English speaking driver-guide for tours of Rome, shore excursions, day trips, journeys through Italy

 
 
Vatican tours: Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's
   
Half day tour of the Vatican

The classic Vatican tour. You're met at your hotel and driven to the place.

The tour covers all the major highlights St. Peter's, Museums and Sistine Chapel

The most reasonable tour of the Vatican. You reach the place by your own means and meet your guide there.

Full day tour, Rome and the Vatican

Rome and the Vatican in one day: Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Capitol Hill, Forum, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums.

Tour of Rome and the Vatican from Civitavecchia

Rome and the Vatican starting and ending at the port: Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums and more....

Full day tour to Tivoli and the Vatican

Short trip through the country to Villa D'Este in Tivoli before or after visiting the Vatican. Visits: St. Peter's, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Villa D'Este

Excursion to Castelgandolfo (Pope's Summer Home) and Nemi before or after visiting the Vatican. Visits: Vatican, Castelgandolfo, Nemi.

     
Vatican City opening schedule and dress code. Vatican City Dress code Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel opening hours and days
 

Insights.. A lot of people think that the Sistine Chapel is the most important site to see in Rome and think they can't go home saying they were in Rome and didn't get to see it. I don't fully agree with that, there's a lot to see in Rome and I would rather suggest everyone to spend at least two days in Rome so to enjoy the city the first day and then visit the Vatican comfortably the next day. I'm often asked skip the Vatican Museums and go directly to the Sistine, but that's not possible; you have to go through the whole place to get there, no short cuts!. Not knowing what they would miss, some people even ask to skip St. Peter's. Much more spectacular than the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's is one of Rome's essentials, that's really a place one shouldn't miss. I advise against bringing little children to the Vatican, there's no way they can appreciate such a place and just give their parents (and the guide) a hard time. Nevertheless, if you only have one day and you really want to see Rome and the Vatican, I'll be glad to satisfy your request, but I guarantee you'll be exhausted at the end of the tour! Going to the Vatican in the afternoon usually there's no line, but if you want to be sure to waste no time standing in line,

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

 

 
Skip the line! Make a reservation!
 
 

Vatican half day tour

Half day tour of the Vatican

Good tour for your second day in Rome. If, I hope, you spend the day before visiting Rome, than you are prepared for this. This tour can be done in the afternoon, in the morning or even in the middle of the day. If you feel tired from touring Rome the day before you can start later, around 11:00 and you'll be done at 3:00 pm so you can go shopping J, unless you want to do another tour with me! The Creation - Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel The Final Judgment
The Creation - Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel Michelangelo - The Final Judgment - Sistine Chapel

Short description of the itinerary:

     
Good tour for your second day in Rome. If, I hope, you spend the day before visiting Rome, than you are prepared for this. This tour can be done in the afternoon, in the morning or even in the middle of the day. If you feel tired from touring Rome the day before you can start later, around 11:00 and you'll be done at 3:00 pm so you can go shopping J, unless you want to do another tour with me!
More about this tour: Tour's price ▲ Top of page ▲

You'll be met at your hotel and driven to the Vatican. The tour will start from the Vatican Museums. It would be preferable to do this tour in the afternoon, which is when the place is less crowded. The Vatican Museums generally open at 8:30 am and allow people in until 4:00 pm, to close for the day at 6:00 pm. This means that even if you enter at 4:00 pm you still have 2 hours to visit the place. Normally we visit the Cortile della Pigna, Belvedere, Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, Raphael's Rooms and finally the Sistine Chapel. From the Sistine we'll go directly to St. Peter's Basilica, saving the time that would be necessary to walk back to the car through other museums, driving around the outside of the Vatican City walls, find a parking place again and line up again to walk through the metal detectors in St. Peter's Square. We will arrive at St. Peter's after spending about two hours between the Museums and Sistine Chapel and we'll go about another hour touring the Basilica. Here we'll see the famous Pietΰ by Michelangelo and many other fantastic masterpieces made by artists like Bernini and Canova. The whole tour is four hours, but you'll be spending about three in the Vatican. The rest of the time is what it takes to get to the Vatican from your hotel, walking back to the car from St. Peter's Basilica and driving back to the your hotel. This tour requires a lot of walking, you'll be standing or walking slowly most of the time that you'll spend at the Vatican, plus you'll ha to walk back from St. Peter's to the entrance to the Vatican Museum where the car will be parked. Those who have problems standing or walking for a long time, can use a wheel chair, available free of any charge at the Vatican Museums and take a taxi back to where we park the car. That taxi ride is not expensive, about 8 Euros, and also adds a little more to the tour because you can drive around the outside of the Vatican and see the walls that separate it form the city of Rome

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

 

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

This and all the other tours I'm listing in this website can be done in many ways: if you know where to go and you want to save some money, you can hire a car with chauffeur; if you want some narration, but not a whole lot, you can hire an English speaking driver, if you want more details and better English spoken, you hire a driving guide; if you want to really visit a place thoroughly, or if you are with a large group, you may want to hire an official guide. The best solutions will be suggested for each tour.

