Guidebook Updates for Italy

When we learn of important changes to the information in our guidebooks on Italy, we post them here. (Of course, it’s still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you’re set for a great trip!

Across Italy

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
  • In all Italian state-run museums, photos are now allowed (without flash), including at the Accademia and Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and at the Accademia in Venice (this change, however, may be temporary).
  • In all Italian state-run museums, admission is now free on the first Sunday of each month.

Amalfi Coast

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
Paestum
For books printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:
Positano
  • Residence la Tavolozza prefers that you use the form on their website to reserve; they don’t take reservations by email.
Amalfi Town
  • The town’s launderette has closed.
Ravello

Assisi

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • The olive-wood carving shop L’Ulivo Sculture has closed; similar nearby shop Poiesis has a new owner and a new name: d’Olivo.
  • The telephone number for the Pinacoteca is +075-815-5234.
For books printed before October 2013, the following may apply:

Capri

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • Local guide Anna Bilardi Leva now charges €130 for a half day, and €200 for a full day, and is also licensed to guide in Naples (not Sorrento).

Cinque Terre

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
Riomaggiore
Vernazza
  • You can now store your bags at the gift shop in Vernazza’s train station (April–Oct daily 8:00–20:00, closed Nov–March).
  • Ristorante Belforte’s antipasto misto di pesce is €18 per person for five plates, and is for a minimum of two people.
  • The shuttle bus no longer goes to the village of Reggio (but still runs to and from San Bernadino).
Monterosso
  • La Cantina di Miky is now closed on Wednesdays.
For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:
  • The Cinque Terre Riviera booking agency’s office in La Spezia has closed. The number for the Vernazza office is +0187-812-123.
Manarola
  • Trattoria dal Billy has new hours: generally daily 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–22:00, may be closed Thursdays.
Vernazza
Monterosso
For books printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Landslides have closed the Via dell’Amore, the walking path connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola; it’s likely to remain closed through 2013.
  • Cinqueterre Taxi has new phone numbers: mobile 334-776-1946 or 347-652-0837.
  • Local guide Andrew Bordignoi has a new phone number: mobile 393-133-9409.
Riomaggiore
Manarola
Corniglia
Monterosso
  • The road linking Monterosso to La Spezia via the other Cinque Terre towns is closed; drivers need to loop up to the SP-1/SP-38 highway.

Civita de Bagnoregio

For books printed before October 2013, the following may apply:
  • We’re sad to report that Maria, the owner of Maria’s Garden and last native resident of Civita, has passed away.

Dolomites

  • We’re very sad to report the death of our friend and recommended local guide Kat Reno.
For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • While visiting hikers are welcome use the map library at trekking.suedtirol.info, the Alpine Information Center office in Bolzano’s old town only serves the local hiking club.

Florence

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
  • At the Uffizi Gallery, where renovation work is underway, several works mentioned in Rick’s Uffizi Tour have been temporarily moved:

Rooms 19–23 (Northern Renaissance) are closed. While Baldiung Grien’s Adam and Eve are MIA, Lucas Cranach’s Adam and Eve, Martin Luther, and Katharina von Bora are in room 45, farther down the main hall (after the Michelangelo rooms).

Rooms 25–34 (High Renaissance) are also closed; some of its works are currently downstairs on the first floor, on the way to the exit: Parmigiano’s Madonna with the Long Neck is in room 74, while Titian’s Venus of Urbino is in room 83.

