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“Vatican Museums and St. Peter's - In-depth Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Through Eternity Cultural Association

Through Eternity Cultural Association
Via Astura 2, 00183 Rome, Italy
+39 06 700 9336
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Ranked #28 of 888 Activities in Rome
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Owner description: Through Eternity is a tour company in Italy that provides insightful guidance and commentary on historical and artistic sights, both well known and off the beaten track. The company has been providing exceptionally high quality cultural tourism since 1999. Our guides are all highly educated, fluent English-speaking professionals who bring history alive and provide deep cultural context. The company provides tours and excursions in Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Naples, Siena, Tivoli and San Gimigano. All Through Eternity's back-office staff are native English speakers.
Bay Area, CA
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Vatican Museums and St. Peter's - In-depth Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Cinzia gave us a tour of the Vatican Museums and St Peter's. She was very knowledgeable and gave plenty of background which allowed me to understand and enjoy Religious Art in a way I hadn't been able to before.

Note that this is an "in-depth" tour and that there is a huge amount to see in the Vatican Museums. The tour requires both walking stamina and intellectual stamina. Because there is so much to see, the tour still feels rushed even with the allotted time of "5h plus breaks".

Though not a criticism of the tour, be prepared for huge crowds of (other) tourists and security checks to enter the Museums.

Visited April 2013
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Through_Eternity, Manager at Through Eternity Cultural Association, responded to this review, May 4, 2013
Dear Francis T,

We're so happy to hear that you enjoyed your In-Depth Vatican tour with Cinzia. All of our guides are wonderful at giving our clients the proper background and understanding to see these amazing works of art from a new perspective. It makes such a difference being able to understand the symbolism and the technique that went into creating the paintings and we're delighted that Cinzia's explanations helped you appreciate these works in a new way.

You're quite right that the Vatican is home to a truly enormous collection of art and no tour could ever begin to cover it completely. That's why Through Eternity is one of only a handful of companies in the city that provides a tour as long as five hours. We want to be able to treat the art and history lovers who tour with us to a tour that goes as in-depth as possible and gives extensive explanations on the art, artists, and other important figures who have shaped the Vatican.

While the crowds and security checks cannot be helped, we're glad to hear that they did not take away from your overall experience with us.

Thank you so much for taking the time to submit a review to TripAdvisor. We hope that if you're in Italy in the near future that you chose to return to Through Eternity. It would be our pleasure to show you the sites and sounds of other cities such as Florence, Naples, and Pompeii.

Sincerely,
The Customer Care Team
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Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Ancient City at Twilight with Mario, Vatican City and Roman Forum/Colisseum with Cinzia - great experience!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We had three tours (April 2013):

1. Ancient city at Twilight where Mario was our guide.

2. Roman Forum and Coliseum – with Cinzia

3. Vatican city with Cinzia again.


We had the greatest experience with both guides. I did not expect such excellent service! Knowledge, timing, understanding, etc….. At the end of every tour we were surprised that time passed (and we had not short tours, but more than five hours tours!).

Thanks to Mario – we could finish and have such fun during our late tour (at twilight). One of our daughters is seven years old and you can imagine what guide needs to do to keep all of us entertained (even my young daughter)! He combined the history, his imagination, ability to act and his family history together - everything was in great proportion! ….. My family gives him 5 out of 5! Thanks Mario!

Cinzia – what can you say if after almost six hours of walking, talking, questioning, listening – you still want to see and know more? She is great! Her explanations were in great depth, but reasonably short that we could keep up with all her knowledge (it was as she could feel the level of our knowledge). She was willing to answer all our questions, was following our interests. Also, it worth of mentioning how easily she navigated all our group during Vatican City tour (Vatican was packed with people....) When we found out that she will be our guide on the next day – all my family was very happy. Definitely, 5 out of 5.

Two guides – no complains. Thank you for such a good service!!!! Definitely will use you sight next time! (USO knows where to find good service!)

