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What is the difference between your four Vatican Tours?
Our 5-hour Immersive Vatican experience is our most popular tour and has been extremely successful over the last 17 years. We are the only company offering it. The Vatican Museums make up one of the largest collections of art in the world while Vatican City is the smallest state in the world. Five hours is hardly enough time! As our guides bring the wonders of the Vatican to life, the tour never feels as long as it may sound. We also stop for a break about halfway through the tour inside the Vatican Museums.
Our 3.5-hour Essential experience was created for visitors who simply don't have time for our 5-hour tour because of travel constraints or young children. Our 3.5-hour tour does not include the Pinacoteca (the painting gallery housing the only Da Vinci and Caravaggio in the Museums as well as Raphael's famous Transfiguration). We do not take a break on this shorter tour.
Our 4-hour Early Vatican group tour allows us entrance to the Vatican Museums before the general public so you will explore them without the main crowds which arrive later in the morning. There is no additional break on this tour.
Our 3.5-hour Vatican at Night tour gives you the possibility to visit the museums and Sistine Chapel after hours on Fridays only during the summer months. We do not visit the Basilica of St. Peter’s as it is closed to the public during the evening.
Can you guarantee me a particular guide?
We will be happy to note a request for a particular guide for private tours but cannot guarantee that guide’s availability as it changes from week to week during high season. We will always do our best to accommodate your request. For group tours, we do not accept a specific guide request.
Should I give my guide a tip?
Gratuities are optional but our guides always appreciate something extra for a job well done. In our experience, clients generally tip more or less what they might tip a waiter or waitress in a restaurant.
Will my guide speak English well?
All of our guides are either native English speakers or completely fluent in English. We have an extremely high standard of English proficiency for guides who collaborate with us. We also use headsets for groups of 6 and over to assist you hear your guide over the modern hustle and bustle of the Eternal City.
Do you offer tours in languages other than English?
Our group tours are conducted in English only.
For private tours in German, please go to our German site www.durchdieewigkeit.com.
We can also provide private tours in Dutch, Spanish, French, and Russian. Please contact our Customer Care Team well in advance for availability, the more time you give us, the better chance we have setting a particular bilingual guide aside for your private tour.
What is the policy for children?
There is no charge for children aged 4 and under with the exception of our VIP Underground Colosseum tour where the price is the same for all participants. Children aged 5-18 receive a 30% percent discount on all group tours. Our guides are great at bringing the sights to life for children and keeping their energy and interest levels up. Please note that some ticket booths (like the Vatican Museums) may ask to see your child to obtain the discounted ticket. If the age of the child/youth is questionable, they may ask for ID.
We can pace our private tours to meet the interests and energy levels of children. We will ensure that your guide is someone especially good with children. Please provide us with the ages upon booking.
Why am I being charged for my infant on some tours?
We are obliged to purchase entrance tickets for infants to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill, so we are put to this out-of-pocket expense. It is not possible for us to secure a “free” ticket as the guide and child both have to be physically present to collect the ticket and to avoid waiting in line for this ticket, we purchase an ordinary ticket so we don’t hold up the rest of the group.
For our VIP Underground Colosseum and Catacombs and Moses group tours, our youngest guests take up spaces on a very limited tour which we are not able to sell to other visitors who may wish to join.
Do your tours enter the Colosseum?
Yes, our tours of the ancient city include a visit inside the Colosseum.
Do your tours visit the underground level (hypogeum) of the Colosseum?
Our Immersive and Essential group/private tours of the Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill do not include special entrance to the underground and third levels.
Our VIP Colosseum Underground tour does include a visit to the underground and arena floor when they are open to tourists. When the special sections are closed, the tour visits the Forum, Colosseum, and Palatine Hill.
How many people are in your group tours?
We limit our group tours to 13 participants per guide to allow for an enjoyable experience for all guests. Except for the VIP Colosseum tour, which due to ticket availability takes place in a group of 24. On our Florence group tours, we limit the groups to no more than 8-9 per guide.
Do you use headsets?
We use headsets on all our group tours where the participants are 6 and over. At the Vatican Museums, headsets are mandatory for 6 or more people. On our group tours at the Vatican, we will always use headsets, as well as any private tours that include 6 or more participants. Headsets are also required for groups of 4 and over 4 at the Borghese Gallery.
