PDA

View Full Version : limo in Rome tours


NHdisneylover
02-11-2010, 09:16 AM
I see that one person on these boards (hi Andrew:goodvibes) highly recomends limoinrome for private tours in Rome. I did check out the website and email Claudio and it sounds like exactly what we want. However, I would feel better if I heard from more than one person who had used this company and was happy with it. So, if you have used them (perhaps in 2007 or perhaps from a different cruise line) would you please post your impressions and experiences here?

I also have a couple of related questions:
1. What is an appropriate tip for a day long tour? I have no idea how tipping is generally handled in Italy. We will also have a 2 1/2 hour Vatican tour. How much would an appropriate tip for that be also?

2. Can we offer to get our guide's lunch and have him/her join us? Or is that their "break" time, etc. I don't want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position by offering--but I would like to if it would not do so.

3. Payment has to be by cash or traveller's check and AT THE END the tour. I do not really want to carry several hundred Euros in cash aournd Rome all day. Do you think it would be okay to leave it in the safe on the ship and have one member of our group run on board to get it and bring it back out to the driver, OR to ask the driver to stop at an ATM near port so that we do not have to carry it all day?

Thanks

cruisecastle
02-11-2010, 09:52 AM
I see that one person on these boards (hi Andrew:goodvibes) highly recomends limoinrome for private tours in Rome. I did check out the website and email Claudio and it sounds like exactly what we want. However, I would feel better if I heard from more than one person who had used this company and was happy with it. So, if you have used them (perhaps in 2007 or perhaps from a different cruise line) would you please post your impressions and experiences here?

I also have a couple of related questions:
1. What is an appropriate tip for a day long tour? I have no idea how tipping is generally handled in Italy. We will also have a 2 1/2 hour Vatican tour. How much would an appropriate tip for that be also?

2. Can we offer to get our guide's lunch and have him/her join us? Or is that their "break" time, etc. I don't want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position by offering--but I would like to if it would not do so.

3. Payment has to be by cash or traveller's check and AT THE END the tour. I do not really want to carry several hundred Euros in cash aournd Rome all day. Do you think it would be okay to leave it in the safe on the ship and have one member of our group run on board to get it and bring it back out to the driver, OR to ask the driver to stop at an ATM near port so that we do not have to carry it all day?

Thanks

Bobs' limousine in rome is the ONLY worthwhile service. Have used it many times

rashdecision
02-11-2010, 11:40 AM
I don't know who bobs limo service is but we are taking the May 15th med cruise and have booked all our excursions through Limo in Rome for a couple of reasons. To begin with, Claudio was highly recommended by my TA and a collegue of mine just got back from a cruise where he used them in Rome and said it was fantastic. They were very personable according to our friends who used them in November. Since we booked our excursions in Naples, Rome, and La Spezia through Limo in Rome, he wrote off the cost of each day by over 10% and became the least expensive of the tours. Granted, I did not check with the other tour groups to see if they discounted as well. Several other CC members strongly recommended LIR as well and Claudio was very quick in responding to all my emails along with my TA's. I have not used them myself yet but if your cruise is after the May 15th date then I will post a report so you can read.
As for paying, my TA's advice is to carry a credit card that allows you to use it as an ATM and use this exclusively as your trip card. Then at the end of the tour, they can stop at any bank ATM and you can pull out what you want in Euros for the tour. The other nice thing about having a "trip" card is that you can budget what you want to spend on the trip. We bring an additional card that we leave in the safe incase of bigger purchases but try not to take it off the ship unless necessary. Just make sure you check the card for ATM and conversion fees before you set up since that can add to the expense. We had a friend at the bank set ours up to avoid this problem.

cruisecastle
02-11-2010, 12:55 PM
I don't know who bobs limo service is but we are taking the May 15th med cruise and have booked all our excursions through Limo in Rome for a couple of reasons. To begin with, Claudio was highly recommended by my TA and a collegue of mine just got back from a cruise where he used them in Rome and said it was fantastic. They were very personable according to our friends who used them in November. Since we booked our excursions in Naples, Rome, and La Spezia through Limo in Rome, he wrote off the cost of each day by over 10% and became the least expensive of the tours. Granted, I did not check with the other tour groups to see if they discounted as well. Several other CC members strongly recommended LIR as well and Claudio was very quick in responding to all my emails along with my TA's. I have not used them myself yet but if your cruise is after the May 15th date then I will post a report so you can read.
As for paying, my TA's advice is to carry a credit card that allows you to use it as an ATM and use this exclusively as your trip card. Then at the end of the tour, they can stop at any bank ATM and you can pull out what you want in Euros for the tour. The other nice thing about having a "trip" card is that you can budget what you want to spend on the trip. We bring an additional card that we leave in the safe incase of bigger purchases but try not to take it off the ship unless necessary. Just make sure you check the card for ATM and conversion fees before you set up since that can add to the expense. We had a friend at the bank set ours up to avoid this problem.

