Hello! I just received a notice from Tickititaly about the tours for under the Colloseum reopening. It gives an option to purchase the tour tickets for a scheduled time. I had planned on buying the Romapass which will give me free access to the Colliseum. If I purchase these tour tickets, I am paying for admission to the Colloseum as well. I am worried about waiting until we get there and all the tours being sold out. Should I just purchase these and use the free admission on the RomaPass for another site or just wait and take my chance? We leave Sunday, 3/20/11 and plan on visiting the Colloseum on that Wednesday. Thanks!!
The tour of the underground is not included in the regular admission ticket for the colosseum. If you book directly with the Colosseum, the underground tour is an additional 9 euros. Here is more info I found in another forum: The Pierreci Web site (in Italian only):
http://www.pierreci.it/16843.aspx Starting today, Monday, March 14, there will be tours in English at 9:40 am, 12:20 pm, 1 pm, 3 pm and 4:20 pm. The number to call is +39 06.39967700. The price is 9 Euro (in addition to the 12 Euro Colosseum/Forum/Palatine ticket OR Roma Pass). The tours are guaranteed to take place until June 30. Presumably, they're still looking for budget and/or staff to continue them after that. So to answer your question, yes I would pre-book because you cannot simply enter the underground and third tier. You must have a pre-booked tour. However, I would save 19 euros per ticket and book directly with the Colosseum at the number above.
Amy, Thank you so much!!! I wasn't sure what to do! One quick question, do you book then pay when you arrive or pay when you book on the phone? I'm debating if I'm going to call or have my B&B call. Thanks again!! :)
I haven't called yet, since I'm going in May and they aren't taking reservations for May yet. Hopefully someone can answer this for you.
I appreciate your help Amy! Thanks again!
ABSOLUTELY book in advance; these are small, VERY popular, tours.
Thanks Eileen, I'm in the process of attempting to do that now!! :)
Bethanne, I keep getting an error when I'm trying to reply to your message. I think there's something wrong with the RS system, so I'm just going to reply here (sorry to others that it's off topic). IMHO, I would rather see Pompeii than the National museum or the Imperial Forums. But DH and I are more history buffs, than art people, and we'll be a bit tired after all the art in Milan, Venice and Florence. Only you know what your interests (and your fiancee's interests) are. If you do go to Pompeii, you can get a miniFare for the fast train from Termini to Naples if you prepay (I paid 19 euros each way for May). However, if there's any chance you won't go (or won't make the train) don't prepay because they're non-refundable. Whatever you decide, just be sure to prioritize the sites you absolutely wouldn't want to miss and see those earlier in the day, then you can see what else you're up to seeing later. Remember, sometimes less is more. You'll remember more by making quality visits to sites than you will if you try to squeeze too many things into a short amount of time. This post has links to several itineraries, which you can certainly customize to your liking. But they will give you a good idea of what can be accomplished during a day in Rome: http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/just-1-or-2-or-3-days-in-rome-here-are-free-self-guided-itineraries.cfm Here is a 4 day itinerary (which would still allow you a day trip to Pompeii). http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/perfecting-4-day-rome-itinerary.cfm I really like their first day, and think you could do some or most of it after your Trastevere walk on the first day. I'm so jealous you're going next week!
Amy, Thank you sooo much for all the info!! I really do want to see Pompeii and I think I would enjoy that more than the Museum. My fiancée is up for anything and knows I'll take care of it since I'm a huge history lover as well! lol!! I'm gonna check out these links and let you know what I decide! I was going to pre-purchase the naples tickets as I did with our Rome to Venice tickets with the mini fare but was a little worried something will change and we'll be out the money. I'm checking out the sites now and will be in touch!! ? Thank you!!