   
 

Half day tour of the Vatican - 4hours/50km

  ▼Vehicles and Prices ▼
Service ▼   sedan minivan minibus small bus

Just a the round trip transfer by car and chauffeur. You're driven there and back.   Expensive, but better than a taxi  .

Car and chauffeur

€ 110.00 € 135.00 € 154.00 € 310.00

Just a the round trip transfer by car and English speaking driver. You're driven there and back.   Expensive, but a lot better than a taxi  .

English speaking driver

€ 125.00 € 145.00 € 165.00 € 320.00

You're picked up at your hotel, driven to the Vatican, guided through the place and finally you're driven back to your hotel.  Best deal for this tour.

Driving guide

€ 255.00 € 330.00 € 355.00 unavailable

Round trip transfer by car and chauffeur + tour of the Vatican with an official guide.  Best for groups with more than 8 people.

Driver plus guide
€ 300.00 € 320.00 € 350.00 € 495.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT tax (IVA)10%
         

Description of the vehicles

Sedan

up to 4 + driver

Minivan

up to 6/7 + driver

Minibus

up to 8 + driver

Small bus

up to 13/19 + driver

Mercedes E Class Sedan Mercedes "Viano" minivan Mercedes "Sprinter" minibus Mercedes "Sprinter" based small bus

Seats 4+driver, but ideal for max 3+1 child. The trunk can hold 3 medium size suitcases plus 3 smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver.

The trunk can hold 7 or 8 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver. The trunk can hold 10 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 20+driver. The trunk can hold 14 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

All vehicles are licensed for chauffeured car hire (NCC), can practically drive anywhere: historical city centers, special lanes for public transportation vehicles etcetera, and bring the passengers right up to the site they want to visit. They can be driven by chauffeurs, English speaking drivers and driving-guides. The buses are subject to restrictions They can only drive in certain areas an have to pay a (costly) passage in many cities. They are driven by chauffeurs or English speaking drivers, not driving guides.

 

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

 
  ▲ Top of page ▲  
 
Walking tour of the Vatican
Vatican walking tour, 3 hours.
No transportation is involved with this tour, you'll have to reach the Vatican by your own means. This tour is good for you especially if you stay in a hotel near the Vatican, if you toured Rome already or if you want to save some money, you'll meet me, or one of my partners, at the entrance of the Vatican Museums and you'll be guided through the Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's. The tour will take three hours. The Glorified The Damned The Candelabra Gallery
The Glorified The Damned The Candelabra Gallery - Vatican Museums
Short description of the itinerary:      

Generally we go through the Cortile della Pigna, Pius-Clementine museum, Barberini gallery, Gallery of Geographic maps, Raphael's rooms, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's church.

More sites and curiosities, less known than the places listed above, will be brought to your attention while driving. Remember: you'll always see more than you'll be expecting to see!

More about this tour: Tour's price  

▲ Top of page ▲

We meet at the entrance of the museums, or rather at the coffee shop right across the street in front of it, I'll be standing there posting your name unless, you should have a cell phone which would simplify things. It would be preferable to do this tour in the afternoon, which is when the place is less crowded. The Vatican Museums generally open at 8:30 am and allow people in until 4:00 pm, to close for the day at 6:00 pm. This means that even if you enter at 4:00 pm, you still have 2 hours to visit the place. Normally we visit the Cortile della Pigna, Belvedere, Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of Candelabra, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, Raphael's Rooms and finally the Sistine Chapel. From the Sistine we'll go directly to St. Peter's Basilica, saving the time that would be necessary to walk back to the car through other museums, driving around the outside of the Vatican City walls, find a parking place again and line up again to walk through the metal detectors in St. Peter's Square. We will arrive at St. Peter's after spending about two hours between the Museums and Sistine Chapel and we'll go about another hour touring the Basilica. Here we'll see the famous Pietΰ by Michelangelo and many other fantastic masterpieces made by artists like Bernini and Canova. The whole tour is three hours. Those who have problems standing or walking for a long time, can use a wheel chair, available free of any charge at the Vatican Museums.

