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!

Amalfi Coast

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 launderette has closed.
Ravello

Assisi

If your book was printed before October 2013, the following may apply:

Capri

  • 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

Monterosso
  • The festival of Corpus Domini falls on June 22 in 2014.
Manarola
  • Trattoria dal Billy has new hours: generally daily 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–22:00, may be closed Thursdays.
If your book was 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

If your book was 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.

Florence

  • ArtViva Walking Tours no longer offers its "Original Florence in One Day" tour, which covered the Uffizi and Accademia, plus a town walk (each museum is still offered as an individual tour).
  • The combo-ticket for Duomo-related sights is sold online, as well as inside the cathedral, and at the Campanile, Duomo Museum, and Centro Arte e Cultura (across from the Baptistery).
  • The stalls of the San Lorenzo Market have moved from the area surrounding the Church of San Lorenzo to nearby Piazza del Mercato Centrale.

If your book was printed before August 2013, the following may apply:

Orientation
  • 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.
Sights
  • 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. For a complete list of included sights, see www.firenzecard.it.
  • 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.
Sleeping
  • Soggiorno Magliani hotel has closed.
  • Arti e Hotel has changed owners, and has been renamed Beato Angelico Hotel.
Eating in Florence
  • The correct address for Trattoria Nerone Pizzeria is Via Faenza 95–97 red.
  • The Metà Supermarket in Oltrarno has closed.

Lake Como

If your book was 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

  • 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.

If your book was 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

  • 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.

Naples

Pompeii

The price of Antonio Somma's tours can vary with the season and number of people.

Ravenna

If your book was printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre

Santa Margherita Ligure
  • Ristorante A' Lampara has closed.

If your book was 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

  • If booking online for a Walks of Italy tour, enter the code "10ricksteves" to receive the 10 percent Rick Steves discount.
  • The night train between Rome and Paris is no longer running.

If your book was printed before October 2013, the following may also apply:

Orientation
  • 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.
Sights
  • 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).
Sleeping
  • At the Hotel Smeraldo, the Rick Steves price for a double room with bath is now €150, including breakfast. You must show the 2013 edition of my book at check in for this discount.
  • At the Hotel Selene Roma, in addition to the 10 percent discount for Rick Steves readers who book direct, the hotel is offering an additional 5 percent discount if you pay in cash.
  • 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

The Palio Viaggi travel agency has closed.

If your book was 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

If your book was 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

Spello
  • Il Trombone restaurant has closed.

If your book was 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

  • The Vaporetto dell’Arte service on the Grand Canal is no longer running.
  • Walks Inside Venice's English-only walking tours no longer run on Sundays (but do still run Mon–Sat at 14:30).

If your book was printed before September 2013, the following may also apply:

Orientation
  • 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.
Sights
  • 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.
Eating
  • Trattoria alla Madonna is now closed on Wednesdays (and open on Tuesdays).
Sleeping
  • 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

  • The Roman Theatre and the Archaeological Museum are both closed for restoration until to May 31, 2014.
  • 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).