FAQ's - Rome Walks
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who are the Rome Walks guides?

A: All of our guides at Rome Walks are enthusiastic, freelance professionals who are licensed academics, researchers, and/or specialists in the fields of art history, history, history, theology, archaeology, and classical studies.

Q: Are you a family/child-friendly company?

A: Absolutely! Rome Walks offers discounts for all our clients under 16. When booking, please specify the ages of the children; younger children may qualify for free entrance to the Vatican Museums or additional discounts. Our guides know how to make history come to life for visitors both young and old and we make a special effort to match families with child-friendly guides.

Q: Does your Ancient City & Colosseum Walk include Third Tier or Underground access?

A: We do not include these areas on our Ancient City & Colosseum Walk in the interest of time; we prefer to explore the Roman Forum and Palatine hill in greater depth, as many visitors miss some of the most fascinating and beautiful places in this amazing archeological site that simply must be visited with a guide to appreciate fully.

Q: Why does Rome Walks buy advance tickets? What are the charges?

A: Large crowds at the Vatican Museums and Colosseum can mean very long lines and even longer wait times. Rome Walks purchases entry tickets in advance in order to skip these long lines. Vatican Museum tickets cost 16 euro plus a pre-booking fee of 4 euro that enables visitors to bypass the crowds. These four euro can often mean saving more than an hour in line. We think this is well worth the extra fee and so do our clients!

Q: How can I pay? Can I pay by credit card?

A: Yes! With our new secure payment portal you may pay by credit card, Paypal or in cash (with 15% deposit). Bank transfer is also available on request.

Q: What is the RomaPass and how do I use it?

A: As of January 1, 2015, the RomaPass now has two options.  The standard RomaPass will be sold at a cost of 36 euro, while a 48 hour RomaPass may be purchased for 28 euro.  It is a City Council initiative that includes entrance for two museums (NOT including the Vatican Museums, which do not form part of the city of Rome), reduced entrance to all municipal museums thereafter, and full city transportation costs for three days. Visit www.romapass.itto find out more. If you wish to use the RomaPass on our Walks (Ancient City & Colosseum or Borghese Gallery), please inform us and you will not be charged for ticket fees.

Q: How do I know where the meeting point is?

A: After you book a walk with us, you will receive a confirmation email containing a detailed description and link to a map of the meeting location for your scheduled walk. If you have any doubts, please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Q: If I'm late, how long will the group wait for me?

A: Our guides generally wait no longer than ten minutes beyond the scheduled departure time before heading out with the other clients so we encourage you to arrive a few minutes early to ensure that you find your way.

Q: What if it rains on the day of my scheduled walk?

A: Through rain or shine, snow or sleet Rome Walks delivers! Unless we contact you with cancellation, we will be at the meeting point as scheduled. Heavy showers are frequent in autumn, winter and spring; we strongly suggest bringing a small umbrella if the forecast calls for rain.

Q: I've heard that strikes are frequent in Italy - what happens if there is a strike on the day of my tour?

A: Public transportation strikes are indeed frequent in Rome. Generally, during a day-long strike buses and metro run between 6am - 8:30am and 5:00pm - 8:00pm. If you choose to travel by taxi during a strike, expect greater delays and intense traffic. We advise travelers to stay updated; one way to do this is to follow us on Facebook or Twitter. If a museum or monument (such as the Colosseum) closes for a strike, we may offer an alternative itinerary or try to reschedule your walk. If a walk is cancelled due to a strike you will be refunded in full (with the exception of any nonrefundable entry tickets).

Q: Can we stay in the Vatican Museums after the tour?

A: Our group and private walks begin in the Vatican Museums, which culminate with entrance into the Sistine Chapel. On our full Vatican City Walks we then pass directly into St. Peter's Basilica. At the end of the tour, you have the option to stay as long as you wish in the Basilica (and on official Vatican territory, with access to Papal tombs, Cupola, gift shop, and Post Office), however, you cannot re-enter the Sistine Chapel or Vatican Museums after exiting. Please keep in mind that the Vatican Museums are designed for one-way access and visitors are generally restricted from retracing their steps.

Q: How can I see Papal Tombs/climb the Cupola?

A: If you are interested in visiting the Papal Tombs or climbing the Basilica dome then you can do so before or after your walk with us. Entrance to the papal tombs is free of charge and they are open from 07:00 and 19:00 between April 1- September 30 closing a half hour earlier in the winter months. It costs between 5-7 euro to climb St. Peter's dome, depending on how many steps you wish to climb and entrance is open from 08:00-18:00 between April 1- September 30, closing one hour earlier during the winter months. For more information you can visit the Vatican website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/index_en.html.