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

 
 

Vatican walking tour - 3hours

  Group size
Service ▼   Local guide only

If you want to save money and still get a nice private tour of the Vatican. No transportation involved . Best tour if you stay in a hotel near the Vatican.

Up to 4 people each additional person
€ 240.00 € 35.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT tax (IVA)10%

 

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

Skip the line! Make a reservation!
 
 
▲ Top of page ▲
 
Rome and  Vatican full-day tour
Full day tour of Rome and Vatican
Many people think the Sistine Chapel is the most important site to see in Rome and they have to visit it first, then visit everything else if there's time. I don't fully agree with that, I recommend to dedicate a separate half day to the visit of the Vatican to have one full day for Rome and enjoy it thoroughly. But if you only have one day and you really want to see the Sistine, here's the tour for you. The Sistine's Ceiling Prophet Joel Jonah
Sistine Chapel ceiling - Skip the line! Sistine Chapel - Prophet Joel Sistine Chapel - Jonas and the whale
Short description of the itinerary:      

Via Veneto and Piazza Barberini (drive),  Via del Corso (drive), Trevi Fountain (stop), Four fountains crossing (drive), Quirinale Palace (drive), Piazza Venezia (stop), Colosseum (visit), Key Hole (curiosity), Aventine Hill and Circus Maximus (stop), Vatican (visit).

Possible inclusions: Spanish Steps (stop),  Piazza Navona (stop), Pantheon and St. Mary' above Minerva (visit),

More sites and curiosities, less known than the places listed above, will be brought to your attention while driving. Remember: you'll always see more than you'll be expecting to see!

More about this tour: Tour's price   ▲ Top of page ▲

This tour is obviously centered on the Vatican and, be prepared, it's a tough one. The tour of the Vatican, which includes obviously St. Peter's Basilica, takes about three hours. During this time you'll not have the chance to take a brake and sit down. There's no air-conditioning, except when you're in the Sistine and in the Gallery of Tapestries, and so it's hot. And it's crowded, which makes it even more hot. Do I sound like I don't want to take you there? Wrong! I do, but I would love you not to go it within a tour of Rome. I'm used to all this, but I know you'll be exhausted. Anyway, if you decide to pay the 30 Euros to book your entrance, we can go first thing in the morning and that's a little better. It's better because it's cooler, but also because at the end we can go and sit down and have some lunch, so you rest before you start touring again. I said the tour of the Vatican takes about three hours, but between getting there, getting in and getting out, almost four hours easily pass. Then you go for lunch which takes at least another hour. At this point there will not be much time left to see other sites. I said from the beginning that including the Vatican in a full day tour of Rome forces you to leave out of the tour other sites, but I can guarantee we can include at least the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. For the rest, it depends mostly on how you move around and how traffic moves around the day we'll do this tour.

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

 

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

This and all the other tours I'm listing in this website can be done in many ways: if you know where to go and you want to save some money, you can hire a car with chauffeur; if you want some narration, but not a whole lot, you can hire an English speaking driver, if you want more details and better English spoken, you hire a driving guide; if you want to really visit a place thoroughly, or if you are with a large group, you may want to hire an official guide. The best solutions will be suggested for each tour.

 

Full day day tour of Rome and Vatican - 8hours/100km

  ▼Vehicles and Prices ▼
Service ▼   sedan minivan minibus small bus

Just a chauffeur to drive you around.  Inexpensive and comfortable, it's good if you know what to go see.  Inexpensive comfortable tour .

Car and chauffeur

€ 200.00 € 245.00 € 275.00 € 470.00

You visit all the major highlights of Rome and you're told a little about them. Vatican tour on your own.  Good value for a whirlwind tour .

English speaking driver

€ 310.00 € 365.00 € 385.00 € 645.00

Narrated tour in good English.

 Good value for money, includes guided tour of the Vatican .

Driving guide

€ 480.00 € 550.00 € 590.00 unavailable

Not only you are driven to the places, but once there the guide will walk with you and tell you all about them. Best for groups with more than 8 people..

