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Choice of tours not companies

I just a long winded email about this subject got erased. Sad for me, happy for you. :)

So many wonderful companies
in Rome offer so many choices Since I was allowed to do one "tour" which one should it be? Which "tour" can we explore own our own and not feel like we're missing of ton of valuable, interesting iNFORMATION

Posted by
31 posts

I think I need to clarify my question-
If you were to have a tour guide (from any of the popular companies- I know there are a bunch) which "sight" is best enjoyed with a personal guide to explain the history, background, etc. Despite all my obsessive reading about these beautiful places, am I going to walk away from the Pantheon for example & think "duh" I wish I had used a guide to help me understand more about it, the times, the people, etc. Another example, is Vatican city self-explanitory where I would think to myself, "okay we probably could have done that on our own & not spent that extra money for several hours with a guide when we could have enjoyed and interpreted that by ourselves?" My husband doesn't like guided anything, but he conceded to let me pick one particular "sight" that we could use a tour company.
Thanks! Missy

P.S. Thanks Frank, for the question. I don't think I explained myself enough :)

Posted by
3313 posts

Here's one suggestion - and others here may disagree or have more recent experiences. It's been a few years.

When we were there last, there were tours organized by American or English students who offered "freebies" at the Forum and St. Peters. They hung out at the entrance and approached us to ask if we wanted a free tour. What we got was a relatively short, but informative tour lacking the depth of a paid tour but with enough detail to at least give us the high points.

They did this hoping we would pay for other tours they offer. We decided to come back and pay for their tour of Baroque Rome at night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't that much and our guide was very good.

I expect that such tours can be hit or miss depending on the knowledge (and veracity) of the guide but I liked the informality and low cost.

Posted by
8 posts

I would suggest the vatican if you are interested in going there. This suggestion comes mostly from the fact that we were able to skip a 2 hour long line and go directly in at the appointed time.

Posted by
1127 posts

A visit to the Vatican is greatly enhanced with a guide. There is so much to see in the Vatican Museum you really need a guide to hit the highlights in the limited time you will have there. St Peter's is fascinating if someone can explain the history and meaning to you.

The Roman Forum is another sight that is better with a guide.

Posted by
1629 posts

Just returned from Rome where we took a tour of the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peters with the Roman Odyssey tour company. It was 50 euros each including admission prices. You can no longer get to the "front" of the line with a tour company unless it is directly with the tours given by the Vatican. Roman Odyssey tours are in the afternoon when the line is the shortest--it wasn't too bad. The tour was o.k. but our guide did miss several important points--only know this because I had been on a tour several years ago. However, I think I would take a tour again because the Vatican Museums are so overwhelming.