Rome lodging, transport and pre buy for tours

I will be arriving in Rome on 18 Jan 2013. During this time, I'd like to devote 2 days to touring Vatican City,etc. would appreciate advice on the following: 1) hotel recommendations specifically those within walking distance to Vatican City and with a good reputation for comfort, breakfast and rates 2). Will a Friday, Saturday, Sunday access to Vatican City be an issue specifically re wait time to enter? Would you recommend pre buying tickets?
3).any recommendations on purchasing tickets ahead of time (reservations needed)? From Rome to Milan? Thank you!

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2406 posts

You can check out venere.com for hotels in the Vatican area. What type of price do you wish to pay a night? Without an amount it's very hard to give specific recommendations. There should be no issues entering the Vatican on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The basilica is open on all three days as is the square. The museums won't be open on Sunday. As for lines, there is a security line to get into the basilica but it moves quickly. For the museums if you plan on visiting in the morning you'll want to pre-book tickets. If you go in the afternoon you shouldn't have an issue with lines. There should be little to no line after 1pm. Do you just mean train tickets? If so, and you know the exact date and time you wish to travel you can save a lot of money by booking ahead of time. NOTE: if you purchase the super economy fares they come with no changes or refunds so be sure you can make the train before you book them. Donna

Posted by Lesley
Sidney, BC, Canada
335 posts

Stayed at Almandi Tunisii while on Rick's Rome tour. The family also run Almandi Vaticano on the other side of the road. Both hotels are very close to the entrance to the Vatican Museum. Non-touristy area with a supermarket, restaurants, and a large market close by. Good transportation by bus (one block walk) and metro (10 minutes) to the centre of Rome, Forum etc. As a tour group we had pre-booked tickets for the Museum, avoided a long queue in September - not sure what it would be like in January. People recommend going in the evening (Fridays?) when it is less crowded. Its about 30 minutes walk to St. Peter's.

Posted by Catherine
Randolph, Nj, Us
2 posts

Thank you everyone...very helpful indeed! Cheers and Happy Holidays.

Posted by courtney
London, UK
68 posts

The vatican will be closed on the Sunday so if you plan to go I would do it on the Friday or Saturday. The website says
Vatican Museums Visitor Information Open Hours: The Vatican Museum's hours can be confusing, because they change depending on the season, the day of the week, during Vatican holidays and (seemingly) on the whim of the Pope. Generally speaking, the front doors open around 8:30 and the last guests are ushered out between 13:45 and 17:30 depending on the day, with the last tickets being sold an hour or so before closing time. The museums are closed on Sundays (except the last Sunday of the month), Easter, June 29, and December 25-26, among other potential holidays. For more specific information about the current year's schedule, If you are looking for accommodation close to the Vatican have a look at Nextaway as I have used them and stayed in this apartment that was within walking distance to the Vatican. Its cheap and cheerful and will do the trick! http://www.nextaway.com/italy/rome/maderno-italy-1238-336 In regards to getting to Milan from Rome have a look on the Italy train website www.trenitalia.com its best to buy your tickets in advance as they are cheaper. they even have 9 Euro fares so I would look and book as soon as you can. hope this helps.

Posted by Jim
Dallas, Texas, USA
495 posts

IF.....it were summer time I would suggest Alimandi Vaticano, we've had two very good experiences. Otherwise, don't remember the name, but there are convents near St Peter's that are very spartan-like, but much more affordable. Best thing about Alimandi is its close proximity to Vatican Museum, fabulous breakfast, and great A/C for summer heat.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8760 posts

Yvonne, sorry to hear of your losses. Are you sure that the mention was here? I've searched for it and only saw one reference in passing a year ago. Could it have been elsewhere? Are you home safely now?

Posted by Yvonne
Heidelberg, BW, Germany
3 posts

Just a warning: Last week I found someone here recommending the Hotel Anfitheatro Flavio in Rome. I made a reservation as I found a fairly good deal last minute and the location seemed great. On our way to Rome we were robbed of all valuables (in front of the Holiday Inn Assago, Milan as I was still at the car) and were not able to proceed with our trip as we had no passports, vehicle registration, credit cards etc.. When I called the hotel to cancel our reservation I found no understanding whatsoever and was charged a three nights stay, not according to their regular posted cancellation policy. I called them twice and was talked to quite rudely. Comments from "If you can travel home you could travel to Rome, just take the train" to "You can't tell me everything was stolen!This is not my problem!" were yelled in quite rude tones. They would not even let me speak to the manager.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

When you have any questions on Rome, sign into RonInRome.com He has hotel recommendations all over time in all price points. And his recommendations on what to see and how to get around Rome are the best. Ron's instructions on how to negotiate the train system of Italy is great.
Check Trentalia.com for train schedules. You have to purchase a reservation on the "fast trains" from Milan to Rome. After seeing walk up lines 4 abreast Easter weekend, over 1/4 mile long to get into the Vatican Museum, I was glad we had paid for reserved tickets. The guards said it's a very busy place virtually every day.