For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Medical Service Firenze has moved its clinic to Via Roma 4, between the Duomo and Piazza della Repubblica. The clinic on Via Porta Rossa has closed.
  • The Firenze Card now costs €72. In addition to the sights already listed as covered by the card, it now covers several Duomo-related sights (dome climb, Campanile, Duomo Museum, and Baptistery), the Church of Santa Maria Novella, the Santa Croce Church, Casa Buonarroti, and Casa di Dante.
  • The Duomo Museum will be undergoing a major renovation until fall 2015. While some rooms will be closed and some works sent on loan, the Gates of Paradise and Michelangelo's Pietà will remain on display.
  • To see the Duomo sights, you need to buy a €10 combo-ticket, which covers the Baptistery, Campanile, dome, crypt, and Duomo Museum (no individual tickets or other combo-tickets will be available). Combo-tickets can be purchased on-site or online at www.operaduomo.firenze.it (online buyers will exchange an emailed voucher for a ticket on-site).
  • Also at the Duomo, the "Terraces of the Cathedral and Dome" tour is no longer offered.
  • At the Brancacci Chapel, reservations are recommended (and free), but on weekdays and any day in the off-season, it's usually possible to walk right in if you arrive before 15:30. Tickets are cash-only.
  • At the Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo's Holy Family has been permanently relocated from Room 25 to a new gallery, Room 35.
  • Soggiorno Magliani hotel has closed.
  • Arti e Hotel has changed owners, and has been renamed Beato Angelico Hotel.
  • The correct address for Trattoria Nerone Pizzeria is Via Faenza 95–97 red.
  • The Metà Supermarket in Oltrarno has closed.

Lake Como

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • The battello navetta mid-lake ferry no longer stops at Cadenabbia, but instead at San Giovanni, just south of Bellagio.
Varenna
  • Ristorante Isola Nuova has closed.
For books printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Boat service on Lake Como serves the southwestern arm of the lake (to Lenno and Villa Balbianello), not the southeastern arm or the town of Lecco. To stop off at Villa Carlotta when returning by boat to Varenna, the best stop is Tremezzo (not Cadenabbia).

Lucca

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
  • Hotel Rex no longer offers a 10 percent discount; instead ask for the best Rick Steves reader price when you call or email to inquire about a room. Prices include a buffet breakfast; the hotel also offers an elevator and free parking.
For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:
  • La Magnolia B&B has new owners, and no longer offers a Rick Steves discount.
  • Di Simo Caffè and the restaurant Vineria I Santi have closed.

Milan

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • The Church of San Maurizio is now open Tue–Sat 9:30–17:30 and Sun 13:30–17:30 (closed Mon).
  • The Autostradale bus-and-walking tour runs at 14:00 Fri–Sat, and does not offer Fri–Sat afternoon tours in the off-season.
  • A same-day, round-trip ticket for the Malpensa Express linking the airport and Milan’s Cadorna station is €15; this can be a good option for reaching the Duomo and Sforza Castle.
  • Several listed eateries have closed, including Ristorante Rita, Chip & Chic Dolce e Salato, and Café Bindi.
  • Malpensa Airport no longer has direct, high-speed rail links between Florence or Rome; trains now connect in Milan.

Naples

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:

Orvieto

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • Idea Pizza has closed.

Pisa

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
  • Online bookings for the Leaning Tower are accepted no earlier than 20 days and no later than one day in advance. Print out the voucher and bring it to the Tower 15 minutes before your entry time.
  • The Duomo Museum will likely be closed for renovation through 2016.
  • La Lupa Ghiotta Tavola Calda restaurant has closed.
  • The direct bus from Pisa’s Field of Miracles to Lucca’s Piazzale Giusseppe now takes about 50 minutes (up from 30 minutes). You can also catch this bus at Pisa’s airport, the Pisa Centrale train station, and around the corner from Pisa’s tourist information office.

Pompeii

  • The “info point” kiosk at the train station does not sell tickets to Pompeii; the staff there have been misleading tourists by selling €12 tours and taking groups to a guide at the entrance, where they are then charged for the actual admission ticket.
For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:

Ravenna

For books printed before October 2013, the following may apply:

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
Santa Margherita Ligure
  • Ristorante A’ Lampara has closed.
For books printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:
Santa Margherita Ligure
  • Hotel Fasce has new owners, Enrico and Florinda.
  • La Locandi di Colombo has closed.
La Spezia
  • The town’s tourist information office has closed, but you can still get some information at the Cinque Terre National Park office in the train station.
  • L’Arca di Noè B&B has a new email address: montialessandra@email.it.
  • To go to Portovernere from La Spezia by bus, take bus #P. Bus #11 also makes this trip, but only from mid-June to mid-September, and off-season Saturdays.