http://www.romelimousines.com/


the link is above

Andrew DEREK UK
02-11-2010, 01:27 PM
I see that one person on these boards (hi Andrew:goodvibes) highly recomends limoinrome for private tours in Rome. I did check out the website and email Claudio and it sounds like exactly what we want. However, I would feel better if I heard from more than one person who had used this company and was happy with it. So, if you have used them (perhaps in 2007 or perhaps from a different cruise line) would you please post your impressions and experiences here?

I also have a couple of related questions:
1. What is an appropriate tip for a day long tour? I have no idea how tipping is generally handled in Italy. We will also have a 2 1/2 hour Vatican tour. How much would an appropriate tip for that be also?

Its up to you, I went on 10%, people in Europe tip far less than USA, thats the rule for 'all' so the guide is 10% as well or an extra hour on top of what you booked, ours went over by 30 mins anyway.

2. Can we offer to get our guide's lunch and have him/her join us? Or is that their "break" time, etc. I don't want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position by offering--but I would like to if it would not do so.

They will not dine with you, so you are not put in this position, you decide what you want to do, ie fast food, or sit down, we asked to go to a traditional Italian Pizza place, not pizza hut or tourist place. they did that and eat seperatly.

3. Payment has to be by cash or traveller's check and AT THE END the tour. I do not really want to carry several hundred Euros in cash aournd Rome all day. Do you think it would be okay to leave it in the safe on the ship and have one member of our group run on board to get it and bring it back out to the driver, OR to ask the driver to stop at an ATM near port so that we do not have to carry it all day?

ATM is an option, often they cant park close to the ship, or go to the drop off zone but cant wait or there is a fee so going back on ship is a non starter, I took cash with me for each days trip had no problem, as long as you are streetwise, there isnt an issue, crime is far less than people think.

Thanks


Barcelona
• www.pepitotours.com/private-tours-barcelona.html Jose Soler
http://wwguides.com/forums/member.php?u=243
• www.gobarcelona.com/
• BCNtour-taxi Armando Panedas
(34) 60-419-756 armandopanedas@vodafone.es
• www.barcelonatourguides.com/ Patrick
• http://www.taxiinternacional.com/eng...ernacional.htm Angie
•


Naples (Pompeii)

• I used http://www.limoinrome.com/ Claudio Caponera , Fabrizio

• http://driveamalfi.com/ Salvatore Lucibello, Adriano, Roberto
• www.drivesorrento.com/ Nello Russo
• www.seesorrento.com/chi_sono_eng.html Marcello Maresca, Eugiene, Marco
• www.aptours.it/Site/default.asp?Lang=EN Alberto
• www.francescomarrapese.com/excursions.htm Francesco
• www.pleasantravel.com/index.htm Mariano Fiorentino
• www.jackthedriver.com/ Jack, Lorenzo Bianco
• www.benvenutolimos.com/ Giovanni
• http://www.sorrentocardrivers.com/Si...lt.asp?Lang=EN Raffael
• www.cuomonet.it/ Renato
• http://aldotaxi.net/ Aldo
• www.driverinrome.com …but avoid Guiliana
• http://tourofitaly.com/
• www.hiddenitalytours.com/ Mariano Fiorentino

ROME Train station is close to the port

The main train station in Rome is Termini. From there, take the underground (Metropolitana):

Colosseum: take Line (Linea) B to the Colosseo station. The Colosseum is across the street.

Vatican: take Line A to the Ottaviano station. It's a 15-20 minute walk.

I would recommend anyone wanting to go to the vatician to book a private tour with an official tour guide who can get you in before the opening time of 10am.

The queus are long but you jump this I was in at 8.40am.



