SO WORTH the $$ to skip the 5 hour wait in line!!! Our Tour guide, David was CLASS A- #1. He not only had a civil engineering degree, but also Art and architecture. He was knowledgeable, professional and really enthusiastic about this tour and his lessons. he had incredible passion. He wove great stories about Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael, all the Popes and yet kept the depth there without any boredom. One comment for this company: You should not penalize any tour guides when people vacate the tour. We lost some people in the Sistine chapel and it is such a shame they are penalized. Charge their card for the headsets! the instructions were clear that we were supposed to gather again.
This was a fabulous tour, with our very knowledgeable and personable guide, Igur. When my sisters and I arrived at the meeting place for the tour, we were amazed at how long the line was for people trying to get into the Vatican. When Viator says Skip the Line, they mean it. Although there were thousand of people there, our group of 20 people was able to enter without any lengthy wait and begin our guided tour. (We did have to go through security similar to that at an airport, however.) Igur took us through all the rooms of the Vatican Museums and explained so much about all the artwork, statues, wall hangings, etc. Before we entered the Sistine Chapel he gave us a history lesson, with photographs, of how Michelangelo came to paint the ceiling. We learned so much on this tour, and saw everything there was to see. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who really wants to know about the things that they will be seeing in the museums, and especially since you won't have to wait on a line for hours.
This is an expensive tour so expectations were high. No disappointment though, well worth it. Our tour guide, Tiffany, was very knowledgable, very clear and encouraged questions from the group of nine people which she answered readily throughout. The Caravaggio painting, which I was keen to see, was not part of the tour due to time constraints, but as we got started quickly, Tiffany included it in the tour, giving an excellent overview of the painting and artist as well. An great bonus. The areas covered in this tour are not normally accessible and it was a pleasure and privilege to be able to see these artistic treasures and hear about them. Bramante's staircase and the views from it across the city of Rome - fantastic. The obvious highlight was the Sistine Chapel after the crowds had left. Tiffany provided an overview of the progress of Michelangelo's masterpiece, including interesting anecdotes, over the four and a half years he spent completing it. Wonderful. A once-in-a-lifetime treat.
Pauline was our guide and was very knowledgeable about the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's basilica. Skipping the line is a tremendous advantage as the number of people for this area is very large and at 10am there were already hundreds of people in line for tickets. Without an experienced guide you would miss so much of the history and would have little appreciation of what you are seeing. In our opinion this is the only way to see and appreciate this venue. Well worth the money. The only area we were a little disappointed in was the Sistine Chapel where the guards kept the crowds moving and it was difficult to spend time and enjoy the ceiling and the wonderful work of Michelangelo. Pauline however was able to give us information prior to entering the Sistine Chapel to help us enjoy this wonderful piece of art.
We had a 6 month old baby with us and Pauline was very accommodating about pointing out the elevators and ensuring my daughter in law was not left behind. For those bringing a baby it is very crowded, hot and not stroller friendly. A baby carrier is required.
This tour was well worth the money. Our excellent guide took our small group through the Vatican Museum, a large part of which was having access to areas not available to the public. Of course the Sisteen Chapel to ourselves was the highlight. I remember Michelangelo's masterpiece, NOT the crowds that would otherwise have to go along with it. Perhaps a once in a lifetime experience.
Wonderful tour with a great guide. We were lucky to have Graham (an American) as our guide and his tour was both knowledgeable and fun. His understanding of the history of the art work, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s was a joy to hear. He made our tour interesting and increased our knowledge of Raphael and Michelangelo. St. Peter’s is awe inspiring and having a great tour guide pointing out all of the important artwork made the experience memorable.
Great tour! Our guide made the tour one of the best experiences of our trip. Since there is no talking in the Sistine Chappell, we received a detailed briefing prior to entering the Pope's apartment which enhanced the understanding of Michelangelo's masterpiece!
The Vatican Museum can be a boring place without a tour guide. FRANCESCA was phenomenal- her obvious passion and love for the arts (especially Michelangelo and Rafael) made the tour fun and exciting. I wanted to love the art as much as she obviously did! It was just enough information but a nice pace. I would recommend this tour!
Having a knowledgable guide is at least as important as skipping the line. We chose the evening tour which meant that we visited St Peter's itself separately. The guide (Damiano) was that and more, amusing and personable. We sampled the Vatican Museums with a mix of sculpture, paintings, frescos - the Rafael rooms being the highlight. And then to Michelangelo's masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel. Even during an evening tour there is noise in the chapel despite the best efforts of Vatican staff. Still stunning. On my last visit here in 1979 I was able to take pictures - not any more. When we handed back the headphone sets at the end of our trip our guide remembered where we were from. Regards given to Cumbria as instructed!
