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Forums Other Destination advice Ancient Rome tour – points?

  • phantomchickenz 359 posts

    Morning all,

    We’re off to Rome today and I’m keen to explore the ancient parts of the eternal city. Does anyone know of any points earning opportunities for doing so as part of a tour?

    Normally I hate that kind of thing, but I’m told the guides really help bring the ruins to life.

    NorthernLass 8,484 posts

    Viator is a BA e-store partner, we’ve had some really great tours booking with them, including in Rome.

    Enjoy!

    JDB 4,849 posts

    Morning all,

    We’re off to Rome today and I’m keen to explore the ancient parts of the eternal city. Does anyone know of any points earning opportunities for doing so as part of a tour?

    Normally I hate that kind of thing, but I’m told the guides really help bring the ruins to life.

    I’m afraid I can’t help you with a guide in Rome but I hope you find one. I know lots of people here are rather sceptical about the cost and/or the value that guides can offer, but we find that, as you suggest, good guides can truly bring places to life far more than reading books. In addition, they often enable you to see things that are otherwise closed, avoid queues, avoid busy times and to see far more sights by efficient planning/timing. One learns all sorts of useful information from them as well. However, good guides do get booked up a long time in advance, so you need to plan!

    Lady London 2,176 posts

    Used Viator for Rome for a very picky family. They loved their guide and booked again on a later trip.

    I have seen offers on Viator in places like Expedia and estores over the years. Could be worth a quick scan around before booking.

    Jill Kinkell 161 posts

    Booked with Viator via BA estore. Eventually got avios about 8 months later after several prompting emails. Frustrating. You are warned!

    NorthernLass 8,484 posts

    I got mine within the normal posting period last time I used Viator. I always make sure to retain the confirmation emails though, just in case!

    masaccio 807 posts

    Unrelated to points, brace yourself for long queues. Rome has become overrun by tourists in the past 10 years.

    Once upon a time you could just walk into the Pantheon. Now there is post office queueing snaking through the piazza.

    If you want Ancient Rome, Ostia is a great trip. We enjoyed it a lot more than the Fora but it was quite a while back and it might be overrun too.

    NorthernLass 8,484 posts

    We were last there at Easter in 2019 and booked the “Skip the Line” Colosseum and Forum tour and didn’t have to queue. The Pantheon wasn’t especially busy – there’s a fabulous ice cream shop not far from it with something like 150 flavours.

    Because of the time of year we didn’t even bother with the Sistine Chapel, but queued for 10 minutes or so to get into St Peter’s Basilica (free), which is worth a visit in itself to see Michelangelo’s Pieta and also the tombs of all the popes in the crypt!

    We’re going again in February so will try to do the Sistine Chapel then – my dad lived in Rome at one time and took me there as a teenager but I was more interested in Italian boys and fashion back then so didn’t appreciate it sufficiently 😂

    masaccio 807 posts

    Just saying what I saw two weeks ago. St Peter’s queue was allegedly 2 hours. Last time we went, we just walked in, but that was 2006.


    @Northernlass
    get in touch with the ‘Scavi’ office at the Vatican to visit the catacombs under St Peter’s. There is quite the waiting list and daily numbers are very limited, but I expect February will be just fine. The tour guide we had had quite the mic drop moment at the end. I think it’s the best thing to do in Rome. And if you like the underground stuff, the catacombs at San Sebastiano on the Appian Way are also a great trip.

    For the Sistine Chapel, get into the Museum as early as possible, and hoof it to the Chapel as quickly as you can ignoring everything else. You will get there before the masses and when we did this, there were only a handful of other people. Then you can slowly visit the museum backwards. If you have very, very deep pockets you can book an after hours private tour. I think when I looked it was 4 figures!

    I remember that ice cream place – my wife and I both got a ridiculously large cone of ice cream when we first went to Rome on our honeymoon.

    phantomchickenz 359 posts

    Thanks all, booked through Viator and had the notification already for a slug of Avios. About to pop out for a quick wander around the Vatican before heading off to start our tour in the afternoon sun.

    Much better weather here than in Blighty!

    NorthernLass 8,484 posts

    @massacio – thanks, I think the Sistine Chapel is going to take as much planning as the entire trip! I was wondering about start of the day versus the end.

    We’ll have 4 days and also want to visit the Villa Borghese, track down a couple of Caravaggios and at least 2 museums and have family on both sides to catch up with!

    Are there any Massaccio works to seek out?!

    masaccio 807 posts

    As somewhere a bit off the usual tourist trail we really enjoyed Villa Farnesina and Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. We just walked into both. The latter has a lovely restaurant though it’s pricey by local standards.

    I’d also recommend some of the local places in Trastavere for food. My favourite near there was Sora Margherita. They didn’t speak English but it was a proper neighbourhood trattoria. There are some decent cocktail bars in the area too.

    But no Masaccios in Rome I think.

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