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Vatican tour

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No we were in St Peter's Square when approached. There were lots of independent guides and when they had 6 or 8 people, they'd start the tour. We waited towards one side of the long queues while the guide went off for tickets. We then just went right to the front and went in with the guide. I don't know what arrangements they have with Vatican staff to do this, but they do! No waiting around at all. Both times we've done this we had excellent guides who were knowledgeable, witty, extremely interesting and really kept our interest.

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No we were in St Peter's Square when approached. There were lots of independent guides and when they had 6 or 8 people, they'd start the tour. We waited towards one side of the long queues while the guide went off for tickets. We then just went right to the front and went in with the guide. I don't know what arrangements they have with Vatican staff to do this, but they do! No waiting around at all. Both times we've done this we had excellent guides who were knowledgeable, witty, extremely interesting and really kept our interest.

 

The guides would gather up a group in front of the Basilica and THEN walk all of you over to the Museum entrance (15 minute walk around the Vatican walls)? I just haven't ever seen this done, not trying to be a pain...

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Boy have we waffled on this one, so I need one more clarification. We have decided to book right thru the Vatican site. Now they offer tours for individuals and with groups, for the same price, which is 32Euros. If we book this, say for individuals, what do we get, a private guide who shows us around? Do we also have to wait on long lines? What size are the 'groups?.

Again, sorry for all the questions, but we are finalizing our trip and this is one of the last steps.

Cheers

Len

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The guides would gather up a group in front of the Basilica and THEN walk all of you over to the Museum entrance (15 minute walk around the Vatican walls)? I just haven't ever seen this done, not trying to be a pain...

 

The day I was standing in line at St. Peters, there were indeed private guides standing outside the lines and just on the Square's outer boundaries, and on that side street where the beverage trucks sit who were hawking tours. Now, I didn't pay any mind to them, but I'll assume they were hawking the "full" experience - St. Peters, the Museums... Naive tourists wouldn't know the distance between the two and could say "yes" to the private guide.

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Boy have we waffled on this one, so I need one more clarification. We have decided to book right thru the Vatican site. Now they offer tours for individuals and with groups, for the same price, which is 32Euros. If we book this, say for individuals, what do we get, a private guide who shows us around? Do we also have to wait on long lines? What size are the 'groups?.

Again, sorry for all the questions, but we are finalizing our trip and this is one of the last steps.

Cheers

Len

 

I think you may have mis-interpreted the website.

 

The "Individual" category is for people purchasing tickets for their individual visit (e.g., a family or small group) but generally for participation in a group tour. The "Group" category would be for a tour guide making reservations for, say, a group of 30 or 40 people at once.

 

As an "Individual" you would select that category and then choose from the available options. For example, if you selected the "Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel", you click on it and it clearly says at the top: "A proposal intended for individual visitors interested in taking part in a collective tour with an educational guide authorised by Vatican City State."

So you are reserving individually for your family but will be part of a group tour. The Vatican tour group sizes aren't listed, but they are not small. It wouldn't be unusual to have a group of 30 or perhaps even more. They do use the headsets when touring in the museums so that everyone can hear.

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The day I was standing in line at St. Peters, there were indeed private guides standing outside the lines and just on the Square's outer boundaries, and on that side street where the beverage trucks sit who were hawking tours. Now, I didn't pay any mind to them, but I'll assume they were hawking the "full" experience - St. Peters, the Museums... Naive tourists wouldn't know the distance between the two and could say "yes" to the private guide.

 

Well, you learn something new every day. :confused:

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I think you may have mis-interpreted the website.

 

The "Individual" category is for people purchasing tickets for their individual visit (e.g., a family or small group) but generally for participation in a group tour. The "Group" category would be for a tour guide making reservations for, say, a group of 30 or 40 people at once.

 

As an "Individual" you would select that category and then choose from the available options. For example, if you selected the "Guided Tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel", you click on it and it clearly says at the top: "A proposal intended for individual visitors interested in taking part in a collective tour with an educational guide authorised by Vatican City State."