Okay, so I checked out those links and am messing around with the 4day one... Thanks again! I'm gonna pm you tonight! When do you go, May? It's almost here don't worry!! :)
Booking successful!!! Thanks to AMY!!! You call +39 06.39967700 and I suggest doing it no later than 6:30 am EST (I have tried for four days from 7:00 EST-12:00 EST and no operators were available) You hit #2 for English ( they speak in Italian first THEN in English) You then hit #0 to book guided tours (NOT #1 for Colloseum) (They again speak in Italian first THEN English) You then hit #3 for Individual admission tickets and guided tours (They will speak in Italian first then English and most likely ask you to stay on the line and then someone answers in Italian. I simply asked if they speak English and I got a yes!! It was 9.50 E per person for just the guided tour. They take your cc and give you a code! Thanks to Amy I saved around 15E purchasing this way and using my romapass for entry into the rest of the colloseum!! THANK YOU AMY!!!!!!!!
YAY!!! I'm so glad you finally got through, I know the tour will be worth all your effort :) Have a great time and don't forget to tell us how it was when you get back!
Doreen, I replied to your post too ( I was the one who mentioned that tickitaly was a 3rd party). Unfortunately, I can't answer your question. I also need to book for the end of May (May 28th), and was told to call back at the end of March, then the end of April. I don't think the operators actually know the answer yet. That is just how things happen in Italy sometimes. It wasn't even announced that these tours were starting again until just before they started. I hired a private guide for ancient Rome who was going to take us on the underground tour during our Colosseum visit, but they changed the way this tour is being run so I have to book it separately. Anyway, she is a registered guide in Rome can't answer your (our) question :( I just plan to keep calling until I can book. I will post as soon as I'm able to, or get a more definitely answer on when we can book for May.
Just a short note to Amy - You mentioned that they are not booking tours yet for May ( I don't want to book through a third party). Do you know when I should call to book for May 21st? Thanks
We also have a Forum/Palatine/Colosseum tour booked with a private guide. Our guide has just emailed me that she talked with Pierreci today and that she can take us on the same tour we would get with the official underground tour. Can anyone confirm that private guides have access to the underground and third level?
SInce I am going before you are, if I get through with a definite date I will let you know in case you choose to go that route too
@Doreen, thanks! I'd appreciate it! @ Burton, From what I understand, private guides ARE allowed to take you. The problem is that the fee is MUCH higher. In the fall the cost was 40 euros to reserve a slot with your own guide. According to the website, that charge is now 165 euros! Add on the 50 euros per hour that I'm paying my guide and a 2 hour tour that could cost 19 euros (9.50 x 2) becomes 265. My guide actually said that she couldn't recommend we book this way because it was "outrageously expensive" in her opinion. So we've decided to see the Basilica of St. Clemente, the Forum and Palatine Hill with our guide either before or after we book the underground tour of the Colosseum. BTW, when are you going?
Also Burton, if you have any different info from your guide (about pricing, when we can book, etc.) please let us know :)
Amy, Well, in Italy right now of course, drinking a VERY nice glass of wine on the patio of our B&B!! AMAZING! We go to the our tour for the underground colloseum tomorrow morning, then onto the rest of it by ourselves. I will try to ask someone when you can purchase for May!
Bethanne, WOW! I am really jealous! Sounds fabulous - hope you have a great time! Thanks for offering to ask about booking for May. I will be interested in hearing about that as well!
Doreen, Don't worry, May will be here soon enough! We already feel like it's moving too fast and were on day two! Were taking a little break right now during their siesta (down time) and fiancee is sleeping...we did alot of walking today! Were excited about tomorrow AND were only able to get the cheap price of 9.50 euro per piece b/c of Amy!! I would have wound up paying the 27E per piece through ticketitaly! I didn't want to do that! I will find out what I can and let you ladies know tomorrow!
Bethanne, I'm so jealous (as I peruse this message board during billable hours, lol). Have an extra glass for me :) It would be great if you could ask when they'll accept reservations for May! Thank you for thinking of doing that. I hope you have a FANTASTIC trip.
Amy, You bad girl!! Ha ha...billable hours, must be nice! Us Plaintiff's firms need to work for our pay!! LOL!! ;) Definitely will girl!! It's AMAZING!!!!!!!!
@Amy, We are in Italy the first two weeks of May, with Rome the final 3.5 days. The last email from our guide was a bit confusing and I am still waiting on a reply. But, looking at it again after reading your post - she is quoting a 40E underground entrance fee, plus our two tickets, plus her hourly rate, which may be prohibitive. Another option is to take her long scheduled tour of the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine in the AM, take a leisurely lunch break in Monti, and return on our own for the official underground/third level tour at 3PM. It means paying for two Colosseum admission tickets, but it is still much less expensive than adding the underground to our private tour. And, I thought I finally had this trip planned....
