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Jul212012

Tour/Activity

Naples City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Naples, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is great value for the money. Naples is a big, beautiful city and this tour takes you all ove it. You need to allow app. 3.5 hours just to complete the tour as there are 3 different lines to ride on. if you don't have time for all 3, try for sure to do the line that takes you along the seaside as the views are truly spectacular.

Jul152012

Tour/Activity

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Venice, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I enjoyed this tour a lot, especially the glass-blowing demontration on Murano and the historical overview provided by th tour guide. Frankly, though, if you have a pass for the Vaporetto you can get to all 3 islands (Muran - famous for glass, Burano - famous for lace, and Torcello) on your own. I went back myself the next day to Murano and realized that we had not even laid eyes on the main shopping street that runs at right angles to the harbour area that we had been in. There are so many more places to shop for exquisite glass products like jewellery than we had any idea about. I would recommend that Viator make this a full-day tour with a 3-hour stop in Murano so that people have time to shop and eat. As it was, I bought I sandwich at Burano and was glad I had done so as there was no stop anywhere for food. It would be helpful if the tour guide would tell us that we need to find snacks wherever we can as there is no time set aside for this. But, all that said, I think most of us enjoy a tour that takes us out on the water and gives us a different visual perspective on a city as beautiful as Venice.

Jul142012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Venice in One Day Including Boat Tour

Venice, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

This was my most disappointing Viator tour, and I had quite a few tours with them. The guide did not seem as enthusiastic as the other guides, and it turned out that "skip the line" meant literally that as we skipped just one line - the one for St. Mark's cathedral. This tour did not include the Doge's Palace and that was a big disappointment for me. The walking tour of Venice was also not great and I don't know that this can be helped as the streets are narrow and crowded and it was very hot. The highlight of this tour was seeing the beautiful cathedral and then doing the boat tour in the afternoon - that part was fantastic, winding through canals and seeing Venice from that angle. It made up for the morning - except for missing the Doge's Palace.

Jul092012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a good tour and well worth the money not to stand in line for hours or be confused trying to figure out what you're seeing while being jostled by crowds. The Vatican Museums are amazing, as is the Sistine Chapel and St.. Peter's Baslica with the Pieta. The commentary by our tour guide was useful and helped to ensure that we understood what we were seeing and that we didn't miss anything significant. I found it a bit confusing to re-connect with my group in the Sistine Chapel which is really very crowded but eventually that got sorted out. Otherwise there were no glitches and our guide did a wonderful job of keeping us all together and preparing us for the different venues were were about to enter. I definitely recommend this one!

Jul082012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and Colosseum Half-Day Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I had the best tour guide for this exhausting trip! She was wonderfully knowledgeable and passionate about Rome's history. As with other main tourist sights in Rome, the crowds can be overwhelming so it is definitely worth it to pay for a tour. That way you see all the important things and you understand and appreciate what you are seeing. You also keep going and cover ground you might decide to skip because of heat and tiredness if you were on your own, but that would likely regret skipping later on. I can't say enough good things about this tour and all that it covers, so let me say this: if you can do only one tour in Rome, do this one! Okay, do this and the Vatican tour - but not in one day. Frankly though, if I had to choose, I'd choose the Ancient Rome tour. It gives you an appreciation of the scope and magnificence of the Roman Empire. By the way, take a small water bottle with you. There will be several opportunities to refill it with mineral water coming straight from the source as you walk around.

Jul072012

Tour/Activity

Rome Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This is good value and fun. I paid for the boat cruise as well and enjoyed that a lot too. I had a 48-hour pass but don't think I needed it. Getting to some of my tours I started using the subway system and found it very easy. I got the 48-hour pass thinking I'd avoid the subway use use the hop-on-hop-off as transit, but it's way too slow and meandering for that.

Jul062012

Tour/Activity

Panoramic Rome by Night Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This was a great introduction to Rome which is so beautiful at night. We stopped for a walk down to the Trevi Fountain at dusk, and again outside the Vatican where we could see the Sistine Chapel against the night sky. Very beautiful! Some folks went on to dinner and they dined very late - they got dropped off for dinner at 10 pm. Re: pick up and drop off, wait inside the lobby of your hotel and let the reception desk know you're waiting. The tour company may send people to the hotel to escort you to the bus nearby. (I was waiting outside and nearly got left behind because they were looking for me inside.) The bus will drop you at your hotel afterward so no need to worry about finding your way back from the pick up spot again.

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