Driver plus guide
€ 640.00 € 685.00 € 715.00 € 910.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT tax (IVA)10%
         

Description of the vehicles

Sedan

up to 4 + driver

Minivan

up to 6/7 + driver

Minibus

up to 8 + driver

Small bus

up to 13/19 + driver

Mercedes E Class Sedan Mercedes "Viano" minivan Mercedes "Sprinter" minibus Mercedes "Sprinter" based small bus

Seats 4+driver, but ideal for max 3+1 child. The trunk can hold 3 medium size suitcases plus 3 smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver.

The trunk can hold 7 or 8 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver. The trunk can hold 10 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 20+driver. The trunk can hold 14 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

All vehicles are licensed for chauffeured car hire (NCC), can practically drive anywhere: historical city centers, special lanes for public transportation vehicles etcetera, and bring the passengers right up to the site they want to visit. They can be driven by chauffeurs, English speaking drivers and driving-guides. The buses are subject to restrictions They can only drive in certain areas an have to pay a (costly) passage in many cities. They are driven by chauffeurs or English speaking drivers, not driving guides.

 

Skip the line, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

make your reservation and then pick your guide!

 
▲ Top of page ▲
 

Tour of Rome and the Vatican (Sistine Chapel) from Civitavecchia

Shore excursion: Rome and Vatican including the Sistine Chapel. 9hours/200km.

The tour takes between about 10 hours, counting from when we start at the port at:8:00 am, until we return there, around 6.00 pm. This tour focuses on the Vatican, I recommend to make a Vatican entry reservation to make sure you don't waste your time standing in line to get in the Vatican. Depending on traffic conditions and on your own requests, it can include more or less sites, but for sure you'll always return to your ship satisfied of the number of places you saw and the narration. St. Peter's Colosseum Gallery of Candelabra
Tour of the Vatican - St. Peter's Square Tour of Rome - The Colosseum Tour of the Vatican - Vatican Museums
Short description of the itinerary for the shore excursion to Rome and the Vatican, 10 hours:

We meet in Civitavecchia at 8:00 am (vehicle will be parked on the pier with your name on its windshield) and we drive to Rome. We should be arriving in there around 9/9.30 am and, if you want me to make a Vatican entry reservation, the Vatican will be our first stop, otherwise we'll reverse the itinerary and go there in the afternoon. Being the tour centered on the Vatican and since you'll end up using most of your limited time ashore to visit just this one place, realistically, I can only guarantee that we'll the following: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's (3 hours or more), Colosseum (about 1 hour). Trevi Fountain (20'), Piazza Venezia (drive).

It will depend on other factors, traffic and you personal interest mainly, if we'll be able to include in the tour these other sites: Capitol Hill (Roman Forum view) (30'),  Piazza Navona (20'), Pantheon St. Mary above Minerva (20/30'),

More sites and curiosities, less known than the places listed above, will be brought to your attention while driving. Remember: you'll always see more than you'll be expecting to see!

More about this tour: Tour's price   ▲ Top of page ▲

We start from Civitavecchia at  8:00 am. I'll be waiting right on the pier where the ship docks. I park the car as close as possible to the footbridge and you identify me easily because I post your name on the car's windshield.

Here below you can read how the day evolves if we don't make a Vatican entry reservation, but in case we do make a reservation, the itinerary will be reversed and we'll tour the Vatican first thing in the morning.

We should be arriving in Rome around 9/9.30 am and, if you want me to make a reservation, the Vatican will be our first stop, otherwise we'll reverse the itinerary and go there in the afternoon. This tour is obviously centered on the Vatican and, be prepared, that's a tough one. The tour, which includes obviously St. Peter's Basilica, takes about three hours. During this time you'll not have the chance to take a brake and sit down. There's no air-conditioning, except when you're in the Sistine and in the Gallery of Tapestries and so it's hot. And it's crowded, which makes it even more hot. Do I sound like I don't want to take you there? Wrong! I do, but I would love you not to go it within a tour of Rome if this is your first time here. I'm used to all this, but I know you'll be exhausted. Anyway, if you decide to pay the 30 Euros to book your entrance, we can go first thing in the morning and that's a little better. It's better because it's cooler, but also because at the end we can go and sit down and have some lunch, so you rest before you start touring again. I said the tour of the Vatican takes about three hours, but between getting there, getting in and getting out, almost four hours easily pass. Then you go for lunch which takes at least another hour. At this point there will not be much time left to see other sites. I said from the beginning that including the Vatican in a shore tour of Rome forces you to leave out of the tour other sites, but I can guarantee we can include at least the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. For the rest, it depends mostly on how you move around and how traffic moves around the day we'll do this tour.

