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Romeing Tours Review – Vatican City

Our Vatican City Romeing Tours Review. Make sure you check them out next time you are in Rome because the sandwich alone is worth it!

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St Peters Basilica, Romeing Tours

What do Zac Effron, the Pope, women pretending to be men and ancient history all have in common? Not a lot you might reply. Unless of course you had just been on a Romeing Tour through the streets of Rome and inside the holiest of holy’s, the Vatican City. This is our Romeing ours review of the Vatican City.

Due to our total ignorance and lack of historical knowledge of the Vatican City we decided that we really should take a tour to appreciate the wonders of the smallest country in the world. It’s even located within the city limits of Rome. Don’t bother with your passport though as you won’t be getting a stamp on your way in.

St Peters Basilica, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: St Peters Basilica

Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours has been around for over 10 years and has been designed for budget backpackers in mind. The Vatican City tour is only 20 Euros and is pretty damn good value for a tour advertised as lasting 4/5 hours. Ours took over 6 hours so be prepared for a long day.

Travel Tip: The heat really sucks it out of you in summer so bring plenty of water and sunblock as you will need it.

There is quite a bit of walking but it’s done at a very slow pace with lots of breaks. My first question (of course) was “what about lunch?!” But do not fear as they take you to an “insanely bad-ass” sandwich shop along the way. And we can vouch for how bad-ass they really were!

A-ma-zing.

Best Rome Sandwiches, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: Worth it just for the badass sandwich

Romeing Tours Vatican City Tour

To keep your attention, the guides weave a masterful tale of intrigue, history, humour and pop culture to create a really upbeat and humorous account of the history of the Vatican City. I am sure they have all been trained as comedians and I actually haven’t laughed that much in so long!

This was actually awesome as a lot of the jokes made references to people or characters I know. Justin Bebier, Katniss Everdeen and of course the Twilight characters were all mentioned. As I am a total book nerd I loved it!

Our tour started with our Canadian guide, Justin, embarking on an overview of how the Vatican City came about. As well as some really interesting information on Rome’s history in general. Usually I zone out after about ten minutes of constant information overload that usually accompanies tours.

This time I found myself listening intently to Justin’s comical and interesting speeches. In fact I think I was laughing the loudest at his jokes much to Cole’s embarrassment.

After a couple of hours of one of the better history lesson I have had it was on to the Vatican City itself. Unfortunately as mentioned, Romeing Tours is not one of the selected tour groups who get to skip the lines, so we had to wait for about 20 minutes which sucked.

Note: You will have to buy your own tickets to the Vatican and wait in line.

Rome Pictures, Rome Photos, Vatican Photos, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: Inside the Vatican

The Vatican Museum was ridiculously busy and it was at this point that I really appreciated having a guide. Justin was able to point out the key items, arguably his favourites but no complaints, in the museum and give some background history on all of them. So many of which revolve around the world renowned Michelangelo.

To me this is far more preferable than walking aimlessly through the museum not knowing what the pieces are. And instead of looking like other tour group sheep with ridiculous headsets and an umbrella to follow, we looked semi-normal.

One of the downsides of the tour for us was that you are actually only in the Vatican for just under half the tour. Walking through the ancient halls of the Vatican Museum with so many historical artefacts surrounding you really is an enlightening moment. We would have loved to explore more of the artworks and statues for a few hours as it all felt a little rushed.

Romeing Tours Vatican Museum, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: The Vatican Museum

However, in argument to myself, I don’t think we could actually handle any more time amongst the sweaty chaotic crowds within the Vatican Museum walls.

Basically the entire tour builds towards the grand finale inside the Sistine Chapel. Looking up at Michelangelo’s fresco painting on the ceiling is a bit hard to believe. Even for non-arty types like ourselves, it is bloody impressive.

The tour finished outside St Peters Basilica overlooking the main square. This is perfect as you are then free to wander through the Basilica at your leisure and also go back into the Vatican museum if you wish. By then it was too late for us and 6 hours had worn us out. Plus that incredibly “bad-ass” sandwich was long gone and we were starving.

Romeing Tours Review Overall

Overall it was a really interesting and informative tour and I particularly loved the humorous slant. We definitely learnt a bucket load of new information which we wouldn’t have learnt through an audio guide.

The only negative to keep in mind is that the tour is really long. While it actually flew by it was draining and as like our tour it can be longer than anticipated. So don’t make any plans for a few hours after the tour in case it runs over.

We definitely recommend the Romeing the Vatican Tour to everyone not just backpackers and we actually wished we had time to take part in their other tours which include a walking tour all over Rome and a Romeing in the Dark tour.

