My family was in Rome last week. A friend of mine suggested a private tour guide. I would HIGHLY recommend this tour guide. Most importantly, she spoke VERY good English. She was highly energetic, very patient (we toured with two families), very knowledgable about Rome, and very passionate about each place that we toured. She was truly the highlight of our entire trip. She took us on an "Off the Beaten Path" tour. We saw many very interesting places in a short time (4 hours). If you would like her e-mail address, message me. YOU SHOULD NOT GO TO ROME without using this tour guide!
I am interested the tour guide in Rome. May have her email? We (2couples) are going in late August.
Hi Kelly, May we ask about your guided tour? Was the two family arrangement with others you knew or was it the guides number of people to make the tour work for her? Where or what we some of the off beat things you experienced? How did you locate the guide? Is she a licenced (Rome) guide? Fee? Thank you. We are on Rick's southern Italy in Sept. and then his Sicily in Oct. We've done a number of European trips starting with one of our childrens wedding on the Rine in Germany. Our indendent tours are over, and this will be our 11th ane l2th Rick's ETBD tours. Our questions about the guide are prompted by ing and independent guide in Prague before a rick's tour. That experience was suposed to be by someone who knew Rick's tour and would not duplicate it. That did not work out very well. Thanks for your patience with us.
Anne and Andy, San Luis Obispo, California
What admission price did the other guide charge? You say it was at least double so why would you pay it? I'm sorry but your post is so over the top that I think you're associated with the Mia person. "She would never cheat you", "she would never put you with a random family", "she's been licensed for 7 years", "has lived in Rome her whole life", "her father is Italian and her mother is English"..... Who learns all that when taking a tour in four hours? As for the other guide putting another "random" family with you, unless you paid for a "private tour" all guides will tour with multiple families. I wouldn't hold that against him and I wouldn't give kudos to Mia for not. After all, you paid her 80 euros per hour to take you to free sites which you could have toured on your own. Donna
Donna, I am sorry that I am upsetting you so much by my post. I had never met the tour guide prior to arriving in Rome, and I will not be exchanging phone calls, e-mails, etc. with her unless I go to Rome again. The other tour guide sent me an e-mail stating that he would purchase our tickets for us and gave me the price. LUCKILY, I had done my research, and noted that he was charging double. I e-mailed him and asked him if his tickets included anything "additional" that the normal admission didn't, and he said, "No, it will just alleviate your trouble of purchasing them." It only takes one minute to buy the tickets on-line, so of course, I bought them on line, not from him! I am only suggesting her in the event someone is LOOKING for a good tour guide. I agree that you can go to all of the places on your own, and if you are on a budget, then that is what you definitely should do. Luckily, we were traveling with another family, so it wasn't too expensive to use a tour guide, and we were able to cover way more ground using a tour guide and driver than if we had taken the bus/metro/taxi to each individual site. In addition, she offered much more information about each site than any of the guide books. I don't really care if anyone wants to use her or notI gain nothing from it. When I do business with someone that is absolutely outstanding, I just like to share their name/information with others. I have always done this, and appreciate it when others do the same for me.
If anyone does want information on her (specific questions, etc.), please MESSAGE me and I will answer any questions that you have. Signing off now.
Hi, can you let us know the details of this tour guide? Thanks..
There are many guides out there that are very good, and speak very good English and to say "YOU SHOULD NOT GO TO ROME without using this tour guide" is ridiculous. There are thousands of people who tour Rome everyday, either on their own, with audio guides or with other guides, who have the time of their lives. I understand that Kelly had a great time but how many other guides did she use? What is she comparing this guide to? Did she fact check the information given by this guide in order to see if what they were told was correct? How did she find this guide? What were some of the specific sites shown to her by this guide and what was the cost? Was entry into sites included in her price? Is she licensed? These are all important things to know and yet, this review gives no answers to any of these questions. I hope Kelly will come back and give some clarification on these matters. Donna
The tour guide's name is Mia Schettino and her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She is a licensed tour guide (has been licensed for 7 years). We were referred to her by a friend. She has lived in Rome her whole life (she is in her 20's). Her father is Italian and her mother is American, so she speaks excellent English! She is not associated with Rick Steve's, so she doesn't follow any of his itineraries. She will tailor an itinerary for you. We wanted her to take us all over the city (we rented a driver also), and she took us to some fascinating places! I cannot begin to tell you what an EXCELLENT tour guide she is! She was TRULY the highlight of our trip! The other family that toured with us went on the trip with us--they were good friends of ours. She would never put a "random" family with you. I did have another tour guide for the Vatican while in Rome, and he did ask to put another "random" family with our two families and he spoke very poor English, and rushed us through every place we went. He was NOT worth the $$$, but Mia DEFINITELY IS!!! I can't sing her praises enough! Enjoy your trip!