Civitavecchia (Rome)

•Mine: http://www.limoinrome.com/Claudio Caponera , Fabrizio

• http://www.drivinguide.com/shore_excursions.htm
• www.driverinrome.com/ Daniele Melaragno, Remo (his father), Pepe, Manny
• http://romeinlimo.com/ Duman & Carlo
• www.romelimousineservice.com/ Max Leotta
• www.romecabs.com/ Stefano Costantini
• www.romeconnection.com/ Marco
• Don’t miss the Scavi Tour (Vatican necropolis):http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/in...040112_en.html
•
La Spezia (Florence / Pisa) –Book the tower of Pisa online in advance Pre-book to Leaning Tower of Pisa (available 45 – 16 days in advance): www.opapisa.it/boxoffice/index.jsp


• I used www.papillonservice.com/ Lisa, Roberto

• www.florencetour.com/ Paola Migliorni
• www.abcwine.it/off%20shore.htm Carla Giomi
• www.tuscanyinmypocket.com/ Guido
• Marcello Grandini Marcello.tourguide@tiscali.it
• www.tuscanybytaxi.it/ Ricardo
• www.sunflower-tours.com/services.htm Giovanni Sirabella
• www.limoinrome.com/home.htm Claudio
• Giovanni Bassi - architect & urban historian G.bossi@dada.it
• Alessandro Cammilli alecamma@hotmail.com
• Pauline Priore paulinep@tin.it
• Pre-book tickets to Ufizi and Academia Galleria:www.florenceart.it/
Dial 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) 055-294-883 055-294-883 during the hours of 8:30 AM -6:30 PM M-F & 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time.
•
Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Cannes / Nice)
• I used www.dream-tours.com/layout.php?page=106&lang=us Alain, Frederic, Jean Marc
• Or try this if doesn’t work http://www.dream-tours.com/
• www.revelation-tours.com/cruise.html Michel LeGrand, Isoline
• www.azur-guides-interpretes.com/ Sylvie DiCristo
• www.riviera-prestige-tours.com/ Eva Devemy

NHdisneylover
02-11-2010, 02:35 PM
Thanks for the information guys:thumbsup2

It's good to know that stopping at an ATM should not be a problem. We live in Germany and our bank account is in Euros so there is no exchange rate for us to worry about:cheer2: DH travels regularly fr business and i think in the EU we pay up to 3 Euros as a fee at most so taht is worth it.

rashdecision--thanks for offering to post about your experiences (and I am sure others will very much appreciate it). We are on the cruise right after you (the 26th) so I doubt I will see your post until after I am home;) I am glad to hear you have gotten recomendations elsewhere:goodvibes. I did not think about maybe boking Claudio for an excursion in Naples as well and then getting a discount, mmmmmm:idea: Thanks for that idea.

Andrew--thanks for asnwering all of the specifics. I know tipping is much less here than in the USA--but I was not sure what it might be for an excursion like this--thanks for the guidelines:thumbsup2 I also know crime is not much worse than in most big cities packed with tourists (i was backing you and the other Europeans up on that on a thread not too long ago;)) but I never like to carry more than pocket money around. Not even in rural New Hampshire and certainly not in any big tourist area. It just always makes me nervous and then I do not enjoy myself as much as I should.:upsidedow

justmestace
02-11-2010, 02:43 PM
Here's another website to check out. Stefano speaks English perfectly, and although it isn't a limo, it's a brand new 8 person van.

www.stefanorometours.com (http://www.stefanorometours.com) :thumbsup2

shushh
02-11-2010, 02:56 PM
Another popular one on cruise critic with numerous reviews is Rome In Limo (as opposed to limo in rome). They also give discounts for multiple tours. We are using them in Naples and Rome.

Andrew DEREK UK
02-11-2010, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the information guys:thumbsup2

It's good to know that stopping at an ATM should not be a problem. We live in Germany and our bank account is in Euros so there is no exchange rate for us to worry about:cheer2: DH travels regularly fr business and i think in the EU we pay up to 3 Euros as a fee at most so taht is worth it.

rashdecision--thanks for offering to post about your experiences (and I am sure others will very much appreciate it). We are on the cruise right after you (the 26th) so I doubt I will see your post until after I am home;) I am glad to hear you have gotten recomendations elsewhere:goodvibes. I did not think about maybe boking Claudio for an excursion in Naples as well and then getting a discount, mmmmmm:idea: Thanks for that idea.