@Bethanne, Can you please clarify whether the official Colosseum underground/third level tour: (1) is the same as the regular Colosseum tour, plus the addition of the underground and third level, or (2) is just those two areas, and excludes the regular tour. In other words if you want the full tour - the regular tour plus the underground/third level, must you sign up for two tours or just the "underground" tour? Also, about how much total time is devoted to JUST the underground and third level? (Still trying to do the math on whether or not it is cost prohibitive to just have our already scheduled private guide just add the underground/third level to our already scheduled Colosseum tour.) Thanks
"And, I thought I finally had this trip planned...." Ha ha ha, me too! My guide told me that the entrance fee for the underground tour with a private guide was 40 euros in the fall, but according to the website it is now 165 euros. That's why we decided not to tour the Colosseum with our guide. The underground tour is 2 hours if booked with the Colosseum directly. I'm trying to find out if the underground tour includes a standard tour of the whole Colosseum, making a return with our guide repetitive. I believe this is the case, as I don't think the entire 2 hours is spent on the 3rd level and underground. However, I am not sure yet. Our plan is to do the underground tour, then wander around the Colosseum on our own for a bit. We'll then meet our guide to tour the Basilica of St. Clemente (instead of the Colosseum), Palatine Hill and the Forum. Keep me posted if you hear something different, and I will do the same :)
So, just took the underground tour... DO NOT PAY MORE THAN THE 9.50E YOU WILL PAY WITH THE COLLOSEUM YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were down there for about 30 minutes and you go down some steps and stand in ONE area while they talk....we got pics which I'll post tomorrow BUT then we went upstairs to the 3RD floor for another half hour... PLEASE BELIEVE ME!!!! IT'S NOT WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY OUTSIDE VENDORS WILL CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I tried to find out how early you can book and our tour guide had NO IDEA. I will be in the area tomorrow and b/f we leave Italy on 3/25 and will try to find out more info!!! PLEASE do not pay what that ticket italia or viva ticket is charging!!! Call the colloseum and book yourself!!!!
Bethanne, these live s from you are SOOOOO helpful and interesting. Keep'em coming!
Bethanne, So the whole tour was an hour? Did they guide you through the rest of the Colosseum too, or only the 3rd tier and underground? BTW, I read on the TripAdvisor forums that the area was closed today for a safety issue. I was so worried that your tour would be cancelled/postponed! Was there any mention of that? Maybe that's why you could only go in one area? I called again yesterday and their whole reservation system was down. They couldn't take any reservations for any month. Hopefully they'll clear it up soon. I'm glad you got to go, I hope it was worth it!
I can't thank you enough for your posts! Your help and honest opinion is much appreciated! We are a family of 4 and if it is not worth the extra charge to tour the underground and top we won't do it. I'll wait to see your pics and hear your opinon. THANKS!!!!!
Amy & Doreen Please first, look at the picks I post! Email me at email@example.com and I will forward you both my personal pics! Then, after you see them, you choose! Yes, Amy, they were working there and it was LOUD! Drilling!! Our tour guide was very upset and said she wouldn't have stared if she knew this b/c we paid!! BUT!!!!!!!! The only thing she didn't do was talk where we were at! She met us, talked outside, took us downstairs, talked, WOULD HAVE TALKED MORE BUT DIDN'T, kept us in ONE area and then went back up... EVEN if there was NO drilling, I'm pretty sure you would be taken to the same area!! I like it, BUT all the work I went through to get it was not worth it in MY opinion!!! AMY - We were underground about MAYBE an hour, then we went where EVERYONE else was for at least a HALF hour then were taken to the 3rd Floor area for about half hour! I'm not saying DON'T GO! I'm saying DON'T PAY OTHER PPL!!! ONLY PAY 9.50EUROS through the COLLOSEUM!!! FOLLOW!!!!!!! AMY'S INSTRUCTIONS AND MY UPDATES ON THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!!