Kseniya Levochkina

Visited April 2013
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Through_Eternity, Manager at Through Eternity Cultural Association, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Dear Kseniya Levochkina,

Reading feedback like yours is why we're in this business. We're could not be happier that your whole family had such wonderful experiences with Mario and Cinzia. All of our guides work very hard to craft tours that are both appropriate for children but educational and high brow enough for adults. Plus, when you have guides who combine extensive knowledge with great passion it makes for an entertaining tour for all involved. The time truly does fly by.

Rome can be a very overwhelming place to visit and it makes such a difference in the customer experience when the guides are confident and can navigate the sites effortlessly. At Through Eternity we hold all of our employees from the guides to the office staff to the highest levels of customer service and we're so happy that you felt taken care of while you toured with us. The guides really go the extra mile to make connections with their clients, answer even the most puzzling of questions, and to send customers home with incredible memories.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. The opinions of our customers are of the utmost importance to us, and we appreciate your candidness. Germany is not so far from Italy, so if you find yourself here again, please don't hesitate to contact us. We also offer tours in Florence, Pompeii and Naples, and we would be more than happy to share our passion for those cities as well.

Sincerely,
The Customer Care Team
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Adelaide
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Not quite perfect, but very good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

I did four tours with Through Eternity, including their longer Vatican and Ancient Rome itineraries.

Red Caravaggio: This was with Michael. It was a fantastic three hours. It ran as a private tour, as there were no other sign ups for the day. Michael was brilliant, conversational and a true gentleman. A wealth of information. This is a great itinerary- detailed and interesting. The Barberini Palace, and a San Luigi Dei Francesi are real highlights. I highly recommend it.

It was a 5/5

Underground Rome: This was with Gabriel. The sights are interesting, and a little off the beaten track. It was a very good tour, Gabriel gives depth to the very broad range of topics covered in the tour. I recommend it.

It was a 4.5/5

Nero’s Rome Semi-Private: This was with Caterina. This was a fantastic tour with four other people. The level of detail was very well judged for the group, and I learnt a lot. The access to the fourth tier and underground of the Coliseum is very memorable. Caterina was a charming guide. I highly recommend this tour.

It was a 5/5

Vatican Semi Private, early access: This was with John. It was easily the weakest of my tours with Through Eternity. The group was myself and another couple. The first half was very odd, and in spite of the fact that John had thirty minutes to discuss in detail the Sistine Chapel while we waited for the museum to open, he chose to spend that time reiterating over and over again how lucky we were to be getting into the Vatican early. Indeed, while he was buying tickets, myself and the other couple expressed concern that he was talking at us constantly, and repeating everything he said as if we hadn't understood.

He did not establish any of our interests until well into the tour, and seemed surprised at the fact the group had rudimentary knowledge of some of the art history. Whenever he said anything about religion, he began with an exasperating spiel about not wanting to say anything judgemental or offensive to us.

By our break half way through the tour, following the Sistine Chapel and Pinacoteca, we were very concerned.

Thankfully the second half of the tour was so different and so good. John was relaxed, and seemed to have realized our interest. Instead of talking at us, he engaged with us. Our time in the Raphael Rooms, and statuary was fantastic, and he altered the itinerary according to the obvious interest of the other couple in the more ancient art, and mine with Renaissance. He was very helpful at getting us off to our afternoon activities.

It was a very odd tour, half very average and half superb. Overall it was certainly good, but I wonder what was wrong in the first half.

It was a 3.5/5 (though the second half was a 5/5)

I would recommend Through Eternity for people with little background knowledge on art history but enthusiasm to learn. I think people with more experience, and repeat visitors (particularly to the Vatican) should consider looking elsewhere. Overall, my experience was that they offer a very good product.

Visited April 2013
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Through_Eternity, Manager at Through Eternity Cultural Association, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Dear John,

Thank you so much for taking the time to review our tours on TripAdvisor. This is such an important forum for people to offer advice and recommendations to fellow travellers openly and honestly. The critique of our customers is of the utmost importance to us and we appreciate your effort and candidness. Your comments have been noted and will be addressed in due course.