These places are: Palazzaccio (Old Court House), St. Andrew's, St. Mary's Above Minerva, Piazza Venezia (Monument to Victor Emmanuel II), Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps), Theatre of Marcellus, Synagogue, Mouth of Truth and Keyhole (Roman Curiosity), Circus Maximus, Palatine Hill.

Several other attractions will be pointed out just while you'll be driving by them, such as: Castle St. Angelo and its bridge, Italian Senate, The Marble Foot and Cat Street (Roman Curiosity), Trajan's Column, Imperial Fora, Trajan's Market, The Maps of the Empire, Arch of Constantine, Marcus Aurelius's Column, Parliament and Council of Ministers, St. Nicholas in Chains, temples of Apollo, Vesta and Janus, Quirinal Palace.

This is the usual itinerary, it takes you to the major highlights of the city of Rome and at the end of the day you can sure say you've seen Rome!

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

This and all the other tours I'm listing in this website can be done in many ways: if you know where to go and you want to save some money, you can hire a car with chauffeur; if you want some narration, but not a whole lot, you can hire an English speaking driver, if you want more details and better English spoken, you hire a driving guide; if you want to really visit a place thoroughly, or if you are with a large group, you may want to hire an official guide. The best solutions will be suggested for each tour.

 

 

Full day day tour of Rome and Vatican from the port of Civitavecchia - 9hours/200km

   

Service ▼

▼Vehicles and Prices ▼

Car, chauffeur and Vatican guided tour

Same tour by car and chauffeur, but this includes the guided tour of the Vatican

sedan minivan minibus small bus
€ 560.00 € 620.00 € 670.00 € 990.00

English speaking driver and Vatican guided tour

You visit all the major highlights of Rome and you're told a little about them. Vatican tour on your own.  Good value for a whirlwind tour .

sedan minivan minibus small bus
€ 700.00 € 750.00 € 800.00 € 1,100.00

Driving guide and Vatican guided tour

Narrated tour in good English.

 Good value for money, includes guided tour of the Vatican .

sedan minivan minibus small bus
€ 650.00 € 700.00 € 750.00 unavailable

Driver plus full day guide

Not only you are driven to the places, but once there the guide will walk with you and tell you all about them. Best for groups with more than 8 people..

sedan minivan minibus small bus
€ 760.00 € 800.00 € 870.00 € 1,200.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT (IVA)10%
 

Description of the vehicles

Sedan

up to 4 + driver

Minivan

up to 6/7 + driver

Minibus

up to 8 + driver

Small bus

up to 13/19 + driver

Mercedes E Class Sedan Mercedes "Viano" minivan Mercedes "Sprinter" minibus Mercedes "Sprinter" based small bus

Seats 4+driver, but ideal for max 3+1 child. The trunk can hold 3 medium size suitcases plus 3 smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver.

The trunk can hold 7 or 8 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver. The trunk can hold 10 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 20+driver. The trunk can hold 14 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

All vehicles are licensed for chauffeured car hire (NCC), can practically drive anywhere: historical city centers, special lanes for public transportation vehicles etcetera, and bring the passengers right up to the site they want to visit. They can be driven by chauffeurs, English speaking drivers and driving-guides. The buses are subject to restrictions They can only drive in certain areas an have to pay a (costly) passage in many cities. They are driven by chauffeurs or English speaking drivers, not driving guides.

 
Skip the line! Make your own reservation! Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html
 
▲ Top of page ▲
 

Vatican and Tivoli full-day tour

Tour of the Vatican and Villa D'Este in Tivoli. Not available on Mondays
  Neptune fountain, Tivoli Ovato fountain, Tivoli Gallery of Maps - Vatican

If you have dedicated one full day to visit Rome, you want to spend a half visiting but you wonder what you can do the rest of the day, here's what you can do, let me take you to Tivoli!

The Villa D'Este in Tivoli is the most attractive of the sites just outside of the city of Rome, you reach the place by car in a little more than half an hour and the splendor of the Italian Renaissance will be all around you.

Tour of the Vatican - Tour of Villa D'Este in Tivoli The "Ovato" fountain in Villa D'Este Tour of the Vatican - Vatican Museums
Short description of the itinerary:      

Going on this tour, it would be better to go visit the Vatican before Tivoli, but in the morning the place is normally very busy and in this case it would be better to make a reservation. Once at the Vatican, we normally go through the Cortile della Pigna, Pius-Clementine museum, Barberini gallery, Gallery of Geographic maps, Raphael's rooms, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's church. Then we get back to the car and drive to Tivoli and, after visiting the Villa D'Este, we return to your hotel.