Rome

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • The Trevi Fountain is pumped dry and under repair for restoration, but a temporary miniature replica is available for coin-tossing. The repairs should be finished by the end of 2015.
  • A cheaper version of the Roma Pass (€28) is valid for 48 hours, and offers similar coverage to the 3-day version, but provides free entry only at the first sight you visit with it.
For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:
  • If booking online for a Walks of Italy tour, enter the code “10ricksteves” to receive the 10 percent Rick Steves discount.
  • Colosseum tickets are now available online through CoopCulture (€2 service fee).
  • The Archeobus from Termini Station to sights along the Appian Way only runs Friday–Sunday. There is no service Monday–Thursday.
  • The city’s elettrico minibuses may not be operating this year, thanks to budget cuts.
  • The night train between Rome and Paris is no longer running.
  • Hotel Cisterna has closed.
For books printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Basic taxi charges have gone up. Taxis start at €3, and the surcharge for Sundays is now €1.50, and for late night (after 22:00) it’s €3.50.
  • Metro Line B now has a new spur line on its northern end. If you’re taking Line B to the Tiburtina train station, be sure to get on a train in the direction of Rebibbia. Trains going in the direction of Conca d’Oro do not stop at Tiburtina.
  • To qualify for the Rick Steves discount for Through Eternity walking tours, enter the promotional code "RICKSTEVES" when you book online.
  • At the Capuchin Crypt, a new six-room museum shows the clothing, footwear, books, and other religious artifacts used by members of the order. Admission is now €6, and the crypt is open daily 9:00–19:00 (last admission 30 minutes before closing).
  • Santa Susanna, the American Catholic Church in Rome, no longer lets you pick up pre-booked papal audience tickets on Wednesday mornings (but tickets are still retrievable there Tuesday evenings 17:00–18:45).
  • In winter (Oct–March), the dome at St. Peter’s now closes to visitors at 16:45 (last entry at 16:15).
  • Arco del Lauro B&B may require a four-night minimum for weekend stays in high season.
  • Hotel Giardino has closed.
  • Casa Sant’Anna is now called Casa Santa Sofia, and its new website is at www.casasantasofia.it.

Siena

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
  • The city’s tourist information office has moved from Il Campo to Piazza Duomo 1.
  • Internet Point on Via di Città 80 has closed.
  • The Palio Viaggi travel agency has closed.
  • Ciao Cafeteria and Spizzico Pizza have closed.
For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Santa Maria della Scala, featuring the sumptuously frescoed walls of Pellegrinaio Hall and the Archaeological Museum, is currently closed for renovation and scheduled to reopen by 2014.
  • Antica Residenza Cicogna has changed their entrance from Via dei Termini 67 to Via delle Terme 76, just around the corner.

Sorrento

For books printed before October 2013, the following may apply:
  • Il Palazzo Starace B&B has a new contact person — Massimo — and new contact info: tel. 081-807-2633, mobile 366-950-5377, www.palazzostarace.com.
  • L’Antica Trattoria no longer offers a 10 percent discount to Rick Steves readers.
  • Cruise-ship travelers: To get from the harbor in Sorrento to Piazza Tasso, first follow Lift signs to the elevator. Pay €1 to ride it up into a city park, exit through the park gate and bear left; Piazza Tasso is about four blocks away. Or, you can hike uphill along the road for 15 minutes. Other options are the red-and-white city bus #B or #C (buy €1 tickets at the tobacco shop, 3/hour), or the small blue private bus (€1, buy ticket from driver, day passes not valid, 4/hour). The train station is a five-minute walk from Piazza Tasso.

Tuscan Hill Towns

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:
San Gimignano
  • The town’s tourist information office no longer offers a two-hour guided town walk.
  • To avoid pedestrian congestion, the electric shuttle buses that link the town’s gates and parking lots run along the road skirting the outside of town, rather than through the town center, at peak times (Saturday afternoons, all day Sunday, and July–August).
  • The San Gimignano 1300 model has moved out of Palazzo Ficarelli and is now displayed in an old church a block from the main square, at Via Costarella 3 (mobile +327-439-5165). There is no longer a fee to view the model.
  • To receive the best prices on a stay at Ponte a Nappo, use the promo code “RickSteves” when you book directly (whether through their website, by email, or over the phone).
Spello
  • Il Trombone restaurant has closed.
Volterra
  • Annie Adair’s guided Volterra walks now run Thu–Tue at 18:00 and Wed at 12:30.
  • The correct email address for rooms at Seminario Vescovile Sant’Andrea is seminariosantandre@gmail.com.
  • Trattoria da Badò is now closed on Wednesdays (open Thu–Tue 12:30–14:30 & 19:30–22:00).
  • Pizzeria Tavernetta is now closd on Tuesdays (open Wed–Mon 12:00–15:00 & 18:30–22:30).
For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:
Volterra
  • The Sacred Art Museum (Museo d’Arte Sacra) near the Palazzo dei Priori has closed.
Crete Senese
  • Alle Logge di Sotto is no longer open.