We're so happy that we were able to open up the Red Caravaggio tour for you at the last minute. Normally this group tour runs with 13 people, so we are glad to learn that you were able to take advantage of your one-on-one time with Michael and really delve into a great deal of detail about this renegade artist. One of the great aspects about this tour is that, because Caravaggio's works are spread out across the city, we get to discover not only an incredible artist, but also explore a great deal of central Rome. We're delighted that Michael made this tour so memorable for you. Given how much you enjoyed having a personalized tour, perhaps your passion for detail would be better suited to the services a private tour can provide.

Through Eternity happily welcomes first time visitors to Rome because we enjoy opening people's eyes to the wonders of the city. It is our goal to be the spark that ignites an interest in Rome in our clients and we also look forward to the day that our former customers can return to us seeking a deeper and more detailed experience. We work very hard to provide much more than a surface level tour for all of our clients and to give a tour that stays with you long after you've returned home.

It is also a joy when clients come to us prepared with background knowledge of Roman history or with specialized interests in particular historical figures or events. Guides relish the opportunity to explore topics that they don't normally have the chance to address with new visitors. Because they all have extensive backgrounds in History, Archeology, Art History, and Classics they can go into a great deal of detail and really indulge their passion and the client's interest in these subject.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please let us know when you'll be returning to Italy again. Rome contains more treasures than one could see in a lifetime and we would love to have the opportunity to show you some of the lesser known areas of the city give you an in-depth look at another part of Rome's culture. Perhaps next time we could also show you the wonders of Florence, Naples, or Pompeii.

Sincerely,
The Customer Care Team
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Rome, Italy
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“The Sistine Chapel Tour with Through Eternity Tours Italy: “Stendhall Syndrome reaction”!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

The Sistine Chapel Tour with Through Eternity Tours Italy: speechless VIP and exclusive experience!
Being Italian, and most of all Roman, I have already visited Vatican Museum few times in my life. However, disgracefully, every time my visit ended with a “bitter taste” because of the crowd, the noise, the busyness - especially of the Chapel – factors that never gave me the opportunity of fully enjoying the visit. For those who have already been to the Louvre, is a bit like waiting for hours to see the Mona Lisa and having to settle for a quick and fleeting glance...
Finally, thanks to Through Eternity Tours Italy, few days ago I lived an once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Sistine Chapel!
First of all, thanks their extraordinary organization we skipped the long lines to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
Moreover, the tour was organized in a small group which made it easy to follow and to hear, and gave me the opportunity of having a direct contact with Luca - our super-guide - who replied to all my questions and made our exploration of the Vatican museum a unique experience.
And top of the pop: the tour culminated with a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel.
How difficult to explain, I might describe the psychological and emotional reaction to the extraordinary amount of art and perfection of the Chapel in what is actually defined “Stendhall Syndrome reaction”!
Side effects: enthusiasm and addiction to Through Eternity Tours Italy!
Thanks for everything!

Visited April 2013
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Through_Eternity, Manager at Through Eternity Cultural Association, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Dear Vittoria S,

We could not be happier that you had such a profound experience during your Exclusive Sistine Chapel tour. Michelangelo's masterpiece is deeply affecting even with the typical crowds, so to to able to spend time alone in the Chapel does truly inspire the Stendhal Effect. Having 30 minutes with just your small party in the Chapel is a true luxury and Through Eternity is one of only a few companies that can offer this exclusive access.

We're also very glad to hear that Luca was able to really bring alive the other parts of the Museums for you. We're very lucky to work with such amazing guides who are able to illuminate different aspects of these amazing artworks, even for someone like yourself who grew up here and knows the museums well. There is always something new to learn from the works in the Vatican Museums and all of our guides work very hard to impart that information with passion, enthusiasm and expertise.