The lines were unbelievable! But we bypassed them all:) (Tip: do not take a backpack or umbrella as they need to be checked, and when your tour ends, you are over on the other side of St. Peter's and have to walk all the way around back to the entrance on the Vatican side to retrieve your checked belongings!!) Our guide, Valeria, was wonderful. She was extremely knowledgeable, spoke super English, and gave us a ton of information that we would otherwise have missed. Her description of the Sistine Chapel was excellent, and made the experience extremely meaningful. Since you can't talk inside the Sistine Chapel, she had pictures and described what we would see right before we went in. She was happy to answer any questions, and made sure she hadn't lost any of our group at all times in the crowds. We enjoyed her enthusiasm and her insight into how the Italians loved their new pope. I was also interested to learn that we had all been taught wrong on school about how Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel - that he painted upright, and not on his back!! I would highly recommend this tour!
Our tour was with Nina from Dark Rome tours Was terrific. She was very informative and friendly,obviously a very intelligent young lady who is a trained archeologist. The Vatican Museums have some of the world’s most important art collections. The Sistine Chapel, is the main chapel in the Vatican Palace and the walls were frescoed by artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo in the 15th and 16th century. The painting of the Last Judgement by Michelangelo and the ceiling of the chapel are just two of the masterpieces along with frescoes by Raphael and Perugino. The basilica of St. Peter’s is another treasure trove of precious works of art. Some were salvaged from the original basilica while others were commissioned from Baroque and Renaissance artists. The enormous dome was the work of Michelangelo while the Baldacchino, or the canopy that covers the Papal Altar is the work of Bernini in the 17th century. Michelangelo was also responsible for the famous marble statue, La Pieta, which is now behind glass after an attack in 1972. Nina told us all this information and more. She also had a difficult situation to handle when a larger lady tripped and landed very heavily. She was very sensitive to the situation and also considerate of other tour members. Well done Nina.
It was absolutely worthwhile to book this tour and skip that unbelievable line up! I happened to visit on a particularly busy weekend due to holidays and events in Rome. The tour guide Nicola was excellent at keeping the group together and focused so I found the whole experience to be interesting, particularly as he shared little known insights about Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel. Time and money well spent.
Meus comentários serão em português brasileiro: 1) gostei muito dos serviços prestados pela guia da Viator; ela conseguiu comunicar muito bem em português, fez a troca do meu nome e de minha mulher para o grupo brasileiro e foi muito assertiva nas explicações sobre o museu e as pinturas de Michelangelo e Rafaelo, etc.; 2) gostaria de receber fotos por meio digital sobre a pintura de Michelangelo e Rafaelo, nas quais aparecem Sócrates, Pitágoras, o próprio Michelangelo e Rafaelo e outros, pois o cartão da minha máquina fotográfica "queimou", tendo eu perdido muitas fotos do Museu Vaticano; 3) gostaria de receber também foto da Pietá de Michelangelo da Igreja de São Pedro, pelo motivo acima. Abs. José Luiz Caetano
Of the 10 days we spent in Europe, the Vatican tour will remain one of our most memorable experiences in our entire lives! Tiffany our tour guide was AMAZING!!!!! Her passion and knowledge for the subject matter exudes with every description and savory little-known back stories of Michelangelo and Raphael. She completely made this tour for us. This is the only way to experience the Vatican. I was inundated with horror stories of friends and family who have experienced the herds of people being corralled like cattle into each room with little time to really take in the masterpieces. But with this tour, I really felt that you were able to have a personal experience with each piece and each room and you couldn't help but be overcome with awe. It also didn't hurt that as VIP of the VIPs you were ushered into secret rooms and allowed to linger in other rooms longer while others were ushered out. Need I mention the awesome-ness that was the Sistine Chapel? We got to see what millions of other people never get to see in there.... no not the magnificent art covering the ceilings.... but the floors of the Sistine chapel! It was our group of 8 people in the entire chapel as Tiffany magnificently explained each of the panels as like the unfolding of the story of Michelangelo. While on the tour, I heard on no less than 4 occasions where other attendants were trying to follow our tour because they loved the stories and descriptions given by Tiffany. Yes.... she was that great! This may be a once in a lifetime tour... but hey... so is the Vatican.... it was completely worth every single penny we paid. What are you doing? Book now! (But make sure you ask for Tiffany as your guide!)
Our guide Francesca brought the renaissance with Michelangelo, Raphaël, their inspirations and colleagues with such enthusiasm, knowledge, imagination and personal stories to live for us. We enjoyed it from the first till the last second. She is the best you can get, no doubt.
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