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Do I need to book any tickets/tours/trains in advance for Rome or Pompeii?

15 replies

MrsFogi · 13/10/2019 20:01

We're going to Italy for half term - staying in Sorrento for 3 days and Rome for 5 days. I have never been to Italy. Do we need to book tickets for any of the main attractions in advance or book train tickets between Sorrento and Rome. Or can we just turn up for everything??

Any practical information at all much appreciated - clearly I am completely clueless Grin. In particular can anyone give me the low down on trains/metros - is there the equivalent of books of tickets/day passes in Rome (or indeed should we just walk everywhere)? Also what sort of clothing should we be wearing at the end of October/beginning of November?

OP posts:
fatulousatforty · 13/10/2019 21:12

I went to Rome at the end of October 2 years ago and it was 25 degrees

We didn't need to use the metro as we were quite central, so we walked everywhere.
The only thing we pre booked was the Vatican tour.
We just walked around and went were we fancied.

LIZS · 13/10/2019 21:17

Definitely Vatican museum (book an entry time direct) so you can skip the lines, guided tours of ruins and Colosseum need pre booking but general entry is usually fine. Coop is the official website.

mummymeister · 14/10/2019 11:59

If you have time go to Ercolano as well as pompeii. its smaller, more manageable and gives a much better understanding of what you are seeing in Pompeii in my opinion. there is also a villa called Popeas villa (Ithink) near Ercolano and that was definately worth it as well. allow a whole day for Pompeii and buy tickets in advance to miss the queues. also if you have student age kids take ID to get the best prices. vatican tour definitely pre-book. if you can get out of rome and go to Ostia its a short train journey and again really worth it. We also booked a tour of coliseum with a guide which was good as it explained a lot of the stuff that we would have missed had we not booked this and done it first. also some of the walking tours are good for getting a sense of what you are seeing and putting it into context. Buy the lonely planet guides for each place you are going. completely invaluable in my opinion.

Ginfordinner · 14/10/2019 17:43

It was about 21 degrees at the end of October when we went to Rome. We also had a day of rain. I found jeans and T-shirt with a thin jumper was ideal, plus a kagoule.

Most importantly take comfortable shoes. You will walk miles. Rome is full of tourists dressed for sightseeing, so I never noticed anyone dressing particularly stylishly. They dressed for comfort.

I agree that you need to prebook the Vatican, although, out of all the sightseeing we did I enjoyed it the least. It was very crowded, and you could only walk through the galleries at snail's pace. By the time we got to the Sistine Chapel it was very drab and underwhelming in comparison.

Palatine Hill and the Pantheon were the best places to visit IMO, also the Colosseum.

MrsFogi · 14/10/2019 23:18

Thanks for all the replies! I'll work through these tomorrow and get booking!

OP posts:
SJane48S · 15/10/2019 13:48

Book your train travel in advance as it’s a lot cheaper than on the day travel and you avoid train station queues. There are both high speed and stopping trains between Naples and Rome & a cost difference. Go to Trenitalia’s website and book - the tickets will be emailed you & you can either keep on your phone or print off. Some Italian trains have compartments and not huge luggage racks over your head. If you have a train with compartments, you can’t have the suitcases in with you, they have to stay in the passageway so we take backpacks with wheels so they can go over our heads on the racks. If you buy the more expensive on the day tickets, you need to validate them (it’s a stamping machine) before you get on the train. Inspectors check tickets on the train - tickets booked in advance from the website don’t need validating but if you haven’t validated an on the day purchase you can get fined.

When you arrive in Rome, if your hotel isn’t that far away, walk as the taxi drivers outside the train station regularly rip people off. The metro is good and easy to use but stops running Sun-Thurs at 11.30pm.

As above , wear comfortable shoes. In Rome, avoid restaurants in big tourist spots like the Piazza Navone as they serve bog standard stuff at really high prices. There are shuttle buses to both airports from central Rome you can book in advance. Take a travel iron as well as a lot of hotels in Italy won’t supply irons thanks to fire regs.

