As many of you know I recently went on a trip to Rome. As with anywhere I go, I always do some research beforehand. This helps to arrange an itinerary and to make sure nothing gets left out whilst finding some news things to go look at too.
The Roma Pass was something a work colleague mentioned to me, although she did not know the name just there was some card thing that gets you benefits.
So I looked up things to do in Rome and eventually came across the website for the Roma Pass through a link from another website. The Roma Pass website is: http://www.romapass.it/?l=en
The website gave me a great insight as to what the card was, there are 2 types of cards, so it explains what both offer and how much they cost.
The standard (red) Roma Pass costs 23 Euros, and the Roma & Piu (blue) Pass costs 25 Euro's.
The website goes on to have tabs for museums, events, a virtual tour, information, download and buy. I opted not to buy ours online, and decided I would get them when there.
The website sells the cards with this strap line "The Cards that offers you Transport and 2 Museums free of charge as well as Reductions for all other museums and major events."
I was sold, I should of perhaps checked the prices of the attractions. I'm not much of a museum go'er and would rather see architecture etc, although I do like museums, we did not opt to visit any whilst in Rome (except the Vatican Museum - but then that isn't in Rome is it.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Roma Pass can NOT be used in Vatican City.
When we arrived in Rome, we headed for Termini Station as we knew we could purchase a Roma Pass here as well as a bus ticket. We walked around Termini Station for a good half an hour looking for a desk or something, anything that indicated the Roma Pass was sold there. After an hour we headed back outside to the bus stop, we asked how much the tickets were, and knew you got a discount with the Roma Pass (5 euro's each - quite substantial) we mentioned the Roma Pass to the guy selling tickets and he pointed us across the road to a shack, I don't know if this is putting the right image in your minds but an outside vendor is what it was, selling papers, magazines, drinks etc. Oh and Roma Passes.
We bought 2, 23 euro's each, they come in little red packs, a bit smaller than a5 size. The front of the pack has Roma Pass written on it and has white scribbles that can be depicted as the outline of the Colosseum (well that's what I made it out to be.)
The Roma Pass pack is sealed with a white safety seal, that says on it, check safety seal before purchase.
As you open the pack you will find it opens up to 3 pages, on the left hand page you have your actually Roma Pass, a standard credit card size plastic card, white with red writing and outline. Below the Roma Pass is the transport pass, to use on any means of public transport within Rome to receive a discount price. This is paper but again the same size as a credit card. Also the transport pass is valid for only 3 days.
On the middle page you will find a paper map of Rome, this shows where all the tourist information centres (PIT's) are and other important places of interest.
On the right hand page, the last page, you will find a Roma Guide, and News booklets, I must be honest we flicked through these but didn't really bother studying them in depth, we knew what we wanted to do and see.
The Roma Pass does have its advantages and disadvantages, the main advantage being (if you haven't read my Colosseum review - we completely skipped the queue due to having one.) We also found at the Roman Forum we could skip the queue (much to my annoyance when we had been queuing for over 20 minutes then we were told), and on a plus note, we were going to use it for its discount after using it twice previously, but the Roman Forum is part of the Colosseums attraction (although they have different entrances) so we ended up not paying anything.
The main disadvantage is the entrance fees are not all that expensive, I think the Colosseum was the most expensive and we used our Roma Pass for that and St Angelo's Castle, which didn't come to 23 Euro's, although we saved money on the bus ticket (read TramBus 110 review).
I would say the only frustrating thing with the Roma Pass is, it isn't very clear about its use, outside none of the attractions there are no signs telling you it's excepted and in the Colosseums example, nothing telling you it is part of the Roman Forum's attraction and it is one entrance fee. That annoyed me as people may not, as we were not, that they are all part of the same thing.
Overall I would recommend the Roma Pass, my only advice would be make sure you use it for the more expensive attractions or you won't break even BUT buying it just to skip the queues can be a massive incentive and is definitely worth buying for that reason alone!!