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

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.

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

  • A new Cinque Terre Express train has begun service between Levanto and La Spezia. It runs every 30 minutes, stopping at all five Cinque Terre villages. The express service is scheduled to run through Nov. 1, 2016. Check bahn.com or Trenitalia's site for schedules.

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

  • La Lanterna restaurant in Riomaggiore has closed.

For books printed before October 2014, the following may also 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

Civita di Bagnoregio

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

  • The Giuliotaxi car/minibus service from Orvieto to Civita will wait for one hour (not two) in Civita before returning to Orvieto for €80/car, €100/minibus. A longer Civita visit will cost more.

Dolomites

For books printed before February 2015, the following may apply:

  • 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 also 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

  • The Bargello, in addition to its regular Tue–Sat hours, is open the first, third, and fifth Monday, and second and fourth Sunday, of each month (Monday/Sunday were switched in some printings).
  • The tourist information office at Via Cavour 1 red has reduced its hours, and is now open Mon–Fri 9:00–13:00, closed Sat–Sun.

For books printed before April 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The €72 Firenze Card no longer covers transportation, though it does now cover several additional sights, including the Ferragamo shoe museum.
  • The Duomo Museum is now closed on the first Tuesday of every month. Otherwise it's open daily, including Sunday, 9:00–19:00 (last entry at 18:00).
  • The first printing of Rick Steves Italy 2016 includes a version of the Florence Restaurants map (pp 540–541) that lacks several recommended eateries; here's a downloadable PDF of the corrected Florence Restaurants map.

For books printed before September 2015, the following may also apply:

For books printed before December 2014, the following may also apply:

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also 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.
  • 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.
  • Ristorante Isola Nuova in Varenna has closed.

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.

Milan

  • The Malpensa Express train from Malpensa Airport to Milan Centrale departs from the airport's Terminal 1 (not Terminal 2).
  • The correct URL for the website of tour company Autostradale is www.autostradaleviaggi.it.

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

  • From Naples the Circumvesuviana train takes about 20 minutes (not 50 minutes, as printed in some editions of Rick Steves Italy) to reach Ercolano Scavi (for the Herculaneum ruins, €1.80 one way) and 40 minutes to reach Pompei Scavi–Villa Misteri (for the Pompeii ruins, €2.60 one way).
  • Mondo Guide's Naples-based guided tours of Pompeii for Rick Steves readers now begin at 11:00 every day (not 10:30).
  • Laundry DYI has closed.

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

Orvieto

  • The bus to Bagnoregio now departs from the large parking area near the city's former barracks. To reach the stop from Piazza Cahen, walk along Via Roma away from the funicular and you'll come to a drive leading into the barracks. In the parking area, look for yellow painted spaces and posted bus schedule.

For books printed before February 2015, the following may also apply:

  • The Giuliotaxi car/minibus service from Orivieto to Civita will wait for one hour (not two) in Civita before returning to Orvieto for €80/car, €100/minibus. A longer Civita visit will cost more.

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

  • Idea Pizza has closed.

Padua

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

  • The Scrovegni Chapel now closes daily at 19:00, and no longer has discounted tickets for evenings or Mondays.

Pisa

For books printed before September 2015, the following may apply:

  • Ristorante Bagus has closed.

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also 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 and Herculaneum

  • From Naples the Circumvesuviana train takes about 20 minutes (not 50 minutes, as printed in some editions of Rick Steves Italy) to reach Ercolano Scavi (for the Herculaneum ruins, €1.80 one way) and 40 minutes to reach Pompei Scavi–Villa Misteri (for the Pompeii ruins, €2.60 one way).
  • Mondo Guide's Naples-based guided tours of Pompeii for Rick Steves readers now begin at 11:00 every day (not 10:30).

For books printed before February 2015, the following may apply:

  • 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 also apply:

Ravenna

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

  • The Erba Persa Agriturismo in Levanto has closed.
  • The Hotel Nuova Riviera in Santa Margherita Ligure has closed.
  • The Minimarket Fabrizio in Sestri Levante has closed.

