Help! I need some advice on how to plan our day at the Vatican. We’ll be in Rome in mid-October so I sent out an email yesterday asking about the tours of the Necropolis, never expecting I’d hear back (or, at least, not for a few weeks/months). Incredibly, I got a confirmation email in less than an hour indicating we’d gotten in on the day I specified. So, now I have to try to fit in everything else around it, and I’m not quite sure the best way to do it.
Our tour of the Necropolis is on a Friday, at 3:15pm. They estimate it’ll take about 1.5hrs, so we should get out around 4:45pm-ish.
I specifically asked for it to be on a Friday because I wanted to book an evening tour of the Sistine Chapel, etc. It’s still too early to book this (only goes up to August now), but I think it would be better to try to get the 7pm tour, to reduce the amount of waiting time in between the two tours.
Questions if I am able to book the night tour –
1) One of the reasons I wanted to book the night tour is my (perhaps wrong) assumption that it will be less crowded. Can anyone confirm if they let just as many people into the night tours as they do during the day, or if it will be less crowded because they restrict admittance?
2) I’m assuming the night tours are the same as the tours you would get if you booked during the day, but can someone confirm it’s not a shorter version and we might miss out on seeing some of the areas if we picked a night tour vs. going during the day.
3) Can tickets for the night tour be picked up from the same location as the tickets for the Necropolis tour, at the same time (i.e. 3:00pm ticket pickup for 7pm tour)? Or, do we have to stand in 2 different lines at two different times in order to get both sets of tickets?
4) The Necropolis tour should finish up around 4:45pm. Provided we’ve already been able to pick up the tickets and don’t have to wait in line again to pick up the night admission/tour tickets, we’ll have a little under 1.5 hours between the two tours. Is there anything to do inside the Vatican for that time that doesn’t require a timed ticket, or is it ok to leave the Vatican, grab a quick bite to eat, and come back closer to the second tour time?
In case we can’t get tickets for the night tour and have to go with a regular daytime admission –
1) It looks like tickets for the regular daytime admissions can also only be booked now through August, and I can’t find a schedule of the admission/tour times online, so I’m not sure what our daytime choices are. What time would you recommend we try to get tickets for so the first one ends around 2:45pm? (Necropolis confirmation email says tickets for that tour can only be picked up about 10mins prior to start, so we won’t have the option of getting both sets of tickets at the same time in the event of a daytime admission).
That’s all the questions I can think of right now. We don’t have a lot of time in Rome, and we’re staying in the San Lorenzo area, so to maximize time I really want to try to get all the Vatican stuff to fit together as well as possible so we can see it all in one trip and not waste too much time in between tours. Any advice you can give would be appreciated.