More sites and curiosities, less known than the places listed above, will be brought to your attention while driving. Remember: you'll always see more than you'll be expecting to see!

More about this tour: Tour's price ▲ Top of page ▲
This tour combines the tour to one of the most visited places in Rome, the Sistine Chapel, with an excursion to another very famous place: Villa D'Este in Tivoli. Sometimes tourists don’t think they have the time to go and see Tivoli's Villa D'Este or that the place isn't worth the trip and that a pity. Often it's confused it with the amusement park in Copenhagen. Tivoli is a lovely medieval town just 20 miles north-east of Rome and the distance can be covered by car in just a little more than half an hour. Different opening hours, in the Winter and in the Summer, of the Vatican Museums and Villa D'Este and crowds at the Vatican, cause variations to this program. Normally I prefer doing it this order: Vatican in the morning and Villa D'Este in the afternoon. So, after visiting the Vatican we stop a restaurant on the way to Tivoli for lunch. If we leave the Vatican early enough to get to the Tivoli at a decent time we can dine at one of the restaurants there, otherwise we'll stop at some other nice place on the way, which could be "Sora Rosa" on the old Appian Way or, if we come out of the Vatican really late, we can eat at a restaurant near there. The fabulous Villa D'Este was built in 1550 for the Cardinal Ippolito II D’Este. Taking advantage of the fact that the villa was on top of the hill to have is garden and that Tivoli is surrounded by waterfalls and springs, he had his hill-side garden decorated with more that four-hundred water fountains, so some of the water that was naturally going into the nearby Aniene River was diverted and it feeds the fountains before returning to the natural course of the river. The system still works today the same as it did in the Renaissance, no pumps! Depending on how the tour goes time wise, we could also make a stop, on the way back to Rome, at Villalba. Just to take a look at the Travertine marble quarries, the quarries from which the Romans took the marble they built the Colosseum and practically the rest of Rome with. At the end of all this, you'll be driven back to your hotel.

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

This and all the other tours I'm listing in this website can be done in many ways: if you know where to go and you want to save some money, you can hire a car with chauffeur; if you want some narration, but not a whole lot, you can hire an English speaking driver, if you want more details and better English spoken, you hire a driving guide; if you want to really visit a place thoroughly, or if you are with a large group, you may want to hire an official guide. The best solutions will be suggested for each tour.

 

 

Tour of the Vatican and Villa D'Este in Tivoli - 8hours/100km

  ▼Vehicles and Prices ▼
Service ▼   sedan minivan minibus small bus

Just a chauffeur to drive you around.  Inexpensive and comfortable, it's good if you know what to go see.  Inexpensive comfortable tour .

Car and chauffeur

€ 240.00 € 285.00 € 320.00 € 580.00

You visit all the major highlights of Rome and you're told a little about them. Vatican tour on your own.  Good value for a whirlwind tour .

English speaking driver

€ 345.00 € 395.00 € 430.00 € 690.00

Narrated tour in good English.

 Good value for money, includes guided tour of the Vatican .

Driving guide

€ 520.00 € 585.00 € 630.00 unavailable

Not only you are driven to the places, but once there the guide will walk with you and tell you all about them. Best for groups with more than 8 people..

Driver plus guide
€ 675.00 € 720.00 € 750.00 € 950.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT tax (IVA)10%
         

Description of the vehicles

Sedan

up to 4 + driver

Minivan

up to 6/7 + driver

Minibus

up to 8 + driver

Small bus

up to 13/19 + driver

Mercedes E Class Sedan Mercedes "Viano" minivan Mercedes "Sprinter" minibus Mercedes "Sprinter" based small bus

Seats 4+driver, but ideal for max 3+1 child. The trunk can hold 3 medium size suitcases plus 3 smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver.

The trunk can hold 7 or 8 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver. The trunk can hold 10 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 20+driver. The trunk can hold 14 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

All vehicles are licensed for chauffeured car hire (NCC), can practically drive anywhere: historical city centers, special lanes for public transportation vehicles etcetera, and bring the passengers right up to the site they want to visit. They can be driven by chauffeurs, English speaking drivers and driving-guides. The buses are subject to restrictions They can only drive in certain areas an have to pay a (costly) passage in many cities. They are driven by chauffeurs or English speaking drivers, not driving guides.

