our ticket and visited the Palatine. We then went to the Colosseuim and bypassed a line of hundreds to get in without a wait.

Another great place to go is the Janiculum Hill. There is a beautiful park up there. Lovely place to escape the heat and hustle of Rome. There are some great sites up there that we did not see due to time constraints. Find out the bus schedule as the walk up the hill is very steep and strenuous. We had a car and we drove. The Janiculum is just south of the Vatican, so you could go before or after your Vatican visit.

Don't miss the Trevi Fountain. It is a cool spot (I mean temperately cool).

What's the big deal about the Spanish Steps? Skip it if you don't have time.

The Pantheon is a MUST. Do not miss it. It is free, no tickets, no lines. The piazza where it is located is also lovely. Make sure you stop and have a glass of wine or a coffee at the bar closest to the Pantheon. It is lovely and relaxing. Each day they have a different snack they serve gratis with your drink order. We went there every evening of our stay; the waiter came to expect us.

Check out Fodor's book on Rome. They have great suggestions for walks and what to do in three days. Avoid booking tours. Totally unnecessary.

Keep a water bottle with you. There are drinking fountains all over Rome at which you can refill your bottles with fresh, ice-cold spring water. We found them at the Vatican, the Palatine and Trevi Fountain. We came upon them in many of the piazzas and street corners of Rome, also.

Bring sunscreen and a hat. I wore light cotton skirts that came to my knee. This is better than shorts for women and you can enter any church. If you wear a tank top or sleeveless shirt, be sure to carry a large scarf to cover your shoulders. You (male or female) will not be admitted into the Basilica if your shoulders are bare or you have on shorts or a skirt that go above your knees. I saw people turned away several times.

The Vatican museum and the Sistine Chapel are very, very warm inside--no a/c--only a few open windows. It is quite balmy and much like a gymnasium inside. Few bathrooms, also. No water available inside, bring your own.

After your Vatican tour, get a wonderful Italian meal at La Medusa Restaurant, located on via Vespasiano, 25, just a few blocks from the Vatican. They have two fixed-price menus (9 euros and 13 euros) that include choice of meal (pizza/pasta), salad, beverage and dessert.

Have a wonderful time!!
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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I do recommend reserving certain tours --those that are very small liek Context Rome. If you don't book ahead you may not be able to get the one you want (this happened to friends of ours)

We had great tours with Context Rome (for the Vatican Museums) and Francesca Caruso (for the Colosseum and Forum). No wait at all at the Vatican Museums --at 1 pm--after that day's papal audience. (This I believe was good fortune.) No wait at all at the Colosseum due to the tickets being prepurchased by the guide. Both a little pricey, but we got much more out of the tours because of the guides. Francesca also did a great job of keeping us as cool as possible given the extremely hot weather.

The Scavi tour requires a little more time that you have left, but that certainly requires a reservation.

We did not reserve for lunch or dinner anywhere, went on the early side --7:30 -8:00 ish and had no problems for a party of 6. Except one: the popularity of the Da Buffetto pizzeria turned it into a thumbs down for us. When other people jumped the queue ahead of the first party in line --with the apparent blessing of the management -- we gave up and went elsewhere. There is lots of good pizza in Rome. It's not worth the aggravation to put up with that kind of nonsense.
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Old Jul 14th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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I am going to Italy for the very first time next week, leaving on the 20th. My husband and I booked a few excursions through SelectItaly.com. We have reservations to go to the Colosseum with a tour guide, but you have the option to go inside on your own. It includes the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and its museum, I believe it was about $33 dollars, you pay them directly and they email you your voucher then you bypass the regular lines and go directly to a reservation window. You can also make a request through them to go to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel on a guided tour, however you aren't notified until the day prior to your visit if your request has been accepted. (They will do it via email or they will fax your hotel your voucher) As best as I can gather it is for security reasons and that the Vatican approves all guided tours the day before they are to occur. So I have a request to go but no guarantee that we will be able to go about it in this method. I know that it is a bit pricier to do it this way, about $50.00 per person, but my husband refuses to stand in lines and it was the only way I could convince him to go to these attractions with me especially in the heat of July.
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 08:30 PM
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bookmarking, thank you
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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bookmarking, as well!
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Old Jul 16th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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Bookmarking Ta

Also how do all these comments about crowds relate to early October?
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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Bookmarking...
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Old Jul 17th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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You do not have to go through SelectItaly, which charges a high mark-up, to save time on either the Colosseum or the Vatican Museums visit.

For the Colosseum, buy your ticket at the entrance to the Palatine on Via S. Gregorio (at the exit from the Forum). The ticket is good for both areas, and it allows you to bypass the Colosseum line.

The Vatican Museums' own guided visit can be reserved directly at www.vatican.va. You wll not receive a reply any earlier or faster if you go through SelectItaly.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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Just in case anyone is interested in seeing the pope, here is the URL to see his schedule which I had a very hard time finding!

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/...a/live_en.html

Have a wondeful trip!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 10:13 AM
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bookmarking, Thanks
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Old Jul 23rd, 2006, 01:00 AM
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Bookmarking. Great info, thanks.
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