Andrew--thanks for asnwering all of the specifics. I know tipping is much less here than in the USA--but I was not sure what it might be for an excursion like this--thanks for the guidelines:thumbsup2 I also know crime is not much worse than in most big cities packed with tourists (i was backing you and the other Europeans up on that on a thread not too long ago;)) but I never like to carry more than pocket money around. Not even in rural New Hampshire and certainly not in any big tourist area. It just always makes me nervous and then I do not enjoy myself as much as I should.:upsidedow

Streetwise, not paranoid! Be altert, and you will be ok, its not as bad a people say.

NHdisneylover
02-11-2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks. You really do not need to belabor the point though--again I was 100% in your side arguing that European cities are not so dangerous just the other day:confused3. I DON'T THINK ROME IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS CITY. I am pretty streetwise and I have been to Rome before---negotiated it on my own as a teen just fine:goodvibes I do not think it is paranoid to not want to carry around larege sums of cash if I do not need to--I think that IS streetwise. 800 Euro is not much to some people, but to us it is a significant amount. I'd rather have a couple hundred on us for incidentals and stop at an ATM since that is possible. I do the same in NYC, Chicago, Disney World, Barcelona, Berlin, etc. Goodness I don't even carry that much around here in Heidelberg and I don't feel in the least bit insecure here. I am as apt to drop cash while fumbling in my wallet as to get it stolen--I just don't want one more thing to keep up with: I'll already be juggling two kids, a husband (meaning big kid:lmao:) a camera, a cell phone, etc. I do appreciate the help you have given me and the referal to Claudio but please, it is a little over the top to call someone paranoid for not wanting to walk around ANY large city with almost a thousand dollars in cash on them. I am not sure why I am bothering to say all of this--it just bugs me the way you are saying this--probably just tone not comming across well in writing or something.

Andrew DEREK UK
02-11-2010, 03:18 PM
Thanks. You really do not need to belabor the point though--again I was 100% in your side arguing that European cities are not so dangerous just the other day:confused3. I DON'T THINK ROME IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS CITY. I am pretty streetwise and I have been to Rome before---negotiated it on my own as a teen just fine:goodvibes I do not think it is paranoid to not want to carry around larege sums of cash if I do not need to--I think that IS streetwise. 500 Euro is not much to some people, but to us it is a significant amount. I'd rather have a couple hundred on us for incidentals and stop at an ATM since that is possible. I do the same in NYC, Chicago, Disney World, Barcelona, Berlin, etc. Goodness I don't even carry that much around here in Heidelberg and I don't feel in the least bit insecure here. I am as apt to drop cash while fumbling in my wallet as to get it stolen--I just don't want one more thing to keep up with: I'll already be juggling two kids, a husband (meaning big kid:lmao:) a camera, a cell phone, etc. I do appreciate the help you have given me and the referal to Claudio but please, it is a little over the top to call someone paranoid for not wanting to walk around ANY large city with almost a thousand dollars in cash on them. I am not sure why I am bothering to say all of this--it just bugs me the way you are saying this--probably just tone not comming across well in writing or something.

I wasn't saying any one is 'Paranoid'. General advice to all, -I was saying be streetwise, and no need to be paranoid, as other threads, have indicated,

NHdisneylover
02-11-2010, 03:23 PM
I see nmore good ideas comming onto the thread. Thank you all for the advice:thumbsup2:goodvibes



Andrew--thanks for asnwering all of the specifics. I know tipping is much less here than in the USA--but I was not sure what it might be for an excursion like this--thanks for the guidelines:thumbsup2 I also know crime is not much worse than in most big cities packed with tourists (i was backing you and the other Europeans up on that on a thread not too long ago;)) but I never like to carry more than pocket money around. Not even in rural New Hampshire and certainly not in any big tourist area.
See, when you quoted me and bolded the above part, and then followed it up with this:
Streetwise, not paranoid! Be altert, and you will be ok, its not as bad a people say.
It seemed to me like you were specifically calling my attitude paranoid. I am glad that is not what you meant:flower3:

justmestace
02-11-2010, 11:57 PM
Another popular one on cruise critic with numerous reviews is Rome In Limo (as opposed to limo in rome). They also give discounts for multiple tours. We are using them in Naples and Rome.



