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Vatican tour

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As most, we are looking to doing a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. I went to their web site and looked at some private tour companies and it seems to me that the private tour companies are offering about the same thing, tour of the Museum and Sistine chapel, for a cheaper price than booking directly thru the Vatican. Am I missing something here?.

To be honest, we are of the Hebrew faith and while we surely want to see the Vatican and such, is doing all the museums, and other things something that might appeal to us, or more to those of the Catholic faith? Just curious on that.

Can some one recommend a good tour company that they have used to do a tour of the Vatican if we decide to go that way?

Cheers

Len

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The Vatican Museums will appeal to anyone interested in fine art and sculpture, regardless of religion. The Sistine Chapel is a marvel of fine art and worth of viewing and admiration by anyone. Just like I, as a Protestant, found it absolutely worth it.

 

Just like I was very interested in visiting Masada, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, and I am not Jewish. History, architecture, art - it is all worth viewing, regardless of religious practice.

 

As for tours at the Vatican, I cannot comment as I was a DIY person.

 

(I will say that I did take one of the busses down to Masada - did not want the hassle of driving a personal vehicle across those borders and checkpoints. )

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As most, we are looking to doing a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. I went to their web site and looked at some private tour companies and it seems to me that the private tour companies are offering about the same thing, tour of the Museum and Sistine chapel, for a cheaper price than booking directly thru the Vatican. Am I missing something here?
I suspect you are but without links to the actual offers you are looking at it's hard to know for sure.

 

My best guess is that you are looking at a price for the guide only ... and that the price of the entry ticket is not included.

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We used Rome in Limo and had a great tour. They picked us up at the port, dropped us at the Vatican and gave us a phone to use to call them when we were done so we weren't on a schedule. Then we saw a few other places off the beaten path. This was our 3rd trip to Rome and we had seen most tourist spots. Rome in Limo had great suggestions and created a great tour for us.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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The Vatican Museums will appeal to anyone interested in fine art and sculpture, regardless of religion. The Sistine Chapel is a marvel of fine art and worth of viewing and admiration by anyone. Just like I, as a Protestant, found it absolutely worth it.

 

Just like I was very interested in visiting Masada, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, and I am not Jewish. History, architecture, art - it is all worth viewing, regardless of religious practice.

 

As for tours at the Vatican, I cannot comment as I was a DIY person.

 

(I will say that I did take one of the busses down to Masada - did not want the hassle of driving a personal vehicle across those borders and checkpoints. )

 

 

I understand completely the point you are making. We love history, no matter what, where or whom it involved. I was just curious, on visiting the Vatican Web site, they mention things you could do for the entire day and if that might appeal more towards one of the Catholic faith? When we visited St Petersburg, in Russia, we went to many historic Churches with just so much history. We loved it.

Cheers

Len

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I don't think the museums are overly Catholic, in fact the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is all about the Old Testament so if you know your Torah it will look very familiar.

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We have used Rome-In-Limo in Florence, Rome and Naples and think highly of them. We will have two days in Rome pre-cruise.

 

What is the difference between RIL and purchasing Vatican tickets and the Guided Tour offered on Vatican ticket site ?

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All the private tour companies have connections to obtaining advance tickets and certified guides to the Vatican. People not on a tour that want to DIY can do the same thing themselves. You can book advance tickets yourself and pick up a group or private guide on site.

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All the private tour companies have connections to obtaining advance tickets and certified guides to the Vatican. People not on a tour that want to DIY can do the same thing themselves. You can book advance tickets yourself and pick up a group or private guide on site.

 

Thanks Carolyn, at first glance it seemed RIL was a lot more expensive.

 

I just checked again: RIL = 70 Tour + 4*16 Tickets = E134. Vatican Ticket site is 32 per person for Tour including ticket so E128 for four of us. I have enjoyed RIL so much in the past, I will stay with them.

Edited by Tedferg

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Another question of this subject, maybe just for clarification. Most tours seem to include the museums and Sistine Chapel. Fine. In my original post I thought the tour companies were cheaper, but I have followed thru and they are not. My question is, some of the tour companies include St Peter's Basilica as part of the tour. I thought that was free to enter as you wish. If a tour company doesn't mention that, are you not able to enter the Basilica on your own, afterwards? Even the tours from the Vatican web site, just have the Museums and Sistine Chapel and don't mention St Peters. So, if we do a tour, finish can we then just go to the Basilica on our own?

 

Cheers

Len

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There is no charge to enter St Peter's. The two advantages to having it included in a guided tour are first, the obvious one of having a guide to point out the significant art and provide key facts and history -- which one can do on one's own if you are the type that is diligent about research in advance and bringing notes with you (very little if any signage).

 

The other key advantage, to some, is that if you tour the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel with a guide, and plan to continue to St Peters, you can take advantage of a significant shortcut through the Sistine chapel directly into St Peters, without the long walk (about 30 minutes or slightly less if you are a good walker) back to the museum entrance and around to the basilica entrance. You also skip the security line at the entrance to St. Peter's, which could take another chunk of time.

 

Since you have a number of days in Rome, these advantages may not be worth it to you.

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There is no charge to enter St Peter's. The two advantages to having it included in a guided tour are first, the obvious one of having a guide to point out the significant art and provide key facts and history -- which one can do on one's own if you are the type that is diligent about research in advance and bringing notes with you (very little if any signage).

