Booking the Borghese Gallery with the Roma Pass

Hi all, My husband and I will be in Rome in August, and I'm trying to decide if the Roma Pass will be our best value. We'll be able to do the Caesar Shuffle, the Borghese Gallery, and the National Museum within a three day time span, but in thinking about our reservations for the Borghese Gallery, it seems like we'll need to call Italy to book our 2 hour slot if we want to use the Roma Pass. I'd be calling from a Verizon cell phone, and a quick Googling of the issue leads me to think it will cost 1.39 per minute to call Italy and that the call might take 10-15 minutes. It seems like I would also need to call to get a reservation for the Colosseum Underground tour without paying for admission to the regular Colosseum combo ticket, perhaps another 10 minute phone call to Italy. At this point, it almost seems like trying to reserve everything on the premise of having a Roma Pass would be more expensive than just paying for things a la cart and using the simple online booking systems for everything. But am I doing my math wrong? Or is there some inexpensive way to call the Borghese Gallery/Colosseum that I just don't know about? Thanks!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5661 posts

I bought a pre-paid calling card on sale and used it to make my calls from a landline. If you don't have a landline you probably knows someone who does. I called from my office. Shhhh...don't tell.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4763 posts

Using a Verizon Wireless phone to call Italy is just about the most expensive way. The cheapest way is using Skype, which costs pennies per minute (I believe the lowest amount you can put on is $10, but you then have it for any other uses, including in Europe to call back home). I'm assuming you're not mentioning a landline because you don't have one. If someone else will let you use a landline, you can get reasonable rates by using a service like 10-10-987 or 101-6868 You can then offer to pay them back when they get the bill (it won't be more than a few dollars for each call, even including the setup charges). These services do not work from pay phones. You can also buy a calling card. These are usually sold for immigrants to call their home countries, but work to any country. You have to look carefully for the one with reasonable rates to Italy. Like the services in the paragraph above, they usually have a setup charge and a per-minute charge. These expire after a certain time if not used, so get the $5 one if you can (that should be sufficient for all the calls you are making for the purposes above). To buy one in DC, check convenience stores run by immigrants; if they don't sell them, they will know where to get them. Calling cards should work from payphones, but of course, check the fine print on the back before buying (and you may need a magnifier; I've rarely seen such small fonts).

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5661 posts

I have purchased pre-paid calling cards at places like Target and Rite-Aid. There has never been a set up fee. The last one was an AT&T card that I bought at one of those two places. I agree to get the cheapest one you can, as they do expire.

Posted by Greg
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
22 posts

I just emailed my B&B a couple weeks beforehand; they phoned and got our reservation for us, and emailed me the reservation code. No charge to get a reservation. Easy. I thought the Roma Pass was a good deal.

Posted by Tara
Washington, DC, USA
10 posts

Thanks for the good ideas, everyone! I'm really looking forward to this trip!