Mia was very fair in her prices and very knowledgable about the subject. We, in fact, did have another tour guide (for the Vatican), paid more for the Vatican tour guide, and BELIEVE ME, Mia was WAY BETTER. Our tour guide for the Vatican was also recommended to us by a friend. He tried to charge us at least double for the Vatican tickets (we actually purchased them on-line directly from the Vatican), and we were not pleased with his tour. The reason I so highly recommend Mia is because she would NEVER try and cheat you on any admission tickets, she is very enthusiastic about each and every place that she takes you, and overall a WONDERFUL guide. I just thought I would let people know about her so that they can have a great experience like my family did. I could tell from her e-mails that we should use her for all our tours, but our friend just kept on and on about the other tour guide (the one we used for the Vatican) so I decided to go ahead and try him. Wish I wouldn't have! I think I would have gotten more out of the Rick Steve's audio guide than I did from him.
How much did it cost? You say the Vatican guide was $$$? How many hundreds? How much was this other one?
This whole post is so over the top that it makes me skeptical. Shouldn't go to Rome without using her? Please. Would never cheat you like the others? You know a lot about her after four hours. The highlight of your trip? That is a little sad. With so few posts on this board and most of them over the top praises for a tour guide, it makes me wonder.
Maybe I haven't been clear on this message. IF you are looking for a tour guide, this is a tour guide I suggest. We really liked her. Just thought I would put the info out there for anyone that is looking for a tour guide. The tour guide that I didn't like cost 90 euros/hr. Plus he charged at least double for admission fees to the Vatican, Colosseum, etc. The tour guide that I liked, Mia, cost 80 euros/hr. She took us to tour places that were all freeno admission fee, such as The Circus Maximus, the open market in Campo de' Fiori, the keyhole in Aventine Hill, breathtaking view from the Gianiculum Hill and beautiful view from Borghese Gardens, statue of Moses, etc. Sorry if I am sounding pushy about her. I just wanted people to have her name and e-mail IF they want to use a tour guide. We loved her, so I thought I would share her information with others; however, I am sure that if you want, you can tour all of these places on your own. It was nice for us, because we were able to see MANY things in a very short amount of time. It can get expensive, particularly adding a driver (the driver cost 55 euros/hrnote that he was a very patient drivernot like the taxi drivers), but we were able to split the cost with the other family that went with us so it was affordable. I was just so happy with her and so fascinated by her knowledge and passion about each place; just wanted others to know about her if they wanted to take a tour, and hopefully, save them from awful tour guides like the one that took us to the Vatican. Whether you use a guide or not, Rome is a beautiful place to go and there are many, many things to do! You will enjoy Rome!
I think this is legit. You can see earlier postings by Kelly that have nothing to do with this tour guide. Here and here (can't get hyperlink to work): http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/97256/day-trip-from-romeborghese-gallery-vs-nat39l-museum-of-rome.html Kelly, please don't be offended. It's an unfortunately common practice for people who are pushing a particular product (guide, hotel, etc.) to come on here pretending to be someone else, gushing about how AMAZING some particular hotel/guide/restaurant is. Naturally, a lot of us are suspicious. I for one totally believe your level of excitement since you just returned from Rome (which is also backed up by your earlier posts). I've had similar experiences that I gush over. I'm glad you had such a great time. Thank you for coming on here to share your experiences.