 
Entrance fees not included! - Optional entry reservation 30 € inclusive of entrance fees
 
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Vatican and the Roman Castles

Full-day tour to the Vatican and the Roman Castles

In case you've already visited Rome and Tivoli, or if the only day that is available for you is a Monday, when Villa D'Este is closed, the alternative is to visit the Roman Castles.

Instead of Tivoli, I'll take you to the charming, little and medieval hill-top towns of Castelgandolfo and Nemi.

Each one of these two town overlooks a natural volcanic lake and they are both located in the area that produces the white wine we drink in Rome.

Papal Summer Residence Nemi Nemi from its lake
Tour of the Vatican - Tour of Castel Gandolfo Tour of the Vatican - Tour of Nemi Tour of the Vatican - Tour of Nemi and the Roman Castles
Short description of the itinerary:      
Going on this tour, it would be better to go visit the Vatican before the Castles, but in the morning the place is normally very busy and so it would be better to make a reservation. Once at the Vatican, we normally go through the After visiting Cortile della Pigna, Pius-Clementine museum, Barberini gallery, Gallery of Geographic maps, Raphael's rooms, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's church. Than we get back to the car and, if you like stop at a nice restaurant on the way for lunch. Than we continue to Castel Gandolfo and Nemi. Finally we return to your hotel.
More about this tour: Tour's price   ▲ Top of page ▲

This tour takes to one of the most visited places in Rome, the Sistine Chapel, with an excursion to another very famous place: the Roman Castles. This is what we call the hilly area south-east of Rome where the wine that is consumed in Rome comes from, since the days of the Ancient Romans. I prefer visiting the Vatican in the morning and the Castles in the afternoon. But that's not always possible because of the lines to enter the Vatican Museums. For sure making a reservation would help, by I also rely on my acquaintances at the Vatican who make mw skip the line for a tip. When their on duty. Anyway, after visiting the Vatican we stop a restaurant on the way for lunch. If we leave the Vatican early enough to get to the Roman Castles at a decent time we can dine at one of the restaurants there overlooking the lakes, otherwise we'll stop at some other nice place on the way, which could be "Sora Rosa" on the old Appian Way. After visiting the quaint towns of Castel Gandolfo and Nemi, we return to your hotel.

 More sites and curiosities, less known than the places listed above, will be brought to your attention while driving. Remember: you'll always see more than you'll be expecting to see!

You are always free to modify the itinerary as you please.

 

Full-day tour to the Vatican and the Roman Castles  - 8hours/150km

  ▼Vehicles and Prices ▼
Service ▼   sedan minivan minibus small bus

Just a chauffeur to drive you around.  Inexpensive and comfortable, it's good if you know what to go see.  Inexpensive comfortable tour .

Car and chauffeur

€ 240.00 € 285.00 € 320.00 € 580.00

You visit all the major highlights of Rome and you're told a little about them. Vatican tour on your own.  Good value for a whirlwind tour .

English speaking driver

€ 345.00 € 395.00 € 430.00 € 690.00

Narrated tour in good English.

 Good value for money, includes guided tour of the Vatican .

Driving guide

€ 520.00 € 585.00 € 630.00 unavailable

Not only you are driven to the places, but once there the guide will walk with you and tell you all about them. Best for groups with more than 8 people..

Driver plus guide
€ 675.00 € 720.00 € 750.00 € 950.00
 
Prices are inclusive of VAT tax (IVA)10%
         

Description of the vehicles

Sedan

up to 4 + driver

Minivan

up to 6/7 + driver

Minibus

up to 8 + driver

Small bus

up to 13/19 + driver

Mercedes E Class Sedan Mercedes "Viano" minivan Mercedes "Sprinter" minibus Mercedes "Sprinter" based small bus

Seats 4+driver, but ideal for max 3+1 child. The trunk can hold 3 medium size suitcases plus 3 smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver.

The trunk can hold 7 or 8 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 8+driver. The trunk can hold 10 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

Seats up to 20+driver. The trunk can hold 14 medium size suitcases plus several smaller bags.

All vehicles are licensed for chauffeured car hire (NCC), can practically drive anywhere: historical city centers, special lanes for public transportation vehicles etcetera, and bring the passengers right up to the site they want to visit. They can be driven by chauffeurs, English speaking drivers and driving-guides. The buses are subject to restrictions They can only drive in certain areas an have to pay a (costly) passage in many cities. They are driven by chauffeurs or English speaking drivers, not driving guides.