I know that they are hyped up pretty well on Cruise Critic...but....they pay TA's and others to do that for them. I know a few people who travel to Rome often, and each of them has been badly ripped off by Duman.
It may not matter, but he also isn't Italian. I personally prefer to have a tour guide who is actually from the area and knows the history as well as he knows his own family.

shushh
02-12-2010, 12:19 AM
I know that they are hyped up pretty well on Cruise Critic...but....they pay TA's and others to do that for them. I know a few people who travel to Rome often, and each of them has been badly ripped off by Duman.
It may not matter, but he also isn't Italian. I personally prefer to have a tour guide who is actually from the area and knows the history as well as he knows his own family.

Thanks for the heads up. That's interesting, how were they ripped off?

We're going with them mainly through a recommendation from a friend who used them recently. The drivers who they had in Rome and Naples were locals. The price RIL quoted me was in line with the other bigger companies. They were also alot more responsive and prompt with their email replies. Friendly and professional.We were going to book a 3rd port with them (cinque terre) but they advised us that it would be a waste of our money as would pretty much just be a very expensive ride. They recommended the train instead.

I also did check other posts made my members on cruisecritic who raved about them. Yes some only 20-30 posts but others had thousands with full trip reports etc. I guess you can still never know if they were being paid.

Well I guess time will tell! Our cruise is the first med cruise. Will report back.

And no, I'm not being paid!

marlower
02-12-2010, 07:27 AM
Bobs' limousine in rome is the ONLY worthwhile service. Have used it many times

Hi Hadley,
We will be using Bob's limo in Rome. http://www.romelimousines.com/rates.html?gclid=CNrur4rz7J8CFRidnAodezUpXQ
I know nothing about the other touring companies but we have a friend here in Houston that has been to Rome at least 20 times and they have used Bob's services numerous times so I trust them! Hope that helps!

justmestace
02-12-2010, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the heads up. That's interesting, how were they ripped off?


And no, I'm not being paid!


I had a feeling you were "for real" and not a paid professional. ;)

Duman made a lot of promises, took a bunch of money and then never showed.


Here's a question....why do a lot of these companies have "Limo" in their names, when they really use vans??:confused3

marlower
02-12-2010, 01:21 PM
I had a feeling you were "for real" and not a paid professional. ;)

Duman made a lot of promises, took a bunch of money and then never showed.


Here's a question....why do a lot of these companies have "Limo" in their names, when they really use vans??:confused3

What company is Duman with?

Good question on the limo in their name!

Andrew DEREK UK
02-12-2010, 01:26 PM
If you want a limo you get a limo but they are limited to what they hold, I booked 7 seater vans.

shushh
02-12-2010, 02:15 PM
Duman made a lot of promises, took a bunch of money and then never showed.


That's not good.

Well, we don't have to pay anything until after the tour but we do have to pay in cash. So hopefully that's incentive enough for them to turn up.

NHdisneylover
02-12-2010, 02:54 PM
Hi Hadley,
We will be using Bob's limo in Rome. http://www.romelimousines.com/rates.html?gclid=CNrur4rz7J8CFRidnAodezUpXQ
I know nothing about the other touring companies but we have a friend here in Houston that has been to Rome at least 20 times and they have used Bob's services numerous times so I trust them! Hope that helps!

Great--thanks for the extra referal and thanks to cruisecastle for posting about him in the first place:thumbsup2. It is good to see at least two people here had ( or know someone who had) a good experience with Bob.

justmestace
02-12-2010, 05:47 PM
That's not good.

Well, we don't have to pay anything until after the tour but we do have to pay in cash. So hopefully that's incentive enough for them to turn up.



I think you'll be fine, as long as you aren't paying up front...or in advance with a credit card or whatever.

justmestace
02-12-2010, 05:48 PM
What company is Duman with?

Good question on the limo in their name!


RomeInLimo

shushh
02-13-2010, 03:59 AM
Thought I'd give a quick update.

I started to email the companies listed in this thread. It wouldnt' hurt right!?!?
When I contacted Stefano from stefanorometours/romecab, this is part of his email (with regard to Naples as I asked if he provided tours from there as well)

"I suggest you contact,quoting my name,my friend Duman at:
info@romeinlimo.com
He is a gentleman that provides top quality service."

This made me feel better as I have to admit some doubt did start to creep in despite my friend's reassurance.

justmestace
02-13-2010, 10:41 AM
Thought I'd give a quick update.

I started to email the companies listed in this thread. It wouldnt' hurt right!?!?
When I contacted Stefano from stefanorometours/romecab, this is part of his email (with regard to Naples as I asked if he provided tours from there as well)

"I suggest you contact,quoting my name,my friend Duman at:
info@romeinlimo.com
He is a gentleman that provides top quality service."

