Moira B

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Moira B

Moira B

United Kingdom

May242012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Vatican in One Day

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our guide for the vatican museum was Tiffany who was excellent, very knowledgable and able to make the tour interesting by relating background stories and pointing out various features. Tiffany had been my vatican guide when I last visited Rome over 2 years ago and was just as enthusiastic this time. The afternoon trip was to basillicas I had not visited before, and we went by coach as they were a bit further away. We visited St Pauls outside the walls which was so peaceful after the bustle of St Peters, St John Lateran, a really beautiful church, and saw the place of the holy steps, which was almost hidden away, but really should not be missed. The last stop, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore was quite different, a busy working church with lots of worshippers coming and going, and so beautiful. We were lucky to have Rebecca leading our group. She was clearly very knowledgable and interested in the places we visited and was able to bring the history to life. She was a real pleasure to be wtih. Very worthwhile tour.

May232012

Tour/Activity

Papal Audience Tickets and Presentation

Rome, Italy

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

This was not quite what I expected it to be, as I assumed we would have reserved seats so would avoid the scrum of "bagging"seats. What really happens is that the tour company gets the tickets on your behalf for the weekly papal audience, allowing you to enter the roped off seated areas between the bottom of St Peter's steps and the obelisk. We met our guide at 7.45 and were among the first in line to go through the security checkpoint. What happens then is that the guide tries to get through ahead of the group and races to the front of the compound to claim seats for all those in the party. What happened was there was a bit jossling in the queue and we were split up going through security and lost sight of our guide who had raced ahead. We ran as fast as we could to the front and eventually found her but by then our group was scattered, although all of us were within the first 3 rows.The guide did the best she could within these contraints and managed to give us an interesting background and history talk which helped the time pass (two and a half hours). It would have been better if we knew beforehand how it worked so the fastest of our party could have gone ahead and helped the guide claim the seats, and the same with other groups. There were just too many people (maybe 12) for her to claim seats for when other groups were doing the same. But credit to the guide, she did very well in the circumstances. Most useful information was the location of the bathrooms when the best time to go was!

May232012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Very intesting trip to the catacombs and especially the Capucchin monks chapels with their displays made of bones from their departed brothers. Really worth the visit. The guides were very good and added a lot of fascinating and relevant information, but it was sometimes spoiled by the manner of delivery. Maybe it was just me but I felt that I was on a school trip for 10 years olds at times.

May222012

Tour/Activity

Ancient Rome Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The day was spoiled a bit by really heavy rain which left us jumping from stone to stone in the muddy parts of the forum. Our guide Priscillas was excellent, amazing knowledge and able to make the tour interesting even in relentless rain. Best bit was the Pantheon, there it is with a huge circle in the roof open to the elements, hours of constant heavy rain, and the floor was hardly wet. The rain drains away via holes in the marble floor and there is only a small area that is cordoned off. This is a building 2000 years old and a marvel of engineering. Nicely balanced by the Trevi fountain and the more recent landmarks, a really worthwhile tour, even in the rain.

May212012

Tour/Activity

Private Arrival Transfer: Rome Ciampino Airport to Hotel

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The driver waiting for us at arrivals, holding up a board with our name. Very efficient, comfortable car, fast transfer, very friendly driver. Good price, could not have asked for more.

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