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am i being ripped off?

Henderson, Nevada
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am i being ripped off?

i'm organizing my family's trip to rome--we have three kids 12, 10, and 1.5 years old. i thought getting a pre-arranged private tour of the vatican and colosseum might be a good idea because i don't want to waste any time in lines and i don't know that much about the history of the two places. i contacted two different highly rated tour companies on tripadvisor: easyitaly tours and rome tours (aka rome city tours). easyitaly offered private tours for 280euro per tour while rome tours offered 200 per tour--this does not include an underground tour of the colosseum. so i thought, no brainer, i'll take the cheaper of the two. but then i do some further reading and find out from reviews that the same tour company solicits tourists right outside the colosseum and offer tours for 25 euro per person. then i read that there is a way to skip the lines to the colosseum by buying your tickets at some office. now of course, i don't know whether or not the 25 euro per person charge is a truly private tour or if you end up going with whoever else jumps onboard. i'm happy to pay for a private tour, i just don't like getting ripped off. in your opinion, is 200 euro a fair price for a private 3 hour vatican tour or a 3 hour colosseum tour without the underground portion? keep in mind, i still have to buy all my tickets separately in addition to the cost of the tour. if not, can you suggest a better alternative?

thanks!

maryland
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21. Re: am i being ripped off?

We are visiting Rome in late July with our three teen age boys and have booked a private tour of the Vatican with Angel Tours. It is 200Euros (not including Vatican tickets) for our family of 5. I decided to have a private tour of the Vatican instead of the Forum as for us, hearing the stories and history behind the works of art and various rooms in the Vatican and Basilica will make it way more interesting for us. In the Forum we plan to use the Rick Steves audio tour, and in the Colosseum I have booked the underground tour (not private) directly from the Colosseum.

Someone else recommended Context Tours; while we didn't use them in Rome I have also heard great things about them. I have booked a tour of the Uffizi with them for our family when we head to Florence after Rome. They do tour specifically aimed at families/children, so you may want to check them out too.

Enjoy your trip!

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Henderson, Nevada
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22. Re: am i being ripped off?

thank you everyone!

Upland, California
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23. Re: am i being ripped off?

I booked my Vatican Tour on their official website and felt it was very informative, but overwhelming at times.

It was also slightly claustrophobic in certain areas of the museum at times and muggy since the A/C wasn't on yet.

We felt is was worth the price and information as our guide was very knowledgeable.

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24. Re: am i being ripped off?

American school kids only get discounts at the Vatican museums with their school I.D.'s. The sites in Rome give discounts to EU citizens not to Americans.

Donna

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25. Re: am i being ripped off?

Kids under age 18 don't need a school ID at the Vatican Museums. Those under age 6 enter free, and those 6 through 17 (not yet 18) pay half price. You may have to prove their age, though, unless they're obviously under that age. Students from age 18 to 25 (not yet 26) need a school ID to prove that they're students. This has nothing to do with nationality.

…vatican.va/3_EN/…MV_Info_Biglietto.html

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26. Re: am i being ripped off?

That's exactly right. The Vatican museums will allow college I.D.'s to be used as proof of being a student. Those who are obviously younger don't need an I.D. but those who are close to being 18 should bring a school I.D. if they have it in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

My answer was in response to post number 20 where this is said

**Don't forget to bring you 2 children school ID. Children between 6 -18, reduse price ticket for other attractions in Rome.**

and since the OP is American I wanted her to be sure she understands what discounts she's entitled to.

Donna

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27. Re: am i being ripped off?

You mentioned that children get reduced prices. Do you have to be an EU resident?

We are Americans , seniors traveling with an 11 & 12 year old.

Le Marche, Italy
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28. Re: am i being ripped off?

I would just say "either school ID or proof of age".

Le Marche, Italy
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29. Re: am i being ripped off?

At national and city museums in Rome, you have to be a EU citizen to get reduced rates for any reason, including youth or old age. At private museums, such as the Vatican Museums, your citizenship doesn't enter into the question. For the Vatican Museum rules, see post number 25 above.

Edited: 11:49 am, May 03, 2013
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30. Re: am i being ripped off?

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