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Recommendations for reputable tour companies in Rome?

I'm planning ahead for a trip to Italy. I'd like to arrange for tours to Pompeii (daytrip), Coliseum and the Vatican and I'm seeking opinions on tour companies.

We had a trip scheduled in 2021 which got cancelled due to the pandemic. We had tours scheduled through thetourguy.com for Coliseum and Vatican. They refused to refund us on our tickets (even though that was the policy when tickets were purchased) and offered credits for future travel instead. Now I'm trying to contact them about the credits . . . and they're not responding. So . . . I don't think thetourguy (or romanguy) is someone to trust.

Do you have any recommendations for trustworthy tour companies? I'd really like to arrange the early entry tour for Vatican in particular - I know some companies offer more exclusive access in the Coliseum and that would be cool as well.

Any thoughts?

Posted by
3363 posts

Roman Guy has always had good mentions here so I wouldn’t write them off just yet

Another
Walks of Italy.com

Posted by
21056 posts

You can also buy early-access tickets to the Vatican Museums from the Vatican's own website. They are less expensive. You have an option of a tour or just using the audio guide. I haven't taken any of the Vatican tours, so I can't provide a personal recommendation.

Pompeii is a very long way to go for a day trip when you're based in Rome. The fastest way to get there starts with a Freccia train to Naples; beyond that point you have options (including private transportation). Naples is 140 miles from Rome. The Frecciarossa trains cover that distance in as little as 68 minutes. Any form of highway transportation--even a private car--will obviously take twice as long even if all goes well. Any tour that doesn't make use of that super-fast train between Rome and Naples is consigning you to a lot of extra time traveling to and from, time not spent seeing Pompeii.

Posted by
105 posts

Thanks, Christine. I really hope they reply . . . that would be almost $650 in credits I could use for tours!

Posted by
105 posts

I appreciate your info, acraven. I have found some tours that take you by mini bus from Rome to Pompeii. To do the trains it almost feels like you have to stay in Naples - as you say, doing the trains to/from Rome would be a long day. And staying in Naples means another hotel/apartment change and another train ride to go to Rome . . . the mini bus sounds a lot better LOL.

Posted by
3363 posts

I believe they gave a chat feature on their site
Have you tried that?
Remember the time difference

Posted by
105 posts

I tried calling the US number and got a "leave a message" recording. I was going to try the chat function during their business hours.

Posted by
936 posts

That's concerning. I was looking into The Tour Guy today for a future trip (they also have an active YouTube channel if you want to try there). Please keep us posted on the outcome.

Posted by
9 posts

We used LivItaly (now LivTours) on multiple tours in September 2021 and are scheduled to use them again for multiple tours in June. Their semi-private tours are limited to six people plus the guide, so they never have a crowd. And our tour guides were fantastic. Best of all, when we had to cancel tours in the spring of 2020 because of Covid, they gave us a credit and a discount to apply to future tours and they promptly honored the credit and the discount when we booked last fall. One item to be aware of is that their semi-private, six person tours are scheduled for particular days and times. Those often worked for us. But by paying a bit more for a private tour, we were able to book the same tours for days and times at which the semi-private tours were not offered. Our experience with this company was all-around fantastic and I recommend them without reservation. Whatever you choose, enjoy your travels.

Posted by
1288 posts

Walks of Italy for Rome.
I think we just purchased a tour on the day of at Pompeii at the ticket window. It was very good, small group.

Posted by
36 posts

We used walks of Italy for:
1. Vatican, sistine chapel & st peters
2. Pompeii, positano and amalfi coast

Both were pre-covid so I’m not sure if anything has changed

On a separate trip we did a day trip to capri through a different agency; personally i enjoyed the trip to capri over the trip to pompeii and amalfi

Posted by
2746 posts

To do the trains it almost feels like you have to stay in Naples

Why?

doing the trains to/from Rome would be a long day.

Doing the buses would be even longer; buses go 60 mph, trains go 180. You can get off the high speed trains at Naples Afragola station, pay a driver from there to Pompeii and it would still be both quicker and cheaper than busing from Rome to Pompeii.

Posted by
7 posts

Has anyone used Touriks? They have a Catacombs tour that my teenager would like to go on but I’m not familiar with the company. (To be fair, technically I’m not familiar with any of them since I haven’t actually used them yet haha).

Posted by
18 posts

I just booked three tours in Rome through https://www.througheternity.com/

The company is recommended in the Rick Steves Italy guide and offers discounts for his readers. Filter for Group Tours, then during the reservation process you can enter RICKSTEVES for a discount. There is a Pompeii option as well as tours in other cities in Italy.

For Pompeii, there is also Mondo shared tours with Rick Steves: https://www.sharedtours.com/

Posted by
16 posts

We have used Through Eternity pretty extensively, in both 2019 and 2021, and in both Rome and Florence. We are signed up to use them again in a few weeks.

They are a first rate company who, first and foremost, hire guides who are both highly educated/knowledgeable and also personable/interesting. Their pre-tour communication is excellent. Really, I can't say enough good about them!

Posted by
105 posts

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I did get a message from Tour Guy with instructions to request a gift certificate as reimbursement for the credits I was previously promised. I submitted that and received a confirmation message that I should hear back within 72 hours. Here's hoping they follow through!

Either way I will post a follow-up here so people considering Tour Guy will know how they resolved the issue.

If they don't I will look into some of the other service providers y'all have recommended.

Posted by
13487 posts

To do the trains it almost feels like you have to stay in Naples

Jeff,, to back up some of the other posters on this subject, IMHO train is THE way to do a day trip to Pompeii from Rome. The tours that go road versus rail take a lot longer getting there and getting back; as much as 3 hours each way. As already stated, fast trains from Rome get to Naples Centrale in just 1 hour, 12 minutes or so. From there, the cheap Circumvesuviana commuter will get you from the attached Napoli Garibaldi staton to the Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station - just outside the main entrance - in 30-40 minutes. Or, you could look for a tour which begins and ends in Naples (sorry, can't help you with that one).

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/naples-to-sorrento-train-schedule

If you can get yourself to the scavi, here's a shared tour which has generally seen good reviews from RS posters who've taken it: see "Pompeii Walk" on the Mondo Guide Shared tours page:

https://www.sharedtours.com

This one would also allow you to spend additional time at the excavation on your own after the tour ends; you wouldn't be tied to a bus/van departure schedule. As the site is VAST, I personally think having extra time is a plus unless you've just a passing interest in it. A common complaint I see in reviews of the road trips is that they're too rushed; the usual 2 hours that tours usually spend at the site is not enough, especially if it involves spending 6 hours or so sitting in a bus/van.