Frequently Asked Questions
We are asked many questions or give the same advice often. To save some time for everyone, we are compiling a list to help speed things along. We’ve started our list and are continuing to add to it. If your question hasn’t been answered already, let us know so that we can include it.
If you’ve been searching for an answer on the internet about traveling in Italy that maybe we haven’t been asked yet, send us a message with your question and perhaps we can help and include it on our list.
Are tickets included in the tour fee? No, not unless stated in your quote that certain venues are included.
Do you purchase the tickets in advance to “skip the line” or do we need to do this ourselves? Yes, where necessary and possible. This typically includes the Vatican and Colosseum in Rome and the museums in Florence such as the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Galleria degli Uffizi. In Pompeii our guide will purchase the tickets in advance. However, if there are children who qualify for the free entrance (this also applies at the Colosseum) then the staff needs to verify the children’s ages before issuing the tickets in order to receive the free benefit. At Pompeii our guides have a priority entrance line they will be able to use to minimize the wait to receive the free children’s tickets.
Is the tour fee per person or for the group? Most tours are a flat rate for the group with the tickets (if required) paid separately. Some group tours (like the Lemon Tour) and activities are usually priced per person.
On the Colosseum tour, can we see the Underground and Belvedere sections? These sections are relatively new to visits by the public and is not included in the general admittance tickets. The management of the Colosseum has been frequently changing the process for purchasing these add-on tickets to the public in various ways through online sales for their group tours. However, the Underground section seems to be the most requested of these tours and the available tickets are never available to small independent tour operators such as ours. If this is an important must-see experience for you, check with Walks of Italy who is one of the biggest tour operators in Rome and has this tour available in larger groups.
Can you wear shorts into the Vatican? The Vatican museums does not have a strict dress code, but the church does. When you are entering the Sistine Chapel (included in your Vatican museum visit) you are officially in the church and respect of the dress code is appreciated. You can wear shorts as long as they reach your knees. Additionally, your shoulders also need to be covered (this means no tank tops for anyone). Women can usually resolve this easily by bringing with them a lightweight scarf in the hot summer months to cover themselves just as they are entering the church. Guys, you just need to wear long shorts and a T-shirt and you’ll be okay. Small children are usually granted lenience to this dress code. Note: This dress code applies to all Catholic churches in Italy.
Will we see the bodies from Pompeii? In a few areas around the ruins of Pompeii it is possible to see displays of the plaster casts made from the vacant spaces where the decomposed bodies once laid and left a hollow space that was later filled with plaster by archeologists during early excavations. If you are sensitive to this, please tell your guide ahead of time if you wish to avoid see these displays.
Do you have recommendations on where to stay? As everyone has different budgets and personal needs, it’s hard to give specific advice, but I have made a list of some places where I’ve stayed and enjoyed or have friends who manages B&Bs or other similar accommodations. On this list I also have a close friend who is a travel agent and she’s happy to help you find the perfect solution for your trip as well as provide assistance with flights, car rentals, etc.