Subject: Re: Tours in Rome and Florence
Good morning, Ziners - we arrived at the Vatican about 10AM and managed to pick up an in-house tour leaving at 10:30 which was very reasonably priced and hit all the highlights, including the Sistine Chapel. Others in the group we traveled with booked ahead and went from the hotel by bus - it was an after hours tour with only them in the Vatican but it was horrendously expensive compared to what we paid and they didn't appear to see anything more than what we saw.

However, as our time was short and we wanted to go to Florence, we did book a one day tour and really enjoyed it. We were immediately taken in to see Michelangelo's David with no lineup and our guide appeared to be very knowledgeable. We also got some free time in Florence to wander and shop and stopped in Orvieto, a lovely hill town, on the way back for dinner - it was a very enjoyable day and although fairly expensive, we thoroughly enjoyed it. We also did a one day from Rome to Sorrento, Naples and Capri - again it was very enjoyable but expensive.

The downside to organized tours is that there might be something particular where you want to spend more time but you can't because they move pretty quickly (and the expense), but the upside is no lineups.

I would love to return to Italy in the future and have more time to spend and, if I do, I would certainly rent a car and enjoy a more leisurely pace.