This was an excellent and our favorite tour while in Rome for a week. It was well worth the early morning and taxi ride to the meetup area. Our tour started at the bottom of the steps from where the taxi dropped us off. There were 2 groups at this time but it never seemed crowded or rushed during the breakfast portion. You have to go through security at the Vatican so be aware and keep metal items in your bags to speed things along. The breakfast was lite but ample and filling. The espresso was excellent and spending sunrise in the garden, watching the sun illuminate the gardens was spectacular.
The tour itself was excellent but a bit rushed. By the time we got to the tapestries other tour groups were rushing past ours. We got to see many fine art works from sculptures, tapestries, and paintings to the famous frescoes and freezes of the Vatican Museum. For most of the tour cameras are fine, just no flash, but remember NO CAMERAS in the Sistine Chapel! We witnessed a kid trying to be sly and sneak a picture and the guards quickly rush him and make him show them the pictures and delete them off the camera. They never touched him or took his property but they were forceful and diligent in enforcing the policy so please head it. There are plenty of postcards and books with professional photos of the frescoes available.
Our tour ended in St Peter's Basilica which was amazing. Our guide explained the major parts of the Chapels inside the basilica and highlighted recommended places to visit after the tour. Unfortunately it was very crowded at this time and my wife got separated near the middle of the basilica part of the tour. The tour guide did what she could short of stopping the tour and searching for her (another couple got lost as well and were with her). We found them at the entrance/exit area and their headphones all were broken so they could not hear our guide calling for them. The end of the tour is really crowded so please pay attention.
I have been to the Vatican Museum several time in the past; however, the evening tour was everything promised and more. To see the Courtyard of the Pine cone and the dome of the Cathedral lit up at night was breathtaking. The rooms were not as crowded, especially the Sistine Chapel. Our guide was very knowledgeable and steered us to areas that were not crowded, yet were filled with incredible art and sculpture. During the two hour tour and "free time" I had more than enough time to see some of the rooms I have been unable to visit in the past. I would recommend this tour to any visitor to Rome.
Ok I just wrote the review of the Vatican in the space for the Borghese gallery tour. BUT we took both tours and loved them equally. Well-organized, with excellent tour guides. Stefanie led us through the amazing art of the Borghese Gallery, and Maria through the Vatican - both were outstanding and well worth the money and time. Try NOT to do both in the same day, as some folks did. Do one one day and the other the next - perfect way to see and appreciate both and have the rest of your days to see Rome.
If you travel to the Vatican city by either Green or Red bus tour which is by far the best way as you get a tour of Rome first and the hop on/off could be ideal if you have time, but beware and factor in Rome traffic but from Termini station about 3/4hr covers it, and there is a long walk around the Vatican wall to the entry point from the drop off point so take that into consideration when going for the start time, especially if you are a slow walker. Book on line either for a self guide, or a guided tour (which I would not recommend as there is so much to see, understand, and take in) it is also it is easy to get lost within. If you just turn up the queues can be a long and arduous wait so take a sun umbrella if hot and sunny. We found the pm tours better as there were less casual visitors around, so less queuing, do your homework before you go to make the most of your time, and be aware of the beggars, they are in your face and persistent, I strongly recommend you DON'T give as they will swarm you and follow you everywhere until you enter a place where thy cannot follow, and that doesn't include a toilet if they can get in they will. Have a great time and enjoy the experience as we did. Thank you Viator. H. Powell
Our "Vatican Day" in Rome started with the Pope's audience in the morning and the incredible experience continued in the afternoon with the tour of the Vatican Museums. Doriana was informative and friendly, showing a true passion for the subject matter. Additionally she was pretty adept at shooing away the various venders hawking various trinkets while we were staging for our trip.
This was my second trip to Rome. The first time I did not get to see the Sistine Chapel due to the long lines. This time we took the tour, did not have to wait on lines, our guide Felix was great, very accommodating and knowledgeable. The tour started on time and was better than advertised. This is the way to see the vatican!. Would highly recommend it. Props to Felix!!!
