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No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

Salt Lake City, UT
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No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

I read a posting by "Scrappy" dated Feb. 25th that said even with a reservation with Angel Tours, the lines at the Vatican were so long, that they did not get in. Angel Tours graciously offered them a free tour of the Coliseum/Forum the next day.

If the lines and crowds are that bad in February, it makes me a little concerned for our trip in mid-May. My daughter and I only have 4 days in Rome, and we are "planning" for one day to be our Vatican/Castel San Angelo day.

Has anyone else had this problem? Thanks!

Rome, Italy
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1. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

If you book a tour directly with the Vatican you can schedule it when you wish and skip the line; see vatican.va for more info. If you don't want a tour, I always find it helpful to go early Wednesday mornings (the Pope hold audience in St. Peter's square, so a lot of tourists are there instead of in the museums) or go 2 hours before last entry to avoid other morning rushes.

Salt Lake City, UT
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2. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

Thank you Solo Roma, I will investigate the Vatican website. I know that most everyone has the museums on their "to-do" list. I am hoping to make as many reservations before we leave the USA as I can.

Rome, Italy
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3. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

I understand. I'm not sure I made something clear: many tour groups are not affiliated with the Vatican and so you are paying for their tour once you get in -- but they can not get you in any faster than you can by standing in line yourself. Those kinds of tour groups meet you outside the vatican and stand in line with you. Or, some send a representative earlier to stand in line before you get there, shaving off some of the wait. But, with vatican affiliated tour group and the vatican tour directly, you can bring your confirmation to the door, go to the window for tours inside, and wait for your tour there rather than stand outside in the general public line. so, do be careful that you understand exactly what you're getting with any tour provider.

Personally, I don't think you need a tour, but do rent a set of the self-guided headphones. With kids, it's just easier to bolt when you need to and linger when you find something special.

Salt Lake City, UT
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4. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

More thanks SoloRoma. We are hoping to visit the Vatican on Friday, May 18. From what it says on their website, I can't fax them until one month prior to that (April 18). I'm ready to fax them today (I'm SO looking forward to our time in Rome), but I guess I have to wait.

Budapest, Hungary
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5. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

A guided tour with the Vatican themselves sounds an excellent idea.

When we arrived at the museum queue last year at 08:15 (it still opened at 08:45) the queue was massive. Leaving my wife at the back of the queue I walked to the front and then timed myself walking back to her: 11 minutes !! if you can avoid that so much the better.

We left and came back at 13:00, almost no queue. It's a difficult one.....

Chantilly,VA
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6. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

I have a tour booked with Angel Tours for the Vatican....I just assumed that meant I would have no difficulties getting in. We'll be in Rome the first week of April --- Holy Week -- right now I have the tour booked for Monday, April 2. I wonder if I should still fax the Vatican and book that way too?

Rockford, Illinois
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7. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

ETVA

Can you please reply after your trip with how the Angel Tour went, i.e. how long the wait was and whether there was any problem? I've got a reservation with them for May 8, and would like to have your feedback to decide whether to do an official Vatican tour instead. Thanks.

Peachtree City...
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8. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

Considering that no tour groups other than the Vatican's own can "skip the line," I would highly recommend booking through them. My husband and I did an Angel Tour on March 3 and from the time we met our group, got in line (it was not considered to be an excessively long one), waited to get in, went through security and actually began our tour it took ONE HOUR. We met at 11 a.m. Our guide was very accommodating and by the time we asked our many questions and toured St. Peter's it was after 3:00 p.m. No problem with the tour, it was a great experience, BUT you sure don't want to wait in line and not even get in.... That would be awful!

Michigan
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9. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

After taking into consideration all of the comments about the hassle of faxing the Vatican, waiting for a confirmmation, etc., and the positive comments about Angel Tours, I also made a reservation with Angel Tours for the end of March just to be done with it. Their web site says "we pass the line and have tickets ready....." So, then, what does that mean? The reservations line?

I'm back where I started!

S.S.

Chantilly,VA
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10. Re: No admittance to Vatican museums, even with tour group?

I will email Angel Tours and see what they say about the Vatican Tour. I'll let you know what I find out.