 
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How to dress when visiting the Vatican city
 

How to dress to visit the Vatican city: Saint Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums.

Also valid visiting the Vatican Gardens and/or the Scavi (the excavations under St. Peter's Church.

APPROPRIATE DRESS IS A MUST!

Tour of the Vatican - Tour of Castel Gandolfo - Pope John Paul II
Please be aware that there are monitors outside St. Peter's, which has a very strict dress code: no skirts above the knee, no shorts, no bare shoulders (i.e., tank tops or sleeveless blouses), and you must wear shoes. You will not be permitted inside the basilica unless you are dressed appropriately. Slacks and jeans, however, are permitted. If you are out sightseeing in shorts, miniskirts, tank tops, sleeveless blouses, etc., and wish to enter a church, you must be dressed appropriately. People who monitor visitors in churches have the right to refuse entrance if in their opinion the visitor is dressed inappropriate to enter. One way to get around this is to carry long pants and a shirt/blouse with sleeves in a bag or backpack so that when you wish to enter a church, you can slip these garments on over your inappropriate attire before you enter. Strict dress codes are especially adhered to at St. Peter's,
Tour of the Vatican - Disposable pants on sale

so I wouldn't even try to enter wearing short skirts, shorts, or sleeveless tops. You will be refused entrance. Again, no shorts, or sleeveless tops, but it’s okay to wear jeans. In case you haven't been foresighted enough to carry additional apparel with you and you happen to be at the Vatican wearing inappropriate clothes you can still buy disposable pants and/or t-shirts and scarves on sale in the souvenir shops just outside St. Peter's. In addition to all of this, keep in mind that during your visit to the Vatican you'll be in a sovereign country regulated by it's own rules, where the laws of Italy or your own country do not apply!

No smoking anywhere in the Vatican!

Tour of the Vatican - Vatican City dress code - Warning outside St. Peter's
You don't need to dress up like if you were going to a wedding party, you just need to be covered and decent. You could be dressed in rags,  but if  your sinful flesh is covered, you'll be admitted in!
 
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Vatican Museums opening schedule.
 
   
 
 
 
The days of the week are listed in Italian, in English they correspond to:
 
L = Monday
M = Tuesday
M = Wednesday
G = Thursday
V = Friday
S = Saturday
D = Sunday
 
 
 
 
 
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Vatican Museums' opening hours

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Vatican Museums' ticket Admission fees

Regular

Euro 15,00

Reduced

Euro 8,00

Special

Euro 4,00

Free of charge

last Sunday of each month

Skip the line, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

make your reservation and then pick your guide!

Opening Hours

Open Monday to Saturday: the Ticket Office is open from 9 am to 4 pm. The Museums close at 6 pm.

 

The Vatican Museums an Sistine Chapel are closed during the following holidays:

*       Sundays, except for the last Sunday of each month, unless it coincides with one of the holidays here below:

*       January 1, (New Year)

*       January 6 (Epiphany)

*       February 11 (The Signing of the Lateran Pacts)

*       March 19 (St. Joseph's Day)

*       Easter - Easter Monday

*       May 1 (St. Joseph Artisan)

*       Forty days after Easter, on a Thursday (Ascension Thursday)

*       Corpus Christi Day

*       June 29 (St. Peter and Paul’s Day

*       August 15 (Assumption of Mary)

*       November 1 (All Saints)

*       December 8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

*       December 25 (Christmas)

*       December 26 (St. Steven’s)

 

The closed sections in the Museums are indicated at the entrance.

Access to the Museums is permitted only to visitors with proper attire.

Entrance tickets to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel
The admission ticket to the Vatican Museums is valid for visiting the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel only on the date of purchase. It is also valid for entrance to the Vatican Historical Museum and Noble Apartment of the Lateran Apostolic Palace (near the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome) during regular opening hours if used within the five consecutive days from the date of purchase (included).
Tickets are not refundable.

 

 
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Vatican reservations

This is how it works with the Vatican reservations:

To skip the line at the Vatican, make your own reservation with the Vatican directly!

Your guide can't make you skip the line, you can do it for yourself, just go on line and paste this into your browser: http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/index.html

Those guides and travel agents who say that if you book with them you'll skip the line will do it the same thing who can do by yourself in 2 minutes without being charged extra money!

Make your reservation and then pick your guide!

 
 
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