Are my kids going to get anything out of this?
Absolutely! Our experienced guides enjoy bringing your children into the tour, aiming many stories directly at younger audiences. Certainly the history of Rome provides ample excitement to captivate the mind of even the most jaded youngsters. And since it’s a private tour, if your kids want to stop for a gelato, we stop for a gelato!
Can I join someone else’s tour?
Our tours are small, private tours. A tour you book with us is for you and yours only. We think that small, private tours are the way to really see Rome, at your pace, to your taste. Why spend your precious time shuffling along with a group tour of 20+ people wearing headphones following a guide speaking through a headset?
How is our service different from other companies who claim to skip the Vatican museums line?
If you tour with us and use our pre-booked ticket service you are guaranteed to skip the line. You pre-pay with Visa or Mastercard via Paypal and we procure the tickets for you. Your guide will have them when she meets you at your hotel. You will sail past the line and enter the museums with zero hassles.
The extra costs – taxis and meals
Taxis: Accompanied by your guide you will take a taxi from your hotel to the start of the tour. The distances are generally short and the fare will average 6 to 12 Euros per taxi (5 passengers per taxi is generally the maximum). If your hotel is on the outskirts of the city you can ask your hotel to arrange for a taxi to bring you into the city to meet your guide at a pre-designated location. Tipping the driver one Euro is customary.
Meals: During longer tours, lunch will be at one of the various charming restaurants we habitually visit throughout Italy and known for their high quality and reasonable prices. We’ve lived here for years, and we’re crazy about Italian cuisine. Have a look at our Blog for some reviews of our favorites. Unlike the States, waiters don’t live off of their tips, they have salaries and full benefits. For that reason, Italians tip their waiters about a Euro a person, but you may wish to leave a little extra if the service was good and the food excellent. Italians know that we Americans tend to be generous tippers.
These are private tours done at your pace. Whenever you like you can request your guide to fit in a stop for a drink, a gelato or an espresso. Every part of an Italy has its gems, and your guide knows where they are.
Tipping your guide:
Our guides: We leave this to your discretion based on your satisfaction with your tour. Our guides receive an average of 20% from our customers.
Chauffeurs: As with guides we leave this to your discretion. Chauffeurs are tipped about 5% on average from our customers.
Restaurants: Tipping in Restaurants is different from back home. We recommend leaving one Euro per customer as the Romans do, and a little extra when you are very satisfied or for a more expensive meal. At a cafe one leaves one or two Euros.
Cab drivers: Rounding off the change is customary. If they have given you extra good service tip them a Euro or two.
What is your cancellation policy?
Will I have to wait in line to get into the Vatican museums?
As noted on our Vatican tours page, if you want to be guaranteed that you will not have to wait in line, we recommend you have us pre-book your entrance tickets. We provide you with VIP tickets, with a pre-arranged entrance time for the museums. There is no standing in line anywhere, at all. We just walk in. We also like to time our tours for the least busy time of day so you can enjoy the museums in a state of relative peace.
Having said that, there are some times of the year and days of the week in which lines are not usually a problem and if you don’t mind a line of 5-30 minutes then regular entry fees will be just fine for you. In the event there is a line, your guide uses the time to give you a background on the history of Rome, the Vatican, the museums and the Papacy that is very valuable in gaining perspective on the museums and their transformation from a private papal collection to a world-class repository of Ancient and Renaissance art.