Thank you so much for making the effort to review us on TripAdvisor. Should you find yourself visiting Florence, Naples or Pompeii in the future, please remember us and we would love to give you an equally thrilling experience in those cities.

All the best,
The Customer Care Team
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Victoria, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Underground Rome, Ancient City In-Depth, and Vatican Museums In-Depth Tours”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We happily decided to book several tours in Rome with Through Eternity after we saw them on Rick Steves' Europe website. Robert was our guide for the Underground Rome tour and he was excellent and punctual. He introduced us to his scholarly background and it was a wonderful way of informing us of his point of view. He was illuminating and also explained the historical context for each site in a very accessible way. Moreover, he was charismatic and thoughtful about the architectural integrity of each place visited. He was also resourceful in finding alternative sites (when the original sites were unavailable for touring). Robert was a great tour guide and managed to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

The second tour I had was The Ancient City In-Depth Experience which was guided by Giovanni. As a tour guide, I found him relaxed, yet professional with an engaging attitude. It was fantastic that he went in-depth with the archaeological side of the sites and provided the necessary cultural context for each place. Furthermore, I was impressed that he showed great patience in answering the vast amount of questions he received. He was also mindful of the physical abilities of the group (e.g. allotted appropriate resting times for younger and older group members). Additionally, he was highly informative about the historical and geological aspects of sites and I found this really resonated with my interests.

The Vatican Museums and Saint Peter's Basilica tour was guided by Cinzia and she was very prompt, enthusiastic and relatable. We loved the depth her art history background brought to the tour and were impressed how easily she manoeuvred our group in crowded areas of The Vatican. In addition, her historical knowledge in general was quite extensive and aided in understanding the nuances of each art piece (as well as the related time periods). The tour was shortened slightly at the end due to St. Peter's Basilica being partially closed for Easter celebrations, but that was an unforeseeable circumstance.

We were so pleased with the aforementioned tours that we re-booked The Ancient City In-Depth Experience. As mentioned above, our guide Cinzia was highly professional and showed even more of the breadth of her knowledge at these ancient sites. It was great that she managed to keep the group upbeat despite the horribly rainy weather. Unfortunately, the Senate was closed, so we didn't get a chance to see and explore the interior of it. We were very impressed with Through Eternity in general, particularly for providing a bonus aspect of this tour at no extra charge (the underground and third tier levels of Colosseum). Cinzia covered a lot of informational background for the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill in a short amount of time (this part of the tour was modified to allow for the bonus tour at the Colosseum).

Each of our guides from Through Eternity were charming, highly educated, and thought-provoking. We would not hesitate to recommend them to others as well as take tours from them again in the future.

Visited March 2013
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Through_Eternity, Manager at Through Eternity Cultural Association, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Dear Miin Niibi,

We're so happy that you enjoyed the complimentary visit to the underground and third tier of the Colosseum. Occasionally we have the opportunity to surprise our clients with special upgrades for their tours and this always makes for such a memorable experience. Normally this unique access the underground and third tier is reserved for our private and semi-private Nero's Rome tour so we were very excited that we were able to share this exclusive privilege with our group tour clients.

We are absolutely delighted that you had such wonderful experiences on your 4 tours with Robert, Giovanni, and Cinzia. At Through Eternity we are particularly fortunate to work with the best guides in the city. They have been selected not only for their extensive knowledge of the city's art and history, but also for their passion, and desire to impart that enthusiasm to our clients.

The guides work very hard at presenting the history of the sites in a way that is both in-depth but also approachable for visitors who don't have a background in these subjects. And while the guides are very used to walking around the sites all day, they understand that the tours can be rigorous for some of our visitors and always try to be considerate of the clients' needs.

Please come back to Through Eternity the next time you're in Italy. We would love to show you other parts of the Eternal City, as well as the beauty of Florence, Pompeii, and Naples.

Sincerely,
The Customer Care Team
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