Absolutely the best tour we've ever had: from the new-fangled headsets which meant we heard every word guide Nicola said, to the fascinating insight we were given, on how paintings are really mosaics, on how the Colosseum was partially dismantled to build other buildings and metal sculptures melted down so only four remain in the whole city; on the Holy Wall opened every 25 years at St Peter's, on how the Vatican is the world's greenest country etc etc. So much fact given in a very interesting way. The walk was 3 hours but never overwhelming. The crowds were handled beautifully by Nicola and his little yellow flag. We never felt lost. The Vatican, St Peter's Basilica and the square are tremendous. We ran out of hyperbole. Well worth the extra cost to skip the line - it was so easy to get in the Vatican and straight into the Basilica. Congratulations and a big thank you to Enjoy Rome and Viator.
Great tour and tour guide. My wife and i are very happy to have gone on the tour, instead of going it alone. We learnt so much about the vatican and of the great artists.Next time in rome we will do the Vatican tour again.
It was so nice to skip the line on this excellent tour of the Vatican Museums. Even showing up early, there was quite a line, so it was nice to have priority tickets. Our tour guide was excellent, shw was very knowledgeable and kind. When I left, I felt I truly understood the connections between the Vatican, art and the socio-political movements of Rome and the Holy See.
Claudio our guide was very good and passionate about the art and frescos that we saw. The Vatican Museum is huge so don't expect to see it all or spend much time in each gallery. Sistine chapel and St Peter's Basilica were spectacular even given the limited viewing time. When in Rome so this tour.
If this is something that you want to see - I most certainly encourage you to book a tour - the lines are VERY long and start forming at least 2 hours before the ticket sales start. 23,000 people a day!!! - so our guide, David, informed us. This is a must do tour when in Rome. Words cannot express the impressiveness of Vatican City. Our tour guide, David, was a joy to listen to. He provided us with the history of the art work and sculptures. He spoke with great knowledge, confidence and humour. I recommend this tour and David.
We booked this tour as a family of 4 (2 teenagers 16 and 13). I was hesitant given the cost of this tour. But it is as all the other reviews before me have said, this is well worth the money. We were in Rome August 2014 and the lines and people at all of the various sites are massive and at times suffocating. This tour allowed us to see the Vatican Museum as a very small group (12) and we were for I would say 80 % of the tour in places just to ourselves. Our group had to be escorted the entire time by a Vatican staff because only he had the keys to unlock the various doors to the rooms no one else was allowed in. We saw rooms which were not open to the rest of the public and had the time to admire the incredible art completely to ourselves without having the jostle 200 people in front of us. But the best part is having the Sistine Chapel completely to ourselves. I kid you not. Our entire tour group of 12 plus our guide and the Vatican escort. That was it in the Sistine Chapel for about 40 minutes. We were able to hear our guide tell us the stories of the various panels and then just sit or walk around the entire chapel on our own. This is well worth every cent you pay. Our guide (a gentleman who I think his name is Tiber) was engaging, knowledgable and clearly loved the history of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel). Thank you Tiber and Viator for organizing this tour. It truly was a highlight for us and we will never forget it.
We were in Rome Aug 2014. The line ups to almost any thing is long. One of the main benefits of booking a tour is the ability to skip these long (and I mean LONG) line ups which is often in the sun. St Peter's Basilica is just simply on those MUST SEE places in Rome. There is nothing as spectacular as this church. We also walked up the 300 + steps and 1 short elevator ride to the top of the dome. You get some pretty spectacular views of the Vatican Colonnade and the surrounding outside areas. Also you are able to see the mosaics in the dome up close which is worth the price of this tour. You get such a better perspective of the art, mosaics and the size of this place by going up the dome. Highly recommend this tour.
This tour was fantastic! Paula was the best tour guide I could have imagined. She was personable and friendly and made the tour that much better with her own personal anecdotes that she included. She also had a vast knowledge of the history of Rome and the Vatican and imparted that to all of us. I recommend the tour and Paula especially.
We absolutely loved the tour, our tour guide was Dario he was fantastic I could not have asked for a better guide. Dario spoke perfect english, was very attentive and courteous to the group, amazed by his knowledgeable about the Vatican, Sistine, Basilica, Art, Statues and History. Dario brought books for props to show the group specific items in paintings to look for when we got into the Sistine Chapel. It was perfect and nice to know what you were seeing. After the tour Dario gave information visiting the tombs, walking the 537 stairs to the top of the Cupola and other sites to not to miss in Rome. What we were lucky enough to see was overwhelming and amazing, Dario brought everything into perspective and made our day perfect.
We took the Colosseum tour on Saturday and asked for Dario he was not working that tour that day, wish he was.
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