Travel Tip: Everyone needs to wear appropriate clothing inside the Vatican which they are very strict about. That means both shoulders and knees covered.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a free tour of Vatican City by Romeing Tours, although as always our Romeing Tours review and thoughts are our own and are never influenced by others.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Ayngelina

    June 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I never went to the Vatican because I didn’t want to wait in line.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Fair enough because we heard terrible stories of queues for hours. Fortunately this wasn’t the case for us 🙂

  2. Keane

    June 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Awesome! What was the name of the sandwich shop? There was a place near the piazza that I tried three times to go to, but it was always closed!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      That sucks it was always closed! They operate some funny hours sometimes. The sandwich shop was called Duecento Gradi and near the corner of Via Vespasiano and Bastioni di Michelangelo. Definitely worth a visit 🙂

  3. Laurence

    June 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I’ve always enjoyed visiting Rome and the Vatican City. I’ve never taken a guide though, and it sounds like a really worthwhile investment – particularly at that price!

  4. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    June 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    An engaging, funny, sandwich-filled 6 hour tour of Vatican City for 20 euros? Awesome!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Worth it just for the sandwich alone 🙂 Well worth the tour though as we learnt so much more which we wouldn’t have if we did it alone.

  5. Turtle

    June 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Sounds like a great way to do it. I think you always get so much more out of the experience if you have a guide who can give you the context of what you’re seeing.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      The guide was brilliant. Even though he wasn’t a native Roman he knew all his stuff. Well worth it.

  6. Jeremy Branham

    June 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    It’s been many years since I’ve been to the Vatican. When I was there, it was late May so the lines weren’t horrible. However, I would have liked a history lesson of the area but the guided tour of the museum took too long. I think I was just tired that day. Glad the tour was interesting and entertaining. That’s way to combat the heat and crowds.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      We despised all the other tour groups as they constantly got in our way haha. They probably thought the same about us! Nothing like being exhausted while travelling to quickly change your perception of a place you visit.

  7. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    June 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    This sounds really great, I definitely want to do at least one tour of Rome – so much to learn. The sandwich looks great. Hopefully the tour company can figure out some sort of queue jumping agreement though, because that would make the tour incredibly attractive!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Hands down best sandwich in Rome. And if they sorted out the queue then they would be sorted! The guide reckoned that was one of the worst waits though and it was only 20 mins.

  8. Caz Makepeace

    June 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Sounds like a great tour and a really decent price. I enjoyed visiting the Vatican independently but would have loved a tour to learn more

    • Cole Burmester

      June 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      We wish we had a chance to explore the Vatican by ourselves for an hour but were completely buggered by the end of it.

  9. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    June 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I was there in 2009 and felt it was an over-touristified joke. Seeing some of the art was nice, and it was certainly a piece of history, but the €10 bottles of water and the packed-liked-sardines-into-a-can for 6 hours combined with the heat and the jostling and the tourists = I enjoyed the rest of Rome *far* more than I did the Vatican.

    That being said…seeing the ancient works of art and paintings did make the tour worth it for me, but it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You couldn’t pay me enough to want to go through those 6 hours of hellish sweating and heat and various body odors from thousands of sweating tourists ever again.

  10. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    June 27, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    The only time I’ve ever been to Vatican City, I was performing there for Pope John Paul II. Ergo, no tour for me. But it sounds like guys had fun!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 30, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      You performed for the Pope? Now that is one story I want to hear 🙂

  11. Ali

    June 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Sounds like a good tour. The last time I was there was 1999, so I’m definitely due for a return visit. I think I’ll avoid the height of summer heat though!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 30, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      We have been here for 3 weeks and I thought I would get used to the heat but it is unbearable in the middle of the day!

  12. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    June 29, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Wow, that price is SO CHEAP for a six hour tour! And it sounds funny and engaging, which shouldn’t be unique for walking tours but somehow still is… We need to head back to Italy so we can check this out.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 30, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      Its a bargain and a half! We have found some incredibly boring tours when travelling through Europe so this was perfect for us as it was anything but boring.

  13. D.J. - The World of Deej

    July 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    Sounds like an awesome day and a great tour!

    • Cole Burmester

      July 2, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Probably the best walking tour we have been on in Europe so far which says a lot!

  14. Nomadic Samuel

    July 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    This is kind of off topic but I can’t stop thinking about the sandwich! It’s been ages since I’ve had something that looks that good 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      July 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Haha totally not off topic and would recommend you go on the tour just for the sandwich Sam 🙂

  15. Rome(ing) Tours

    July 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Thanks guys for coming along on the tour and we are glad you enjoyed it. Come back anytime. Just a quick note, we hardly ever stand in line over the course of the year, and you guys unfortunately had to join on a particularly busy day.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      It was unfortunate timing but that’s the way it is sometimes. Hopefully we will join you in another week or so on another tour when we are back in Rome for 2 days. And thanks again guys!

  16. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    August 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    After Bret’s very personal experience of singing for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican as part of the Atlanta Boy Choir, I don’t think we’ll ever go back. That’s too perfect of a memory to mess with!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      That would be a pretty special moment I imagine! I always worry about returning to places we have been as you know it just won’t be the same as previous trips.