Venice

  • In the first printing of Rick Steves Venice 2015, the full-color Rialto Area map was printed incorrectly; here’s a downloadable PDF of the corrected Rialto Area map.
For books printed before October 2014, the following may also apply:
  • ACTV no longer offers 12-hour or 36-hour transit passes. Also, pass prices have increased for 72-hour passes (now €40) and 7-day passes (now €60).
  • Vaporetto passes are no longer valid on ACTV’s mainland bus #5 to the airport. Passholders must purchase a supplement (€4 one-way, €8 round-trip) for all ACTV buses that originate or terminate at Marco Polo Airport.
For books printed before September 2014, the following may also apply:
  • Walks Inside Venice’s English-only walking tours no longer run on Sundays (but do still run Mon–Sat at 14:30).
  • The Vaporetto dell’Arte service on the Grand Canal is no longer running.
  • Hotel Riva is closed for renovation.
  • Pension la Calcina is now Hotel la Calcina.
  • The recently renovated Ca’ San Trovaso has new phone numbers (tel. 041-241-2215, mobile 349-125-3890), a new manager (Anna), and slightly higher prices: Sb-€100, Db-€150, bigger canal-view Db-€170, Tb-€195.
  • If your train to “Venice” terminates at Venezia Mestre (on the mainland), you now need to buy a €1.25 Mestre—Santa Lucia ticket at a machine and validate it before hopping any non-express, regional train for the 10-minute ride across the causeway to Venice.
For books printed before September 2013, the following may also apply:
  • Several of Venice’s tourist information offices have changed their hours: The two convenient branches near St. Mark’s Square (one in the far-left corner with your back to the basilica, the other next to the Giardinetti Reali park near the San Marco vaporetto stop) are open daily 9:00–19:00. There’s also a TI desk at the airport (daily 9:00–20:00). At the train station, in the summer (from Carnevale through October), you’ll find TI staffers in a big, white kiosk out front near the vaporetto #2 stop (daily 9:00–14:30, closed off-season; as this kiosk is shared with the private Alilaguna boat company, be sure to seek out a TI representative). The TI inside the station is open on summer afternoons (daily 13:00–19:00) and all day long in winter (daily 9:00–19:00; likely near track 1, though this may change with station renovation).
  • Venicescapes has a new phone number: 041-850-5742.
  • San Giorgio Maggiore now has somewhat longer hours: The church and tower are both open April–Oct Mon–Sat 9:00–19:00, Sun 9:00–11:00 & 12:00–19:00; Nov–March daily 9:00–17:30. The last ascent in the tower elevator is still 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Trattoria alla Madonna is now closed on Wednesdays (and open on Tuesdays).
  • Rizzo sandwich shop has closed.
  • Pensione Accademia offers a 5 percent discount on the balance due at check-out. To receive the discount, request it when you book in advance, show the current edition of Rick Steves Venice at check-in, and pay in cash.

Verona

For books printed before October 2014, the following may apply:
  • The bus stop that had been in front of the McDonald’s has been moved to Piazza Brà, near the WCs.
  • A Verona Card now costs €15 for 24 hours or €20 for 72 hours.
  • The town’s tourist information office is now open April–Sept Mon–Sat 9:00–19:00, Oct–March Mon–Tue 9:00–13:00 & 14:00–18:00, Wed–Sat 9:00–18:00; Sun 10:00–16:00 year-round.
  • The parking lot in front of the train station is now closed; instead use the Città di Nimes parking lot (a 5-minute walk from the train station, near the wall) or the underground Cittadella garage, at Piazza Cittadella (a block off Piazza Brà, behind the tourist information office).