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

  • Ristorante A’ Lampara in Santa Margherita Ligure has closed.

Rome

  • One part of the shortcut to the Victor Emmanuel Monument and Aracoeli Church no longer works: The route from Piazza del Campidoglio that skips the church, and once led through the iron gate at the top of the stairs, is now inaccessible. (But the shortcut through Santa Maria in Aracoeli Church still works.)
  • The Holy Stairs (Scala Santa) at the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano no longer close at midday, though the chapel there still does.
  • Elettrico minibus #116 has been discontinued. (For help with Rome's public transportation and journey planners in English, see muovi.roma.it, agenziamobilita.roma.it, or atac.roma.it.)
  • Castel Sant'Angelo is now open daily 9:00–19:30.
  • Dall'Antò restaurant, in the Monti district, has closed.
  • At Termini station, entry to the train platforms is now restricted to ticket holders. Entrances are from the inner atrium and from the halls to the side of the tracks.
  • Atral no longer runs buses between Termini station and Fiumicino Airport, but two new bus companies — T.A.M. and Schiaffini — make this run, leaving from the south side of Termini.

For books printed before September 2015, the following may apply:

  • The Museum of Roman Civilization is closed for renovation.
  • The Ciccia Bomba restaurant near Piazza Navona has changed owners and is no longer recommended by Rick Steves.
  • Hop-on, hop-off bus services 110open Bus and Archeobus have gone out of business. If you've pre-purchased tickets, you can apply for a refund though info@trambusopen.com.
  • Visitors are no longer required to check cameras at the Borghese Gallery; photos are now allowed at the Borghese and most other state-run museums in Italy.
  • Hotel Casa San Giuseppe in Trastevere has closed after all.
  • Gaudeo sandwich shop in Monti has closed.

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

  • 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 night train between Rome and Paris is no longer running.
  • Hotel Cisterna has closed.

Siena

For books printed before April 2016, the following may apply:

  • On the "Siena Hotels and Restaurants" map, both in the 2015 editions of Rick Steves Florence & Tuscany and Rick Steves Italy as well as the first printings of the 2016 editions, the numbers for two lodgings (12 and 14) are transposed. Hotel Chiusarelli is actually on Via Curtatone, and the Alma Domus is on the stepped alley by Sta. Caterina (and it's actually on the other side of that alley from where the map indicates).

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also 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.

Sorrento

For books printed before October 2015, the following may apply:

  • Hotel Elios has reopened as the substantially more expensive (and four-star) Hotel Helios.

Tuscan Hill Towns

For books printed before September 2015, the following may apply:

  • The phone number for the Tuscan Cooking School run by Romano and Agostina at Ristorante La Bucaccia in Cortona is +39 0575-606-039.

For books printed before December 2014, the following may also apply:

Volterra

  • Entry to the Etruscan Museum is now only possible with a €14 combo-ticket that includes the Pinacoteca and Alabaster Museum; separate tickets are no longer sold for each sight.

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also 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).

Venice

  • For travelers arriving by cruise ship: The best way to get to Piazzale Roma is to take the People Mover monorail, as the shuttle buses offered by some cruise companies from the port to Piazzale Roma are no longer running.

For books printed before October 2015, the following may also apply:

  • 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.
  • Travelers should purchase airport shuttle bus tickets prior to boarding the bus to Venice — not from the driver. Buy tickets from the tourist information office, the ticket desk in the terminal, the kiosk near baggage claim, or machines.
  • Villa Dolcetti, a hotel on the mainland near Mestre, has closed.

For books printed before August 2015, the following may also apply:

  • The Naval Museum is closed for renovation. Historic ships (including military vessels and ancient ceremonial gondolas) are viewable at the Ship Pavillion across the Arsenale Bridge (daily 10:00–17:00).
  • Osteria al Bacco restaurant in the Cannaregio district has closed.

For books printed before March 2015, 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).

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

  • 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

  • The website for Verona's tourism office is www.turismoverona.eu.
  • Gelateria Ponte Pietra, mentioned in the guidebook's self-guided Verona walk, is at #23, not #13.

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).