Here you can find the Frequently Asked Questions
I heard the Vatican is closed on Sundays; does that mean you'll arrange to bring us elsewhere in Rome since I'm assuming it will be unavailable?
The Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are both closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of the month. The Basilica of St. Peter’s is always open, and you will be able to visit it. If lucky enough, you might even be able to see the Pope since he gives a Blessing on this day. When the Vatican museums are closed, it will be replaced with a visit to the catacombs or something else you would like to see. The tour is very flexible, so we do not follow a strict itinerary; if you have any suggestions we will be happy to satisfy them.
Are the Vatican Museums the only way to get to the Sistine Chapel?
How much are we supposed to tip?
This is a very personal habit. In Italy the tip is not deeply rooted in our culture but it is surely a nice way to show our guides and drivers how much you appreciated their services. The more you like the service, the more you can tip them. If the service is awesome due to their professionalism, punctuality, and personality you are more than free to give them a big tip! In general we’d say 10% good job; 15% very good; 20% super.
What is the difference among a tour guide, a tour escort, a tourist interpreter and our English Speaking drivers?
- Tour guides: very knowledgeable. According to the Italian law, they have to be licensed. That means that they have to get a permit to be tour guides; they must go through very difficult oral and written exams. Tour guides are the only ones that can give explanations (territorially speaking) within the monuments or museums of interest. You can see them, for example, in the Sistine Chapel or in the Colosseum. They are normally the most expensive to be hired per hour.
- Tour Escorts: according to the Italian law, they have to be licensed too, but the exam to get the permit is much easier. They cannot give explanations within the monuments. Their preparation and historical/cultural/art education is very high, but they can only give explanations when in busses or minivans. Their job is more various: they follow groups basically everywhere and they take care of all bureaucratic things (check in/check out/ tickets/ meeting places, etc.).
- Tourist Interpreter: they have a lot of knowledge as well, but their job is 100% based on their language education. They are nothing more than a linguistic mediator. To be a tourist interpreter, they have to certify a certain level of education.
- English Speaking drivers: This is a pretty new figure that operates in this field. Driving Guides are very experienced and safe drivers that show you around with those very fancy and cozy vehicles. They have a deep knowledge of the Italian history and art. Almost all of them are bilingual.
When is the Academy closed in Florence?
It is generally closed on Mondays. It is a pity because the Dadiv (statue by Michelangelo hosted there) is something unbelievable.
Do I get the driver I request?
We wish we could guarantee the driver requested for your tour. You probably read about him or had a friend suggest him to you; and knowing that he will be assigned to you, maybe will let you feel more secure about booking a tour with us. Knowing that there are many things that can change between now and the day of your tour, we will be honest with you and not lie by guaranteeing he will be assigned to you. We schedule the drivers’ tours at the beginning of each week and try our best to assign to each client the driver requested; this happens most of the time, but not always. Please be reassured that all the drivers used are trained to be friendly, informative and safe. Some are more fun, some more informative, but the most important thing is that you will be satisfied with them. Remember, it takes years to get a good reputation, and one unsatisfied client to ruin it. So do not worry, you will have a great time with our tours. If you have a preferred driver(s), when you book your tour, please let us have the list so we can try to best satisfy you.
I booked a transfer from the airport. Where do I meet my driver?
Once you have collected your luggage and cleared customs, head to the information desk of your terminal. This is where you will meet you driver. He will be holding a sign with the name shown on your reservation confirmation. It normally takes about 40 minutes from the moment your flight touches ground until you physically meet you driver.
When do we pay for our tours?
You pay your driver guide for the tour at the end of the journey in Euro funds. You may also pay in advance prior to your tour date and take advantage of when currency exchange is in your favor to pre-pay, in order to save money later on if rates change again.
How do we pay for our tours?
We accept payments in Euro funds given to your driver guide at the end of the journey. If you require an ATM machine to access funds, your driver guide will be more than happy to assist you in locating one. You may also pay in advance prior to your tour date.
How and when do we pay the private tour guide we booked for the Coliseum and Vatican Museums?
Why do we need a tour guide for the Vatican tour?