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Europe

Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One

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Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.

Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.

Choosing the Right Destination

A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.

Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.

Choosing the Right Time

It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.

You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.

Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.

Fly Business Class

Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.

As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.

Private Transportation

Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.

Choose a Nice Hotel

It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.

Eating Out

Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.

Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.

Get Dressed Up

Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.

Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.

Log Off and Put the Phone Away

Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.

You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!

Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations

Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.

Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.

Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.

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Europe

How to Plan a Trip to Iceland

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If you have ever heard the amazing stories about Iceland, they are all true!  If you’ve come this far into doing research about how to plan a trip to Iceland, I’m here to help you cross the bridge and fill in gaps so you can make your dream a reality.

As someone who has done this trip, I’m able to assist in every step of the journey.  I’ve boiled this down into cliff notes so you can do your own research after reading them and dig deeper into tours that will fit your personal preferences and budget.

First off, you are going to need to trust the Internet.  It’s a big place with a lot of information that can help you get there in one piece and not be stressed out.  Long gone are the days of visiting a travel agency and having someone plan everything for you – for a fee!  It’s your adventure, and you can know that every item is covered online, you just need to know how to look for it.

The best tip I can give you is to leverage the various Facebook Groups about Iceland.

Resource:  When In Iceland Facebook Group.

Next, you’ll want to decide when to visit Iceland.

The winter months will allow you to have more freedom as the tourism numbers are down.  However, this comes with the caveat that it will be below freezing and there will be very little sunlight!  The sun is only out for approximately six hours during the month of December!

On the positive side, this allows you a great opportunity to view the Northern Lights, which is a marquee attraction in Iceland.

Conversely, the Fall and Spring will bring you better temperatures and less snow, but there will be a much slimmer chance of viewing the Northern Lights.

Lastly, there are the Summer months.  While you will see a greener country and experience a lot of beauty on that end of the spectrum, it does come with a much higher price tag.  Be prepared to spend more money if you choose to visit Iceland in the Summer.

Also, you’ll want to have an agenda.  If you are one to take things in on your own and adventure into the wild, Iceland will be a perfect escape for you.  There are also guided tours that you can hire and they will accommodate to your every need or desire.  Simply ask anyone in the aforementioned Facebook group and they can steer you in the right direction.

You can of course, do public transportation in Iceland.  It’s entirely safe and used by many people.

Iceland is a fantastic, unique place to visit.  If you need any help planning your trip, please visit my Iceland Tour guide resource and leave a comment.  Happy Travels.

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Europe

Overlooked and Underrated Euro Vacations

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Here’s a quick list of places to possibly include in your next European itinerary. 2018 is the year of the underrated vacation spot in our humble opinions, and we want to honor it.

Basque Country:

This place is in this author’s humble opinion easily and hands-down the most underrated little corner of Europe.

And honestly, between the two, the Spanish side of Basque country is going to cost you probably around 50% what the French side will, and most people in the know will agree that the Spanish side is at least 100% more fun!

 

Canary Islands:

There are two ways to do the Canaries: simply fly in and enjoy them, or treat yourself and a loved one to a romantic Canary Island cruise.

Best time to visit is definitely either spring or fall, as it does get quite cold in the winter and quite hot in the summer. If you are a beach bum, on the other hand, summer is best (but there will be a lot more tourists in the summer).

 

Siena, Italy:

This city is often overshadowed by Rome, Florence, and Venice, but it actually is arguably the best-preserved city in Italy and has the best historic city center. The cuisine here is absolutely to die for, and you won’t have to pay inflated tourist prices like you will in the aforementioned places either!

If you can, try to make it for the famous Palio, a horse race that has been going on literally for centuries.

 

Brussels:

Just as Siena is overshadowed by other bigger Italian cities, Brussels tends to stand forgotten next to London and Paris. But Brussels has key elements of the two metropolises, as well as its own unique and delicious cuisine, its own beer (considered by more than a few experts to be the worlds best), and easily the worlds best chocolate, both in solid and drinkable form. Belgian chocolate will seriously change your life forever.

 

Istria, Croatia:

This is one of the world’s best summer beach destinations. It’s incredibly beautiful, and by Western European standards, almost outrageously cheap.

Hipster tourists are starting to come in and drive prices up, but it still remains a great bargain by any standards, and most importantly, it’s a bargain without really having to give up any of our beloved amenities.

 

Budapest:

Budapest could be called the poor man’s Prague, but in reality that name isn’t very fair. For one thing, Hungarian culture and Czech culture are actually extremely different (for one thing, the Hungarian language isn’t in the same family as the rest of Europe, it’s its own thing completely, like the Basque language).

Prague is gorgeous, but it’s getting almost as expensive as the rest of Europe too, and honestly Budapest’s history and culture is much more interesting, especially for the seasoned traveller.

 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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