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Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

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London
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Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

Hi all

I'm very excited as I've changed my flights to Rome to allow me more time to explore the lesser known attractions of my favourite city.

This means that I can now book a slot on the Vatican Museum website for their new Necropolis via Triumphalis tour. I realise this is a new tour but wondered if anyone had a review or heard any reports on it?

I loved the Scavi Tour I did several years ago and am keen to hear if ths is as good?

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

I just returned from a visit to Rome, and I was very excited to be able to take one of the new guided tours of the Via Triumphalis necropolis.

The tour was quite well done. It lasted about 2 hours, including an approximately 20-minute walk from the meeting point (the Guided Tours desk at the museum) to the site, which is under a car park. Also you need to allow time to be at the meeting point about 20 minutes before the scheduled start time.

The tour makes use of the standard microphone/earphone listening devices so everyone can hear. I think there were about 16 people on our tour.

Once inside the site, it is well lit and arranged with walkways over a fairly large necropolis area. Good signage, and a short video introduction upon first entering. The guide did an excellent job of pointing out the various types of tombs and their features. Some of the key finds are also showcased in cabinets and cases along the walking path, which is nice. There are even a few skeletons in situ, as well as a lot of intact cinerary urns, funeral stelae, and the like.

The thing to keep in mind is that this area is more of a "standard" Roman necropolis, so tombs represent several different eras, styles, sizes, and represent burials of people from various walks of life. A few are relatively grand, but not perhaps as rich as those you would've seen on the Scavi tour of the area under St. Peter's.

If you have any other questions, I will try to answer them.

Ocean City, MD
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2. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

Thanks for the update cruisemom42, this tour is definitely on my list for my next visit.

Perhaps you could put your review on your original post so when someone uses the search function they'll have all the information.

London
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3. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

Thanks - I secretly hoped you would see this and respond;-)

I managed to get my ticket booked today, and watched the fantastic little video on the website which really illuminates the history with great visuals - can't wait.

Also looking forward to another browse around the Vatican Museums - I did one of the three hour tours with a very "dry" tour guide a few years ago and want to see if my second experience is a little more uplifting.

Maryland
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4. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

I'd love to do this one, but we're booked for the Scavi and Vatican museums one day, then Colosseum and Forum/Palatine Hill the next day. We'll still have two and half more days left but not sure the others will want to do another necropolis tour:( And I myself wanted to spend time walking around and just taking in the sights and sounds of Rome, so guess this'll have to wait for another trip...

Le Marche, Italy
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5. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

For a second visit to the Vatican Museums, I highly recommend visits to the Egyptian Collection and the Etruscan Collection, which are superb, and usually uncrowded, maybe even almost empty.

There are two very nice painted Roman tombs at the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian. They're in the ancient hall to your left as you enter, which was once part of the ancient bath complex. When you enter the hall, turn to your left, and they're at the far end. They're not very well publicized, so most people don't know about them. They were found in Testaccio in the mid-20th century and brought here for display.

The Museum of the Baths of Diocletian is one of four sites of the National Roman Museum. The ticket is good for visits to all four sites, over a three-day period, and is one of the best bargains in Rome. One of the other sites is Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, very near the museum of the baths, on the other side of the giant Piazza dei Cinquecento in front of the station. Palazzo Massimo has a fantastic collection of ancient Roman art and artifacts, including one of the world's greatest collections of ancient sculpture, ancient mosaics, frescoes from the villa belonging to Livia (wife of the Emperor Augustus), ancient jewelry, and much else.

The other two sites of the museum are nearer to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Palazzo Altemps has a collection of ancient sculpture, much of it assembled in the 16th and 17th centuries from odd pieces. (If a noble family had a statue missing the head and an arm, they would hire someone to attach a head and arm from a different statue.) There's also a very nice Greek temple frieze known as the throne of Ludovisi, although it's not a throne. I've never been to the fourth site, the Crypta Baldi, which has some exhibits of medieval artifacts.

Rome, Italy
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6. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

We just went to the Via Triumphalis tour, and our review is pending on TA. The Via Triumphalis site is terrific, although I was not as impressed with the tour itself as cruisemom (for one thing, our tour group was a bit too big, over 20 people, and this made it much harder to hear the guide). The site is fascinating, with cremations and burials for the poor to the relatively wealthy, some in such good conditions that mosaics and paintings are still clearly visible. Interesting how burials and tombs were layered over time, at one point due to a landslide. It is a very worthwhile place to visit. Alas, some people appeared confused and thought it was the Scavi tour, because they wanted to see the tombs of Christian martyrs, and this site is a pagan cemetery.

As for touring the Vatican again, we just posted a review on getting off the beaten path there -- we loved the practically empty "Profane and Christian Museums" -- there were only four other people there, it was totally peaceful, and a very interesting exhibit which takes you from ancient Roman art forms to how they were adapted for early Christian art. Here's our review, with lots of photos: tripadvisor.com/…REVIEWS

Atlanta, Georgia
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7. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

Bvlenci said, "There are two very nice painted Roman tombs at the Museum of the Baths of Diocletian. They're in the ancient hall to your left as you enter, which was once part of the ancient bath complex. When you enter the hall, turn to your left, and they're at the far end. They're not very well publicized, so most people don't know about them. They were found in Testaccio in the mid-20th century and brought here for display."

I just saw those tombs as well on my recent trip. Quite fascinating. (As is the hall itself, which is HUGE.) The rest of the museum is also very interesting. I saw some pieces that I've seen on various Roman Empire documentaries, including a collar thought to have been used on a slave, with a tag offering a reward if found...!

Edited: 08 March 2014, 13:37
Le Marche, Italy
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8. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

That hall is only a very small part of what was once the largest ancient bath complex in existence. It included most of the area around Termini station, including Piazza della Repubblica and the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri. The Italian word for "baths" is "terme", and Termini station takes its name from the bath complex.

I found the exhibits about the early development of writing fascinating.

A historian I know, who teaches at the Sapienza University in Rome, thinks that collar was intended for a dog, not a slave.

Atlanta, Georgia
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9. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

I had also read the same about the collar, apparently it's a bit of a controversy. Interesting how it changes our perceptions: if it's for a dog, we might think the ancient Romans kindhearted; if for a slave, not so much...!

The day I visited the museum I had set aside the entire day to visit as many of the existing pieces of Diocletian's baths as I could, including the church and the museum, as well as walking around the perimeter of it all. They were certainly built on a massive scale.

London
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10. Re: Any reviews for new Vatican Necropolis via Tiumphalis tour?

Just when I was going "meh - probably won't have time for the Baths of Diocletian", you all pull me back in! I've got approximately two and a half hours on the morning of my cruise but think I'll need to spend all that time at the Palazzo Massimo.