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Totally confused about Vatican tours

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cincinnati, OH
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Totally confused about Vatican tours

We have a Scavi tour on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00, so it seems we should do the Vatican and Sistine Chapel before that. I am completely befuddled about all the different tours available - "official," or through companies (some qualified, some not), book early or when we get there or just show up, etc. Can anyone educate me about all these different factors? It is confusing! Thanks so much in advance.

Rome, Italy
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1. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Booking a tour to visit the Vatican Museum is not compulsory as it is for the Scavi, you can do the Museum by yourself quite easly and once in taking the museum audioguide. The lines should have been cut down since the museum schedule was outstretched to 4pm (last entrance, closing time is 6pm).

If you want a tour guide I would give a try to book the official one since it's the cheapest and very informative (run by a Vatican guide). It covers just the highlights (2 hours and half) but it's enough for not art history buffs!

If you are coming in high season, an official city tour guide fee is around 50-60 euros per hour (the entrance tickets are not included) and for your party only. Tour companies normally run large group tours (from 20 up to 40 people), everibody is given an headset to listen to the guide.

I hope that a little bit of fog is gone away!

Ciao Daniela

cincinnati, OH
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2. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Thank you so much! I think the official tour is best, from what you say. Now, how do I go about reserving that? Is there a website to do so?

Jacksonville, FL
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3. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Hi,

You can find information on the Vatican website, www.vatican.va. Click on "Holy See" and then information. There will be a fax number for you to use to make your reservation. Keep in mind that even though the official Vatican Tour is only 2 hours, you don't necessarily have to leave the museum. After you've paid your entrance fee, you can stay as long as you like until they close.

You'll probably want to leave early enough to have lunch somewhere, although you can pack some snacks if you'd rather. And remember that you have to be at the Scavi office 15 minutes prior to your tour. If you leave straight from the Vatican museum, it's about a 15 minute walk over to the Scavi office in St. Peter's Square.

You'll have a great time!

Vicki

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Follow up question: I've seen Daniela's earlier post about the new extended hours and about how we shouldn't get talked into a tour just to skip theline because the line moves pretty fast. But Daniela - if you're reading this - does that advice still apply for Holy Week? Or will that week be so busy that we should go ahead and book a "skip the line' tour?

cincinnati, OH
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5. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

So for a tour admission price you get the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica is free? Just go through security?

Jacksonville, FL
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6. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Jodi,

I can't answer your question and I'm sure Daniela can, but you need to see if the Vatican has different opening/closing days for Holy Week. I know that the schedule at St. Peter's is rearranged, not sure about the Vatican museums. Keep in mind too that there is a Vatican Forum with a great local expert who can answer your questions. You may want to post there. The expert is 'DominiSumus' and you could post "Question for DominiSumus". He has always been extremely helpful to us. He has the info you need to get tickets to events at St. Peter's that the Pope will be presiding over as well. We got tickets this past Easter to the Good Friday service at St. Peter's and it was really exciting to see the Pope. The tickets are free, but you just need to request them in advance.

Have a wonderful trip!

Vicki

Jacksonville, FL
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7. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

Bearcat - yes, your ticket price for the Vatican Museums includes the Sistine Chapel as it is inside the museum. St. Peter's is free. Here's a little secret (although it's not so secret anymore). When you end up in the Sistine Chapel, in the right rear there is a door that says 'tour groups' or something to that effect. Go through the door and down the corridor - there's a guard in a booth but he won't stop you. When you come out, you will be alongside St. Peter's...just walk straight to the portico to enter St. Peter's and you will bypass the entire St. Peter's line. I know this works...we just did it this past year and it saved a ton of time.

Enjoy!

Vicki

8. Re: Totally confused about Vatican tours

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