You can specifically request headsets for your private tour even if you are a smaller group but please notify us of this request upon booking as there is a small extra charge for these.
Can you provide wheelchairs or strollers? What do you suggest for those with difficulty walking in our group?
Wheelchairs and bulky strollers are not permitted on our group tours as we follow a set itinerary with the group and many sites are not well equipped for wheelchairs. If you have a stroller with you, please be sure it is lightweight and can be folded, carried when required.
For private tours, wheelchairs can be provided by the Vatican Museums free of charge, depending on availability – please inform us on booking if this is required. We also have to follow a different route through the museums with wheelchairs. For those in wheelchairs, strollers or with difficulty walking, Rome's historic center can be difficult but certainly not impossible to navigate.
The Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill form part of a large archaeological park with many uneven walkways and steep climbs. On our private tours, we can tailor the route to accommodate wheelchairs - for example, instead descending into the Forum, we can view it from street level which gives a fantastic view of these ancient sites.
Over the seasons, we have run many successful tours for those with limited mobility so please ask our Customer Care Team for assistance.
Can I bring backpacks or large bags on my tours?
At the Vatican, you must check backpacks, large bags, tripods and other oversized items. Please do not bring large bags on your tours. Spending time at the coat check will disrupt the tour for the rest of the group. If you check bags, you will have to return to the coat check after your tour, which finishes at St. Peter’s Basilica (a 15-minute walk from the museum entrance). The Borghese Gallery requires all items be checked before entering the Gallery. This includes umbrellas, purses, cameras, shopping bags, etc.
Security at the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill has been tightened. No large backpacks, suitcases etc., are permitted and there is nowhere to store such items while you tour. We strongly recommend you leave such items at your hotel or on your ship. Furthermore, no glass canisters are permitted and these will be confiscated as you try to enter.
All churches in Rome, Florence, Naples, the Vatican Museums and all other religious sites have a dress code that requires shoulders and knees to be covered. During the hot summer months, ladies can keep a scarf in their bags to drape over their shoulders and men should wear longer shorts.
What happens if a site is unexpectedly closed on the day of scheduled tour?
We communicate directly with sites and do our best to stay up-to-date with any extraordinary closures. However, some sites occasionally close or change their opening hours without advance notice e.g., for a special mass at St. Peter’s Basilica or because of an employee strike at the Colosseum. While we regret these inconveniences, we are not responsible for them. In these cases, your guide will modify the itinerary and give you as complete a tour as possible working with the circumstances given. We do not give refunds on these rare occasions, rather the guide will adjust the itinerary so you will still experience a full and enthralling tour.
I keep emailing but I haven’t received a response. What can I do?
Some email servers see our emails as spam and either send them to a junk folder or reject them outright. If you have sent a request from our website and have not received a response, please contact directly using firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +39 06 700 9336. Also, we may not answer you immediately if the office is closed bearing in mind you might be trying to get hold of us in the middle of the night remembering we are on central European time!
Can Through Eternity bypass the lines or buy tickets in advance?
Yes, on all of our group and private tours, we secure preferred entrance and pre-purchased tickets where necessary in order to avoid the lines.
For the Vatican Museums, Through Eternity is one of the accredited companies that can make reservations in advance for preferred entrance. For the Colosseum, we purchase tickets in advance to avoid the general lines. At the Borghese Gallery, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia in Florence, we always make reservations in advance.
Nobody is permitted to skip security and please remember, the more items you bring to the tour, the more likely the chance we have to spend time checking things into coat checks!
Do you accept credit cards? How can I prepay?
All our tours are paid for upon booking. We accept credit cards for the full cost of the tour, paid through PayPal when booked online.
If you wish to pay via credit card, it is important your reservation is not linked to an email address which is linked directly to a current or past PayPal account so please try a different email if the system tries to force you to pay with a PayPal account.
Does the cost of the tour include the entrance fees?
Our group and private tour prices are inclusive of entrance fees and headsets, where applicable.
Is my payment refundable?
If you can’t attend the tour you booked or you cancel a car service, refunds will be provided based on the cancellation timeline listed below:
1. 15 or more days before the tour day: 90% of the cost will be refunded
2. Between 8 and 14 days before the tour day: 50% of the cost will be refunded.
3. Less than 7 days: No refund.
Is there a student/youth discount?
