Seeing the Vatican Museum at the start of the day before it got too too crowded was a very good decision! There is so much in the museum with so little labelled and so little information it is difficult to get the most out of a trip without an experienced guide. Our guide was Shannon - who was outstanding and extremely knowledgeable. She made the visit absolutely fascinating and brought to life 2000 years of history in the 4 hours or so we were with her. A small group of just 10 people made it relatively easy to stay together and a very interactive experience. We enjoyed 4 tours through Viator whilst in Italy and this was the highlight of our trip.
An early morning skip the line tour of the Colosseum is a very worthwhile thing to do! We got to really see and understand the workings of the ancient stadium - the visit to the underground tunnels was fascinating and the views from the higher levels were spectacular. Our guide was Maria Teresa who was very good and knowledgeable. A particular highlight was standing in an area at floor level on the "sand" floor like the combatants would have done so many years ago. After the Colosseum we were shown around the Roman Forum - the scale of which was quite extraordinary and spectacular. A great tour which we all really enjoyed.
The tour starts in the Uffizi museum and we were shown around some of the most well known works of art. Our guide was knowledgeable but given how crowded the museum was by mid-afternoon when we started our tour it was difficult to keep up and hear what was being said. It was also unbearably hot. All of that changed however when we were permitted entry into the extraordinary Vasari corridor - that connects the Uffizi gallery to the Pitti Palace through a church. Only 25 people were permitted into the corridor with the tour guide and two members of the Uffizi gallery security staff to walk the 1km or so from the Uffizi to Michaelangelo's grotto in the Boboli Gardens. The corridor is lined with paintings and contains one of the biggest collections of self-portraits by well known artists in the world. The Vasari corridor was fantastic - a really worthwhile trip. The only thing I would have changed was to do the early morning tour rather than the 3.30pm one - that's because the Uffizi will be less crowded and much cooler.
We booked this at the last minute and were glad we did. Our guide was Louisella who was very good and showed us around well. We did have some major problems getting the audio sets to work that cost about 30 minutes (that was down to the Doges Palace and not our guide). A well worthwhile tour of some really interesting and visually stunning rooms - including the clever scissor design of the Bridge of Sighs that is not visible from the outside.
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