Bethanne, take your email off the post!!! You'll be getting spam from Nigeria in no time. I'll pm you with my email.
@Burton, Did your guide confirm the cost of the entrance fee yet?
@ Amy, No I have not heard anything yet. Will post when I do. @ Everyone, Sometime in the past week or so, there was a post in a thread on the underground tours that had a link to the authors trip report blog with a group of well labeled high quality photos. It appeared that the poster had done more than stand in one spot in the underground area. I have tried to find the post this afternoon, but have not had any success. I have no clue whether it was on Rick Steve's, TripAdvisor, Fodor's, or Slow Travel, the travel forums I have been reading the past few months.... But if anyone out there bookmarked that page, please add a link to the photos here.
@Burton: This thread was started last fall, but I happened to comment on it last week. Scroll down to rywith22's post on Nov. 30th, I think this is what you're looking for: http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/how-to-book-tickets-to-the-lower-and-third-levels-of-the-colosseum.cfm
They also posted a video of the tour here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl9P5z_TQ9s
Thanks Amy, I did not remember that I had to click on a separate link for each photo, but yes, that is it. And, for everyone considering the underground tour, take a few minutes to check out this Fodor's post (URL address is in Amy's post just above) and click on the photo links. It looks pretty awesome.
Thanks to all for the information on how to book the underground Collisum tour. My question is to those who have taken the tour: Is it worth it? What do you actually get to see?
@ Burton My guide just confirmed that is still 40 euros for the slot with your private guide (plus the cost for the Combo entrance ticket of course), as long as there is less than 13 people in your party. So for a group of 2 its around euros extra to go with our private guide. That's a huge difference than the 165 euro charge for groups :)
Hey everyone! So sorry I haven't gotten back, my computer started acting up then we were so busy in Rome and then we had no wifi in Venice...I'm back in Philly and plan on uploading my pics AND answering all your questions tonight and tomorrow night...
Burton All we got with the 9E was the underground for 20-30 minutes and the 3rd floor for about 40 minutes...it was from about an hour and half...no more. First underground for about 20-30 minutes Then top floor where everyone is for like 20 minutes Then the very top where she has to unlock gates to get us in...for another 20-30.... It is worth 9E but NOT what the outside vendors are charging... So sorry for the late post!
Thanks Amy and Bethanne. Sounds like a private guide can add the extra items to the normal tour with only 45-60 minutes incremental time. Since doing it on our own, would also include two duplicate admission tickets, the price difference is getting smaller. May just go ahead and extend our 3 hour tour to 4 and let the private guide do the whole enchilada (or is that manicotti?).
Booking directly with Pierrece is possible by phone again. I just successful booked my tour for May 28th, but as expected, times were VERY limited already. I mentioned that I may use a Roma Pass for entry, and only had to pay for the underground tour now. If you want to book, call asap and good luck to all! @Burton, Lol, that's exactly what we decided too. For 2 of us, it was about 20 euros extra to go with our guide. We didn't have to extend our tour since we planned to do this with her from the get go, and had contingency sites in case it didn't pan out. My mind still wasn't made up until the only group tour they had left with a Colosseum guide on May 28th was at 9am. We're doing a day trip to Naples and Pompeii the day before, so I don't plan to be anywhere but a little cafe near our apartment at 9am :) I don't remember when your going, or if your days in Rome are flexible, but you should book asap, because they only had 2 more time slots open that day for bringing your own guide: 1:40 and 2pm. We chose 2pm, and I don't know if they allow multiple bookings for the same time.
I had read somewhere that they are only booking through June 30. Does anyone know if they have opened up the July tours yet?
Julie, The underground is only guaranteed to be open through June 30th. They have not announced any extensions, as far as I've heard. Apparently they need to secure funding for staffing, etc.
Ok. The private tour talk has me confused. Not using one. Can I call today for early May?
The underground tour is separate from any other tour you may book of the colosseum. Most colosseum tours are given by private companies or guides. The underground tour is sold at the official ticket seller for colosseum tickets, pierreci. It does not come with admission and must be booked separately from any other tours you wish to take. Donna
@Carol, With or without your own private guide you should call for early May asap. They are accepting reservations through at least May (I booked for the 28th of May). I'm not sure about June, but I suggest calling for then as well (for those going in June).
