An excellent, stand out tour - - our guide (Alfredo I think) was excellent - knowledgable and passionate about his subject. We paid extra for the early, small group tour which is well worth it - no queues or fuss. St Peter's Basilica is breath taking - you don't realise the scale of the main dome until you check out the people on the upper levels (looking ant like) - well worth the effort to climb up (or take lift). Museums and Sistine Chapel all well worth the visit - so much to see for those interested in art and culture spanning previous three millenia
I did the early-morning skip-the-line Vatican Tour with breakfast and it was fabulous!!
Susanna was superb and had great art-history knowledge. She even spent about 10 minutes after the tour with me to advise on sites to visit en route to my hotel - very kind :)
I highly recommend this tour as breakfast in the serenity of the Pine Cone Courtyard, with a view of St Peter's Basilica dome, is a marvelous way to start the day! While there are other 'early-morning' tours around you, there are significantly less people than later in the day - evidenced by the immense queue you will see in St Peter's Square!
Our tour guide Shannon was lovely and so very knowledgeable!
We enjoyed every moment of our tour and learned a lot.
It was an amazing tour of the Vatican Museums. She educated us on the Sistine Chapel where we went in on our own because there is no talking. Once done in there she walked us to the St Peter's Basilica where she would discuss once again and send us on our way. It was all wonderful!
This was an excellent tour operated by a tour guide who had an extraordinary amount of knowledge on the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's rooms and St Peter's basilica. I would happily take this tour again on my next visit to Rome.
Really enjoyed the tour. Very informative and enlightening. One complaint though, the tour is listed as including St Peter's Basilica, yet this is not available, to my understanding, on Wednesdays. Surely this is known prior to advertising.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Having never been to the Vatican, I didn't know where to start so this tour was an excellent introduction. The three hours flew in and although we we got 20minutes in St Peter's Basilica it wasn't long enough....we could have spent a day there so I now have a better idea of the parts of the Vatican I will explore in more detail. Our tour guide, Dario, was excellent. He was very knowledgeable answering questions as we went through the Vatican, pausing to point out famous pieces and interesting facts. He was very patient and clearly, was passionate about the Vatican's vast treasures. I would recommend this trip to anyone who has never visited the Vatican before as it really was a wonderful overview.
This was an absolutely fantastic tour. We met our tour guide, Maurizi, opposite the entrance to the Vatican Museums. He was highly knowledgeable on all matters throughout the tour; he has a degree in history and fine art, I believe. As there is so much to see in this tour (you could spend days there), he picked out the highlights and his personal favourites and gave fascinating details. He was very friendly and patient with people taking photos, etc. We were given headphones and a small device so we could hear our guide through the crowds. After the main tour, we were left to wander around St Peter's Basilica (after being provided with info on it) and the square.
I would also add that our tour guide gave us lots of religious details but in a perfect, objective way.
The price almost put me off, but for the quality and length of the tour, it's excellent value. Plus you get to walk past all the people queuing to get in and go through straight away!
A few things to bear in mind on this tour:
- wear comfy shoes and don't wear yourself out beforehand (I made the mistake of walking for about two hours around Rome before!)
- it is busy and crowded throughout the Vatican City, with few places to sit down
- there is only one public drinking tap, at the start of the tour (although there is a cafe inside, we did not stop there during the tour)
- I'm not sure if there were more places we could stop, but we only made one bathroom break about halfway through
- you cannot take pictures and have to be quiet inside the Sistine Chapel. Our tour guide helpfully gave us descriptions before we entered
- certain areas of the tour require you to cover up: no exposed knees or shoulders. I saw people being asked to cover up before entering the basilica
- you have to go through a metal detector to enter the Vatican City. Whilst you don't have to take off belts, etc., your handbags will be scanned
We did this tour on our 3rd day (of 6) in Rome and had a fantastic time. Our tour guide Alessandro had perfect English and was so knowledgeable. Better than that, she genuinely seemed to enjoy her job which was hardly surprising given how beautiful the sights in the Vatican Museums etc are. Well worth a trek to the top of St Peter's basilica to see the view across Rome too. Would recommend this tour to anyone visiting Rome for the first time or to anyone who hasn't had a guided tour of the Vatican Museums etc. There is simply too much history here to visit these places without the knowledge of a guide. Worth every penny!!! :-)
Great overview of the Vatican Museum, St Peter's Basilica and the other 3 major basilicas all in 1 day. Guides for the morning and afternoon tours were both very informative. Daniella, the afternoon guide, was very knowledgable and enthusiastic about each basilica we visited. Skip the line a huge plus at the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's as the regular wait lines were very long.
Doing what: Skip the Line: Vatican in One Day
It was difficult to get specific directions to the meeting place but I can help! It's at the NE corner of Via Germanico and Via Leone IV. There is a sign on the SE side of the building that says "Enjoy Rome" and the door is right next to the sign on the ground floor. Backpacks will have to be checked at the door of the museum and it's a good 10 minute walk to get back to your possessions after the tour. Don't go without taking a tour! You will have long waiting lines and won't understand much. As for the tour, our guide was Valentino and we absolutely LOVED her. She was fantastic! There were 23 in our group and she kept us with us all beautifully. The tour was 3 full hours. You do get a shortwave/earphone to hear the tour guide. The crowds were incredible - 20,000 people a day makes it very crowded and very loud. I would NOT go in the summer as there is no air conditioning. We saw one museum, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. No talking and No photos in the Sistine Chapel. It was all fascinating and beautiful. A definite must-do on your trip to Rome! One suggestion - go eat at Ristochicco Restaurant after - make reservations!
I booked the Vatican small group tour "on-line" 2 days before arriving in Rome.. yes I know "last minute" arrangements may "crash and burn.. but "no".. met with the Guide "early doors".. our booking details were there and a very welcoming Francesca (Graduate MA in Art) led the group. We were wired up with individual "headsets".. what a great piece of kit. From the moment we started our "passionate, polite and altogether professional guide" didn't let up. In every way this was without doubt an amazing 3 hours of "show / tell"... and an introduction to the "Masters" and their work ! In truth my wife and I could not have known about half of what was being seen.. not even with a guide book strapped to our heads !
So I think you get the point.. amazing Sistine Chapel.. amazing St Peter's Basilica and so much more... and a "top drawer" person to listen to... would we do it again... yes please !
We went on this tour the day after the Pope stepped down. Viator was great about communicating with us regarding the possible limitations of the tour because of the timing. But it worked out and we had an amazing tour. Our guide was fabulous. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the museum and the Vatican and St Peter's Basilica . She didn't rush us at all and had the answer for all our questions.
I enjoyed this tour very much but it would have been a great deal better if Pope Benedict had not decided to resign. The Pope's resignation meant that we were unable to enjoy the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. We did however get an extended tour of the Vatican Museum. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
A well organised tour and a well informed guide. It was an interesting afternoon and we learned far more than we would have discovered if we had visited the Vatican Museums independently. Despite the Vatican's February ban on tour guides in St Peter's basilica we didn't feel that we missed out on anything. Recommended.
Excellent tour without the guide I think we would have missed half of it, well worth the money the sheer opulence of the Vatican has to be seen to be believed, St Peter's Basilica is incredible, would not like to visit high season when visitors top 29K per day
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