So you are reserving individually for your family but will be part of a group tour. The Vatican tour group sizes aren't listed, but they are not small. It wouldn't be unusual to have a group of 30 or perhaps even more. They do use the headsets when touring in the museums so that everyone can hear.

 

 

Thanks so much for clarifying that for me. The time for the tour on the day we want to go is 2:00PM which is fine for us (I hope). That is the real first day we are there and it will give us time to get acclimated to the city.

If we do book this, does that give us the ability not to stand in those long lines? And can we then use the 'secret' passage to St Peters?

Cheers

Len

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Thanks so much for clarifying that for me. The time for the tour on the day we want to go is 2:00PM which is fine for us (I hope). That is the real first day we are there and it will give us time to get acclimated to the city.

If we do book this, does that give us the ability not to stand in those long lines? And can we then use the 'secret' passage to St Peters?

Cheers

Len

 

If you book it, you won't have to stand in the long lines. There is a separate line for those with reserved tickets -- usually much shorter and moves fast.

 

Which tour are you doing? If it includes St. Peter's Basilica, you'll use the shortcut. If it does not, you likely will not.

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If you book it, you won't have to stand in the long lines. There is a separate line for those with reserved tickets -- usually much shorter and moves fast.

 

Which tour are you doing? If it includes St. Peter's Basilica, you'll use the shortcut. If it does not, you likely will not.

 

 

The tour, on the Vatican Web site say Museum and Sistine Chapel. That's all I know.

Since we will be there first week in November, when does St Peters close in the evening for tourists?

Cheers

Len

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The tour, on the Vatican Web site say Museum and Sistine Chapel. That's all I know.

Since we will be there first week in November, when does St Peters close in the evening for tourists?

Cheers

Len

 

The description of that tour, from the Vatican museum website: Itinerary of guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – individuals: Pio Clementino Museum, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Geographical Maps, Raphael’s Rooms, Sistine Chapel.

 

It does not include St. Peters, so your guide will not take you through the short-cut.

 

St. Peters Basilica closes at 6pm from October through March (off season) and one hour later in peak season.

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Well, you learn something new every day. :confused:

 

Always willing to give and take from you!!!

BTW, the newest Sherpani (the Tempest Tote) I bought is great! Used it last weekend on a 4-day getaway. It held my wallet (which was inside my little Sherpani purple crossbody), my Kippie bag for the TSA, my Bose headphones in their case, my electronics cables, my asthma med bag (always carry it), and a water bottle and an umbrella. Used it as a shoulder bag and as a backpack as needed. It's now going to be my everyday going-to-work bag.

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Always willing to give and take from you!!!

BTW, the newest Sherpani (the Tempest Tote) I bought is great! Used it last weekend on a 4-day getaway. It held my wallet (which was inside my little Sherpani purple crossbody), my Kippie bag for the TSA, my Bose headphones in their case, my electronics cables, my asthma med bag (always carry it), and a water bottle and an umbrella. Used it as a shoulder bag and as a backpack as needed. It's now going to be my everyday going-to-work bag.

 

Sounds like you picked a winner! My LeSportsac worked fine but nothing to get excited about....

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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.

Did you buy your Vatican tickets ahead of time and then just get the tour once there?

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Did you buy your Vatican tickets ahead of time and then just get the tour once there?

We went on a Saturday a few weeks ago at 9am. The line for those without tickets was several blocks long. We had purchased tickets online about 3 months before. Well worth it, we walked right in.

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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

 

Len, I am of Jewish Faith and my wife of Catholic Faith but it's not about faith when it comes to the tour. It's about the history. Also the amount of art work is amazing and if not for the Vatican would have been in too many hands. It has as much art as the Louvre in Paris.

 

Whatever you do IMHO I would have a knowledgeable tour guide take you around and ideally someone who is knowledgeable in art history.

 

Keith

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