This made me feel better as I have to admit some doubt did start to creep in despite my friend's reassurance.


Well...that's a surprise...but great! I'm happy for you!! (honest!)

lmhall2000
02-13-2010, 10:50 AM
I booked Marcello/partner with SeeSorrentoTours...very nice, they accept NO money before the trip...only after they return you to ship..that is kind of encouraging...but he is a small company and doesn't have a lot of drivers, just him and maybe 2-3 others.

I rely on TripAdvisor and CruiseCritic for reviews...I read a lot about Marcello and a few others, never ready any negatives on the ones I considered...the larger groups are who I read complaints about, but I'm sure you have drivers come and go with big companies...

Wishing you the best!!
Tara

Oh! Samantha Brown had a show on last night (from 2005 maybe) but it was her first cruise ever and it was the Mediterranean, it was just nice to see how she walked around (granted she had a crew) but I paid attention to all the people around her to get an idea of how she carried her purse/their belongings/what surprised me the most was how narrow some of those streets were in these cities! :) About 5 of the ones she visited are the same ones on Disney's list! :)

jtw999
02-13-2010, 06:47 PM
We have heard positives of Limoinrome. Just a question... is Claudio the only driver? We have only heard his name when mentioned. If he is the only driver, I imagine we would need to prebook way in advance, right? If he is not, is he the most recommended driver/guide to go with?
Thanks!

NHdisneylover
02-15-2010, 02:20 AM
We have heard positives of Limoinrome. Just a question... is Claudio the only driver? We have only heard his name when mentioned. If he is the only driver, I imagine we would need to prebook way in advance, right? If he is not, is he the most recommended driver/guide to go with?
Thanks!

It does not appear that he is the only driver, but he is thw owner and has handled all of the email correspondance. I think I have seen Andrew recomend Claudio or Febrizio. I have also read otehr good reviews of Claudia. I did go ahead and book with limoinrome but I did not request anyone specific; I am going to count on the company living up to its reputation and geving us a good driver and one who perhaps fits our personalities well (one who dies well with teens/tweens perhaps, etc.).

Jeff Spencer
02-15-2010, 12:07 PM
I see that one person on these boards (hi Andrew:goodvibes) highly recomends limoinrome for private tours in Rome. I did check out the website and email Claudio and it sounds like exactly what we want. However, I would feel better if I heard from more than one person who had used this company and was happy with it. So, if you have used them (perhaps in 2007 or perhaps from a different cruise line) would you please post your impressions and experiences here?

I also have a couple of related questions:
1. What is an appropriate tip for a day long tour? I have no idea how tipping is generally handled in Italy. We will also have a 2 1/2 hour Vatican tour. How much would an appropriate tip for that be also?

2. Can we offer to get our guide's lunch and have him/her join us? Or is that their "break" time, etc. I don't want to put anyone in an uncomfortable position by offering--but I would like to if it would not do so.

3. Payment has to be by cash or traveller's check and AT THE END the tour. I do not really want to carry several hundred Euros in cash aournd Rome all day. Do you think it would be okay to leave it in the safe on the ship and have one member of our group run on board to get it and bring it back out to the driver, OR to ask the driver to stop at an ATM near port so that we do not have to carry it all day?

Thanks

We used Claudio's company in 2007. Our driver was Pepe and he was excellent. You can read the details of what we did in our blog linked below.

As to your questions: 1) Wow...tipping in Europe...you ask a dozen people and get a dozen answers. As I recall, our group ended up tipping Pepe a bit over 10% of the tour. We too had the Vatican tour and I want to say we tipped Robert about 20 Euro.

2) Pepe actually dropped us off at the place where he suggested we eat. Parking is at a premium so he told us when he'd be back to pick us up and where.

3) We got Euros at an ATM by the Pantheon and didn't feel uncomfortable about carrying them around. Of course you've got to be smart about it...no wallets easily lifted. I had one of the around-the-waist thin money carriers. I would NOT ask the driver to wait while someone went back on the ship to retrieve money. There's a lot of traffic and I could see that being a problem for the driver.

Also, this time we went with Rudy's Tours after reading the rave reviews he gets on Tripadvisor for his Rome tours. He also discounted our tours in LaSpezia and Naples.