Have a great time!

SJane48S · 15/10/2019 13:49

PS - you probably know this but the train journey from Sorrento to Rome involves a change in Naples!

Sgtmajormummy · 15/10/2019 13:53

Here’s a recent thread about Rome, especially the things you need to

TheCanterburyWhales · 15/10/2019 13:56

Book everything in advance. The 1st and 2nd of November are public holidays and fall over a weekend this year so schools will probably add another day to make a longer weekend.
Weather will be changeable and unpredictable. Temps have, in the past week, dropped 15 degrees and then risen again.
Agree with the walking shoes Haven't been to Rome for yonks but we walked everywhere.
There are fab fast trains now between Rome and Naples, very modern and sleek usually I think you can book them also on the Trainline website like you can Spanish trains They will def be cheaper booked in advance, though not as much as usual because it's a holiday week

Writersblock2 · 20/10/2019 09:25

Definitely book in advance. And book early entrance for things like the Vatican museum or Sistine. You greatly reduce your chances of finding it underwhelming if you’re booking sensibly to avoid the crowds!

Daddylonglegs1965 · 21/10/2019 08:58

Book Vatican and Colloseum tickets in advance. Also if your visit allows allow some down time our kids loved a morning in Borghese park we hired the electric bike/like a pedals things and walked to a few attractions from there.

tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz · 21/10/2019 09:16

Hi OP Grin We've just got home after a week in Rome. It was fabulous.

DH and I have been before so we we didn't do the Sistine Chapel but we did pay (€8 each, cash only and no concessions) to go up into the Basillica Dome. We queued for about an hour in total but that did involve a long queue for the ladies once we'd got in. On the way out you come straight into the Basillica itself. Prepare for your jaw to hit the floor. It's so beautiful.

We didn't advance buy Collosium tickets instead I took advice from others here and got to the Pallatine/Forum entrance for 8.30 and literally queued for 5 minutes to get our combined tickets. I was stressing on the way that we either wouldn't find this elusive entrance or we'd be queuing for hours (I tried countless times before we travelled to use the co-op culture site but had problems. It was v easy to find though ... walk the main road from the Vittorio Emmanuel monument towards the Collosium and it's on your right about half way down. Cost €12 each.

We were given a timed entry for the Collosium which was in 15 minutes so legged in straight there, walked straight in to the bag check point past those waiting to collect or pay for tickets and pretty much got in immediately Confused It was quite unexpected! Then we could take our time and do the Forum and Pallatine Hill. We saw some enormous rabbits there which fascinated DD.

And it was roasting there last week, I wore the same floaty dress a few days running coz I'd only packed winter clothes.

Agree with pp recommendation of that other thread. MN is so brilliant for this kind of thing!

tellmewhenthespaceshiplandscoz · 21/10/2019 09:23

If the pope is in residence on a Wednesday he does his mass/audience so the Piazza in front of St Peters is closed as is the Basillica itself for the morning. We didn't realise until we wandered up last Wednesday morning to see an enormous queue. Not a problem though as we were staying close by so came back the following morning. Although that was supposed to be the one morning we would have a lie in Confused. Ah well!

We weren't fussed about the mass especially as at 8.30 people were already queuing for a 10.30 start however if that's your thing I think it's free entry?

TheCanterburyWhales · 21/10/2019 09:32

He does his mass every Wednesday bar special occasions.

Writersblock2 · 21/10/2019 14:57

If you want to attend a Papal you have to get your tickets in advance (Yes, they are free but very limited and you need to collect a week prior. It’s much easier paying a third party to do this). We’ve gone to this twice (once indoors and once out) even though we are not religious. Absolutely worth it for the spectacle. It’s like being at a rock concert. The second time we were right at the front and got some brilliant close-up photos.

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