Thanks Amy! Will start the calling process today :)
Booked today for May 10th! Thanks for everyone's help!
Our "ancient Rome" tour is the morning of May 11. I have emailed our guide, who is frequently mentioned with a good reputation in the guide threads. She has not indicated we need to do anything about a reservation. Hopefully, she has done whatever she must do to assure our entry to the underground/third level with her.
Burton- you absolutely have to have a pre-paid reservation. Is it possible she paid for it? They are working the process differently than in the fall, so I hope your guide isn't relying on the past. No matter how trustworthy and reputable your guide is, I would just send her an email explaining that u read that others had to make a reservation and pre-pay the 40 euros. Then ask if she was able to arrange it another way somehow?
Just a note, I read on TripAdvisor that these tours have now been extended until October. Not sure it's correct, but....
@Amy, Thanks for the save. The guide knew we needed to make our private entry reservation, but, as is to be expected between the language issues and email correspondence, we had some miscommunication. We are now set with an entry time for a tour with our private guide. The time is not perfect, but it will work out just fine. The fee is confirmed at 40E.
Amy & Burton: The 40E? Is that a guided tour of the rest of the colosseum? We only paid $9.50 E each for the underground & third level tour...just curious?
Hi Bethanne, Is it really worth booking the underground level and 3rd level tours. Did you like it?
Bethanne - Funny that I would up paying more after helping you book directly? Haha! This is different than what tickitaly was offering, I still booked directly with Pierrece. The 40 euro is to reserve a slot to tour the underground with our own private guide (meaning just us :). We'll still be using our Roma Pass for entry into the Colosseum. Instead of the 9.50euros each for the group tour, we paid a flat rate of 40 to have our guide, who we had already reserved for a half-day tour of Ancient Rome, take us by ourselves. Its an extra 20 euro, but we planned to have our guide for the Colosseum, and we would have had to either see the Colosseum ourselves (after the underground and 3rd tier tour) or pay another 24 euro (12 each) to re-enter the Colosseum that afternoon. I would have considered the group tour if I could schedule it to be just after the end of the tour with our guide.
Unfortunately, the only group tour available for May 28th when I called was 9am, and Martin and I are doing a day trip to Naples and Pompeii the day before. It was worth an extra 20 euros to me to not have to be up that early after such a long day :)
Hi Amy, I thought the 12 euro ticket to the Colloseum is valid for 48 hrs once you use it. So you would not have to pay the ticktet again if you reenter the Colloseum that afternoon for the underground tour.
@Holly, The combo ticket for the Colosseum/Forum/Palatine is good for 48 hours, but for only one entry per site. You cannot use it, for example, to spend two days in the Forum. We have gone the same route as Amy, as we already had a 1/2 day scheduled with a private guide for the ancient Rome area. We will spend a bit more than originally planned by having her take us on a private underground tour (40E fee to enter the underground/3rd level with a private guide, plus her hourly rate), but it seems to be the best way to work the underground into an already pretty well defined (scheduled) few days in Rome.
Holly, it was fun and for the price, do it I mean that's the only tour we paid, then we did the rest of the colosseum on our own...It's cool and fun, I just wanted everyone to know to NOT pay those outside companies!! I would have been suckered if it wasn't for Amy!! YEAH to Amy!! P.S. HOLLY and ANYONE else interested, send me your personal emails and I'll send you the pics that I sent to Amy, Burton and a couple other ppl of our underground and 3rd level tours....
For anyone traveling in the next couple of weeks, I just inquired as to whether or not the underground would be open on 11/11 by calling the number provided here on this thread. It is currently closed due to all the rain they have had. Bummer!
It's great to see this thread/post from my travels months ago are still helping people!! Sorry to hear their on hold right now but I am very happy to have been able to help people!!
We did a colosseum tour today and the guide said that the unofficial word out is that the underground tour will be closed through November due to safety concerns.
Hi All, does anyone know if this tour will be operating next July (2012)? I am a massive history buff and visting the undergroud areas would be a dream!!