Students with valid school ID receive a 30% discount off the original price of the group tour (in accordance with the European Union standard, a student is classified as a person between the ages of 18 and 24 with valid school ID); youths between the age of 5 and 17 receive a 30% discount off the entire price of the group tour; children aged 4 and under, accompanied by an adult, tour for free.
To obtain the student discount, valid student ID must be shown. If a student does not have valid student ID, he/she will be charged the full tour price. The difference must be given to the guide on the day of the tour in euro cash.
The prices you see on the website for students have already been discounted.
For large school groups visiting Rome for educational purposes, we can organize specific customized itineraries. We will provide at least a 25% discount off the regular price of these private services. Please ask our Customer Care Team for assistance, advice and a quote.
The discounts we provide for students/children are limited to group tours only. For private tours, the price is based on the number of participants rather than the ages of our guests.
Can my guide meet me at my hotel for private tours?
For private tours, your guide can meet you at your hotel as long as it located in the city center.
Hotels near the airport, in the Aurelia area (behind the Vatican), and the Cavalieri Hilton are too far. Many of these hotels provide shuttles to the city center. Your guide can meet you at the shuttle drop point or you may take a taxi or public transportation to our pre-arranged meeting point near the starting point of the tour. This is to maximize the amount of time spent exploring the sites with your guide. For shorter itineraries of 3 hours or so, we strongly recommend our expert guide close to the first stop on your tour. Again this is to enhance and maximize the time you spend exploring the sites and not in transit from your accommodation.
Is transportation included? Will my guide have transportation when meeting at the hotel?
Transportation is not included in the price of our walking tours. For private tours, your guide will coordinate taxis, walking or public transportation to get from your hotel to the first destination of the tour. Your group is responsible for the cost of taxis or public transportation. Private transportation can be arranged at an additional charge in which case please contact our Customer Care Team directly for a quote.
For our group tours, you meet our guides onsite. A map and directions to the meeting point will be included in your confirmation voucher and you must print and bring the map, photos and directions with you – the guide is not permitted to wait more than a few minutes after the start time for late arrivals and there is no refund for missed tours even if it is due to a general transport strike or bad weather!
What happens if St. Peter's Basilica is closed during my tour?
The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. Because these are often last minute for security reasons, we may not have time to notify our guests but instead the full tour will be spent exploring other parts of the Museums and Sistine Chapel. We do not provide refunds for unexpected closures of St. Peter's Basilica and your guide will give you a great introduction to the Basilica, should you wish to return in your own time during your stay in Rome.
If we are late for a tour, will you wait for us?
We give clients a grace period of 5 minutes on group tours since we understand that navigating an unfamiliar city can be difficult. Beyond this, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to meet up with the group as it is unfair to expect the other clients to wait. It is always a good idea to call us if you know you are going to be late so we can notify the guide. As a courtesy to our visitors, the guides turn off their phones after the start of the tour and will therefore be unreachable. We recommend giving yourself extra time to make sure that you arrive at the meeting point before the start time of the tour.
For private tours, your guide will wait for you for 20 minutes. After this time, if we have not heard from you, we will assume that you are not coming and your tour will be cancelled. Please notify us if you do not wish to take your scheduled tour so we may accommodate other visitors who would like to explore with us.
Can we split the price of a private tour with other couples?
We keep private tours exclusive to one booking party and do not combine separate reservations to form small groups. If you are interested in less expensive options, you can book yourselves onto one of our group tours.
Are your private tours limited to 2 people since the prices are quoted for up to 2?
The private tour prices listed are base prices for up to 2 people. There will be a small charge for each additional person. During the online booking process, you will be asked to enter the number of people in your party. Once we receive the request, we will adjust the total cost for your party.
Can I switch the date of my private tour?
For private tours, we purchase your requisite entrance tickets as far in advance as possible, as soon as you pay for your tour with us. We always try to accommodate any changes you request but because of limitations in guide and ticket availability during the busy high season, we cannot guarantee your request can be granted. If we manage to move the date and secure both a guide and new tickets, we will ask you to reimburse us for the tickets we purchased for you on the cancelled date.