 

The other key advantage, to some, is that if you tour the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel with a guide, and plan to continue to St Peters, you can take advantage of a significant shortcut through the Sistine chapel directly into St Peters, without the long walk (about 30 minutes or slightly less if you are a good walker) back to the museum entrance and around to the basilica entrance. You also skip the security line at the entrance to St. Peter's, which could take another chunk of time.

 

Since you have a number of days in Rome, these advantages may not be worth it to you.

 

Thanks for that great piece of advice.

If we decide to tour on our own, say with buying an audio guide of the Museums and Sistine Chapel, are we still eligible to do that 'shortcut'?

Cheers

Len

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Thanks for that great piece of advice.

If we decide to tour on our own, say with buying an audio guide of the Museums and Sistine Chapel, are we still eligible to do that 'shortcut'?

Cheers

Len

 

No. It is just for actual tours. Sometimes tourists sneak through by 'attaching' themselves with a departing group but it's frowned on and not as easily done as it once was (when Rick Steves famously wrote about it).

 

Also, if you rent an audio guide you have to return it to the front desk at the Vatican museum, which would negate any possibility of using the short cut.

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I recommend Walks Of Italy. Hands down the best tour I've ever taken.

 

( I am planning on using them in Venice too )

 

The guide will bypass everything and go straight to the Sistine Chapel to beat the crowds. We , all 20 of us, learned about every panel., no one else was there.

 

When the other tour groups started to enter we were on our way out.

 

Walks of Italy seemed to have a "in" with security and Vatican personnel.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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No. It is just for actual tours. Sometimes tourists sneak through by 'attaching' themselves with a departing group but it's frowned on and not as easily done as it once was (when Rick Steves famously wrote about it).

 

Also, if you rent an audio guide you have to return it to the front desk at the Vatican museum, which would negate any possibility of using the short cut.

 

I must say that I visited the museum a few years ago - and following Rick Steves used the shortcut. I did not need to return the audio guide as I used Rick's audioguide to the Sistine Chapel which I had downloaded to my ipod, it is highly recommended. I did not have time to explore much more of the Vatican Museum. I would probably have visited on my upcoming cruise but we are in Civitavecchia on 1st November so I am planning on visiting Tarquinia.

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We're atheists so don't have any truck with any religion but we do love history. We enjoyed our Vatican visit so much when on a weekend trip to Rome that we've done it again since. My advice would be not to prebook any tour guide if you're going to turn up at the Vatican under your own steam, wait until you get to St Peter's Square and you will see lots of independent guides waiting to take people on tours. Many are History of Art students and they really bring alive all that you see when in the Vatican. They also know how to bypass the queues! Our first guide was fab. She gathered just 6 of us together and told us so many quirky and unusual facts. Myself and another woman mentioned that it was a pity that we couldn't have a photo with the Swiss guard outside the pope's private apartment. She flirted shamelessly with him until he agreed to our photo op! I can't remember what we paid for the tours but they were very reasonable and both were excellent value for money.

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I have a related question - How long do most people usually spend touring the Vatican?

 

This will be our second time in Rome, and there were a few things we missed the first time around (such as the Vatican). I see tours from 2.5 to 4.5 hours -- is 4.5 hours overkill?

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I have a related question - How long do most people usually spend touring the Vatican?

 

This will be our second time in Rome, and there were a few things we missed the first time around (such as the Vatican). I see tours from 2.5 to 4.5 hours -- is 4.5 hours overkill?

 

It depends on what you mean by "The Vatican". If you are including both the Vatican museums (which are huge), Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's basilica, then 4.5 wouldn't seem like overkill at all to me.

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It depends on what you mean by "The Vatican". If you are including both the Vatican museums (which are huge), Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's basilica, then 4.5 wouldn't seem like overkill at all to me.

 

In your wisdom you have replied with a good question. I need to research what it is I want to see in Vatican City first, then I will come back to ask how much time I would need to visit them.

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Just to be clear, it sounds like Mim's tour was of the basilica, not the museums.

No it was the museums, Sistine Chapel and shortcut through to St Peter's Basillica.

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My advice would be not to prebook any tour guide if you're going to turn up at the Vatican under your own steam, wait until you get to St Peter's Square and you will see lots of independent guides waiting to take people on tours. Many are History of Art students and they really bring alive all that you see when in the Vatican. They also know how to bypass the queues! Our first guide was fab. She gathered just 6 of us together and told us so many quirky and unusual facts. Myself and another woman mentioned that it was a pity that we couldn't have a photo with the Swiss guard outside the pope's private apartment. She flirted shamelessly with him until he agreed to our photo op! I can't remember what we paid for the tours but they were very reasonable and both were excellent value for money.

 

No it was the museums, Sistine Chapel and shortcut through to St Peter's Basillica.

 

I think euro cruiser (and myself) were confused because one would not find Vatican museum guides in St. Peter's Square (which is outside the basilica) but rather in the area where the entrance to the museum is....

 

:confused:

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I think euro cruiser (and myself) were confused because one would not find Vatican museum guides in St. Peter's Square (which is outside the basilica) but rather in the area where the entrance to the museum is....

 

:confused:

Yep, that's exactly the issue/confusion.

 

More information on this tour would be helpful. Did you wait in the general line for admission to the museums? Did you purchase your own entry ticket or did the tour guide provide the tickets?

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