I agree with Michael that Kelly had a wonderful time on her first trip to Italy and is truly excited to share her experience. If this was her only posting ever then I would be a bit suspicious but as Michael pointed out, it's not. Richard, I disagree with you in that you can't get to know a little about a guide in four hours. We had a wonderful guide for our Palatine Hill tour in '09 & we got to know quite a bit about her background and life after spending several hours with her. We really hit it off and found her life story to be interesting. While Kelly's excitement may seem "over the top", I can identify with it because that's how I felt when we returned from our first trip to Italy. And, to say that "it's sad" that her tour was the highlight of her trip is not fair. We all experience things differently and I can understand how a dynamic tour guide can bring a subject to life and perhaps be the highlight of a trip. For some, the highlight of a trip might be a particular meal, hotel, painting, building, etc. The highlight of my trip in '09 was a homemade dinner at the agriturismo we stayed at in Siena. Some may think this is silly but it's my opinion and what makes travel so wonderful is that we all take something different away from the experience.
Thanks for the info, Kelly! I love hearing about great experiences with guides. I had a similar experience in Sicily, and posted on Trip Advisor, only to have the "destination expert" rudely challenge me, discredit the guide, making accusations about his license -- none of which were true! I also had no "agenda" no financial connection -- just wanted to share a good experience. I've printed out your info, and may very well use your wonderful guide in the future. Thanks for posting your good experience
Based on Kelly's enthusiastic recommendation, we hired Mia Schettino as our guide for a custom tour of the Trastevere neighborhood, focusing on Villa Farnesina and Palazzo Corsini. We did the tour this past Tuesday morning. I'm here to tell you all that Kelly was right - Mia was fantastic! Her English is near flawless and her command of details remarkable. She even insisted on refunding us some of our money when the tour didn't last the full four hours. My only regret is that I didn't get a picture taken with this charming, intelligent, enthusiastic young woman. We may have to hire her again when we return for our next trip to Rome. (By the way, she told me to call her if we had any questions during the rest of our stay in Rome. I took her up on this at one point, when I went to someplace she had recommended but then I couldn't remember why she recommended it. She took my call and was so gracious in reminding what she had said about that place, along with some pointers on some other interesting things nearby since I was already there. Two thumbs up. Way up. One correction: Her email address is miarome (at) libero.it
Kelly, Donna, Michael are trolls. ;-) Just kidding! Michael, you honestly didn't get ANY photos of her? Mr Travel Photos Man? Now I know you're a troll ;-) Seriously, thanks to all of the above - I've filed this info away in my 'Rome' file...for someday...'cause you never know... (Kelly, I tend to get over-enthusiastic sometimes, and especially in 'type/writing' lots gets lost in the translation...unfortunately. I'm forever having to back off and rewrite something I've typed to tone it down...LOL!)
It was nice of you to post about your experience Michael, because poor Kelly sure took a beating...and probably regretted ever posting about this guide!!
Michael, I'm glad you enjoyed her! I agree with all of your comments about her! Wonderful!
I want to add that we also used Mia for 3 days in Rome and as Kelly stated, she is fabulous! She is young, energetic and just brings the history to life with all of her stories. Her father is a long-time guide and she has followed in his footsteps. She is bi-lingual, English being her second language, but you would never know it. The days we spent with her were absolutely the highlight of our July trip to Europe. We did a half day of the Forum, Colosseum & Pantheon, a half day of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's and then a half day of Off the Beaten Path with a private driver. Each day was better than the last and I cannot wait to go back to Rome and use Mia again. I have not hesitated to recommend her to several friends!
I also used Mia Schettino in 2011. We did the ancient/monumental Rome on one day and the Vatican the next and both were fabulous. They were 3-4 hours each. What I loved about the tours, in addition to her knowledge, was no waiting in lines, particularly at the Vatican. And she knew people there, including the Swiss guards. Mia is very engaging and kept all of us interested. Even the boys (then aged 13 and 15) enjoyed it. It is well worth it! Make sure if you do the ancient/monumental tour you see the keyhole at the Knights of Malta.
I just tried to email her to set up another tour and my email bounced back. Does anyone have her recent email?
Brendamarie, did you try miarome (at) libero.it ? And I'm not surprised your teenaged boys liked Mia. She's quite attractive. :-)
Mia's new email is email@example.com. I am in the process of booking with her for June, after Kelly's and Michael's recommendations. I had originally sent the email to the italian address and it did go through. She asked me to email her at the gmail address.