Q: Do you offer 8:00 am early entrance to the Vatican?

A: We offer 8:00 am entry to private groups only for an additional cost.

Q: What is the difference between your 3 and 4-hour Vatican walks?

A: We offer two versions of the group Vatican Walk in order to allow people greater flexibility. Both itineraries essentially cover the same material, but our shorter itinerary does not attend the papal audience on Wednesday and does not provide the same depth of coverage.

Q: How should I get around the city? Taxis or public transport?

A: With history around every corner, Rome is the perfect city to explore on foot! However, sometimes distances and time constraints (as well as tired feet!) call for wheels. Most visitors find the Rome Metro system easy to use. ATAC is the public transportation authority in Rome; use the route calculator on the ATAC website to find the best route between 2 places and for updated information on ticket prices. It is almost impossible to hail a taxi in Rome, catch one instead at the taxi stands located near most major sights. Be aware that if you call a taxi, the meter will start from the time that you call, not from the time it arrives to pick you up! Taxis can be one of the quickest and most convenient ways to move around the city, but visitors should be well informed to avoid being overcharged. For detailed information on Rome taxis and rates, please see this post on the Rome Walks blog. We hope you find it useful!

Q: Do private walks include hotel pick up?

A: Yes they do. Our private itineraries are designed around you. We will meet you at any preferred starting location and many clients prefer to begin from their hotel. (Applicable only to hotels in the center).

Q: Do private walks include transportation?

A: Most of our private walks do not include additional transportation costs. The Cruiseship Connection itinerary does NOT include transportation from the port. For clients who opt for "Rome in a Day" we recommend using taxis (not included in price) to move between some sights as the quickest and most convenient way to see the best of Rome in a short time. On request we can arrange private transportation between Civitavecchia Port, Fiumicino Airport, hotels located outside the center or for larger groups.

Q: Can you recommend a hotel or restaurant in Rome?

A: Check our website under the "Rome Tips" tab and you'll find our hand-picked recommendations of "Where to Eat" and "Where to Stay" in Rome. The Rome Walks Blog is also a goldmine of useful information and tips for visitors to the city. If you discover an amazing place and want to tell others about it, then please get in touch and share!

Q: We are arriving on a cruise to the port of Civitavecchia. How can we get to Rome? How can we best visit Rome in a short time?

A: We often provide tours to clients docking at Civitavecchia port for the day, and have produced a little video clip to show you how to take the train into Rome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoGQcSuXu0Q
You should allow at least 2 hours transportation time to and from Rome and the Port. You will arrive at Rome's central train station, Termini, and from there you can take the metro two stops to the Colosseum or seven stops to the Vatican Museums. For a speedier alternative use taxis!
Many of our cruise clients opt for a day-long Rome excursion (Rome in a Day, Cruiseship Connection) as a private tour and the guide can meet you as you get off the train from Civitavecchia. The price is 450 euro for 1-4 people and does not include entry tickets to the Colosseum or Vatican. Colosseum tickets are 13.50 per person and Vatican tickets are 20 euro per adults and 15 euro for students/children.

Q: Can you tell us about the train? How do we get to Florence or Venice on the train?

A: Rome has two major train stations: Termini and Ostiense. Visit the Trenitalia website www.trenitalia.com to call up a schedule of train departures. You must use Italian names in your search! For example: Roma NOT Rome or FirenzeNOT Florence in order to get your results! Tickets can be purchased online (registration is necessary) or at automated vending machines in the train station. (Warning: while these are convenient and easy to use DO NOT accept assistance from any persons offering to help you operate the ticket vending machines.) A second train company has recently initiated service between Rome and various major Italian cities including Florence, Venice, and Milan. CheckItalo for alternative train travel at www.italotreno.it

Q: Are all Rome Walks tours in English? Do you offer any tours in other languages?

A: Rome Walks is an English language company. All of our tours are conducted in English. Many of our guides are multilingual: on request we can provide private tours in Spanish, French or Italian.

Q: Does Rome Walks offer gift certificates or vouchers?

A: Yes we do! Make a gift of knowledge and culture! Enquire by email for more details.

Q: Rome Walks looks like the right choice for me! How soon should I book?

A: The sooner you book, the easier it will be for Rome Walks to assure you the best guides and scheduling so don't wait!