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
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