Vacations are best without a lot of structure but there are few sights that require advance booking if they are on your itinerary. Reservations will guarantee entrance and/or save you from waiting in line. A little bit of planning is all it takes.
The lines, especially in the morning, are infamous. The entry line can wrap from the museum entrance to St Peter’s Square. The Vatican offers reservations, with or without a tour, online. There is a €4 euro service charge per ticket but it is well worth it. We recommend reservations from March-October and dates near Christmas for all entries before 2pm. There are also many tour companies that offer small group walking tours of the Vatican that are able to skip the general queue. We suggest Walks of Italy and Context Travel.
The Vatican allows guided tours to view underneath the foundation of St. Peter’s Basilica to walk the streets of this ancient necropolis. Regardless of religious affiliation, it is a wonderful education of the history of ancient Rome, St. Peter, and the Church. Entrance is limited to 120 visitors each day, far less than the demand for tickets. Requests must be submitted directly to the Scavi Office.
The only way to see the tunnels of the Colosseum underground, the upper third tier level and the arena floor is by taking a tour. The standard Colosseum ticket does not include these areas. Tickets are available online via the official site CoopCulture (the site can be a bit tricky – select the date and then a list of times including options for Underground tour will be displayed). There are also a handful of tour companies that are authorized to offer tours, including Walks of Italy .
Moon on Colosseum
Special night entry to the Colosseum with guided tour including the VIP areas are available Thursday and Saturday nights from May 2-November 2, 2013. Tickets are not available online for the night admissions but can be booked by phone, +39 06 39967700, English speaking operators available. As with the daytime tours, Walks of Italy is authorized to operate night tours.
Our favorite museum in Rome! Think a visit to an art museum isn’t for you? The Borghese Gallery will change your mind. We highly recommend the audio guide – it will turn anyone in to an art lover. Reservations are required to visit the Borghese Gallery and entry is limited to two hours. Entry times are at 9a, 11a, 1p, 3p and 5p, from Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online or by calling +39 06 328101, English speaking operators available. Advance payment is not required when reserving by phone. Nicolas Inn makes reservations for our guests, free of charge.