We recommend you book a private licensed guide to take you through the vast museums to get the most out of your tour in limited time. The Vatican Museums are an entanglement of halls and galleries in which priceless artwork can be easily missed on your own. Your guide knows exactly where to show you the best the museums offers, while providing ongoing commentary about the history, art, and culture, as well as answering all of your questions.
Only accompaniment by a licensed tour guide can give you access to St. Peter’s Basilica easily through the Sistine Chapel. This time saving shortcut is limited to visitors and their guides, not the general public.
When time is of essence on Shore Excursions, your tour guide will make sure you see the best of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica, and bring you back to your driver at the precise time. It’s quite easy to get lost inside the Vatican for visitors; being accompanied by an experienced guide will ensure a timely exit and arrival to your ship.
How do you recommend we dress for our tour and what should we bring with us?
We recommend comfortable shoes and clothing. Since many (if not most) of Italy’s streets are cobble stone, high heels, strappy sandals, and flip flops can be dangerous. During the summer months, we also recommend sunblock, sunglasses, summer hats, and/or summer umbrellas to keep your head cool. Don’t forget important items such as your wallet and ID. Valuable items such as your passport, expensive jewelry that can be easily lost or misplaced, and large sums of money in excess of what is necessary to cover all expenses on the tour, should be kept in a safe inside your hotel.
Do all shops and restaurants in Italy take credit cards or Travelers Cheques?
Major and chain retail stores at shopping centers and outlet malls do, on the average, accept credit cards. Restaurants and small shops usually do not accept credit cards. Travelers Cheques are not widely accepted in Italy, and it’s best to cash them in advance or use ATM machines to access funds.
Can I pre-pay in advance so I don't have to worry about money on the day of the tour?
Certainly, you may pay us in advance; just contact us if you chose to do so. You may also take advantage when currency exchange is in your favor to pre-pay then, to save money later when rates change again.
Can we extend our tour if we enjoy our day and would like to stay a little longer? If so, how much will it cost?
We are more than happy to accommodate your needs, and if you would like to extend your tour, please let your driver guide know. There is an extra fee of €50,00 per hour for each additional hour past the suggested return time.
Do you make a commission from restaurants and private tour guides you recommend?
No we do not. We believe in providing our clients with quality services you enjoy and feel are priced fairly. We never receive commissions or kickbacks from anyone.
How do you select the restaurants you recommend to us?
Before we select restaurants fit for our clients, we visit them ourselves as paying clients, and based on the quality of food, service, ambiance, value, and overall experience, we judge if they are suitable for our clients. Only the best restaurants make it on our list of suggestions for our clients.
Can you accommodate passengers with disabilities?
Please let us know what we can do to make your tour more suitable for your needs. We will do our very best to accommodate you
Are the tour guides you use licensed, local and fluent in English?
Yes, we only use local, professional, licensed guides fluent in English.
Can we change the itinerary during the tour in case we'd like to spend more time in one place and less in another? Or skip some sites all together in favor of spending more time in others?
Whenever possible, you certainly can do that. Your experienced driver guide will make sure you will not run behind schedule and miss important sites, or cause you to arrive late to your ship. We strongly suggest you follow the guidance of your driver to ensure the best possible experience on your tour. Please bear in mind, if you booked your museum tickets online (Vatican Museums, Uffizi Gallery or Accademia Gallery,) you must enter the museums at the time slot you reserved. Failure to arrive for your visit on time may result in your ticket being rendered invalid.
How can we make sure we won't miss our ship during a Shore Excursion?
Our shore excursion tours are carefully planned with serious consideration to distance, time, and traffic conditions to ensure an exciting excursion with prompt return to your ship. We would never steer you in areas of Italy that may potentially place you at risk of missing your ship. Our vehicles are safe and are properly and frequently maintained. In case of a vehicle breakdown, we have a strong network where a replacement vehicle will be provided to you immediately. We take every measure to ensure our clients have the best possible experience on our shore excursions, and implement all possible efforts to eliminate any potential incidents that would cause our clients to arrive late for their ship’s departure.
I sent you an inquiry email and did not receive a response or a confirmation.
We appreciate your business and always respond to all inquiries within 24 hours. If you have not received a reply from us, please check your spam box in case our reply email ended up there. We also check our spam box regularly. Otherwise please send us another inquiry immediately.