Insider's Guide to Rome

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jlblum78

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Just on its own, this tour was great. But it was made absolutely fantastic by our tour guide, Dorianna speling?! Here's why she and the tour were so fantastic...
1 She was unbelievably knowledgeable about the Vatican, the various pieces of work, etc.
2 She was personable, funny, and witty. She was appropriate and well timed with her jokes.
3 She was a great story teller/narrator, which helped keep me interested, captivated, and not bored.
4 She has, what I think, is one of the coolest degrees/jobs around....she's a full blown archaeologist!! I mean, that's a super cool awesome job! And, because she's a female archeologist, I think it makes her even cooler and a great role model for young girls.
5 She was very passionate about art, the artists, the history, etc, and you could tell she cared about/loved it.
6 Her English was exceptional and very easy to understand.
7 The Bramante Staircase was a great thing to see. It has awesome views of the city.
8 Because of how you access the Bramante Staircase, other people not in our tour group saw us entering and thought the area was being open to the public. So when they tried to follow us in, they were turned away. Although it may make me a bit of a jerk, I appreciated the exclusivity that the extra money this particular tour afforded me, and thus felt it was money well spent.
9 The group size was good.
10 If she saw someone taking flash photos, she would immediately ask them to turn off the flash. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when people do that, because it can ruin the artwork.
11 A few people tried to join our tour. She told them they needed to move along, as we had paid money for the guided tour.

The one thing I would suggest to anyone going to the Vatican is to goo as early in the morning as possible...the later it gets, the more packed it gets.

Joseph Anthony B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Best tour of the Vatican Museums! We were a small group of 11, and were the only group at the Bramante staircase. We could not wish for a better tour or guide. Our guide Viviana is an archaeologist who also studies theology. Her knowledge of the art pieces and history is amazing, she answered all our questions and more! We appreciated the art pieces and places even more as she provides the history behind them. From the beautiful tapestries to the Borgia rooms to Rafael's rooms to the breathtaking Bramante staircase to Etruscan collection to the beautiful Sistine Chapel and ending at St Peter's Basilica and so much more!. This is the best way to see the Vatican Museums and St Peter's.

James H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Outstanding ! Great tour guide!

MRS DE M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Dorianna was first class, very interesting and knowledgeable and we enjoyed every minite

Samuel M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

The tour guide Sve was just great. He was informative and very knowledgeable. He made the tour pleasant and connected with his group well. I left very the tour with a great impression! The history and the arts. Very happy! I would recommend this tour with this guide tour.

Anna D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

Excellent - even with the downpouring rain!! Our guide was magnificent, warm and easily understood. She kept us out of the rain as much as possible and authentically cared about our enjoyment of these magnificent museums. I would highly recommend this.

Jon O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

My tour guide Doriana was very informative and interesting.

Jane D L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Wonderful. We had an American guide that was very knowledgable. The art collection there is quite impressive. Best museum and tour we've ever had and we have been there 5 times.

glick.marcia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Dario was an excellent guide. He spoke clearly, he was funny and he shared many interesting stories with us. I particularly liked this extended tour as we were not in with the crowds as much as one is on the regular tour. If you can afford a tour of the vatican it is worth it because it is huge and I think one could easily get lost.

joyceshing

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Manuela was a great source of knowledge and was excellent in explaining the history of the artists as well as the Vatican ! I highly recommend her and would gladly take another tour with her! We were very pleased with Viator.

Rajiv B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Excellent tour. the time flew so quickly. It was very crowded in easter time. Highly recommended tour

noid55

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

My wife and I really enjoyed this tour. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the numerous things inside the Vatican. There was no problem hearing due to the microphone relay system. We started off in the Museum, and were treated to the neat staircase which we got to walk up and see a view of the city of Rome from the top. Our tour guide even recommended and pointed out a place for lunch after the tour Island Pizza which was convenient and had great food. After spending a majority of the time in the Museums and seeing amazing artwork, artifacts, etc, we were herded yep, just like sheep into the Sistine Chapel. It gave off the feeling like being a sardine in an extremely tight tin can, but that's what happens when thousands of people want to all be inside such a small space. I was disappointed to learn that we couldn't take pictures nor video inside the Sistine Chapel, but we did spend about twenty or twenty-five minutes inside so we had plenty of time for viewing. After that we were lead down a neat hallway and staircase that was specifically for group tours, which was nice as it felt nearly empty. Upon exiting the hallway we were at the square in front of the basilica. Our tour was suppose to then go into the basilica, but unfortunately we were there on a day when the basilica was closed early. This is something outside of the tour companies control, but it did still suck. We ended up returning to the basilica another day but we could hear many tour guides talking about stuff and really regretted missing out on the knowledge.

Highlights:
Amazing artwork Raphael's rooms were fantastic and I personally loved the map room/hallway
Stunning statues
Impressive exclusive access to the Bramante Staircase
Great knowledgeable tour guide
Microphone relay system from tour guide to you no issues whatsoever hearing all the details
Covered nearly everything we wanted to see

x1ng40

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

Very good tour, our guide had very extensive knowledge of the major artists as well as the their back stories and specific paintings.

cally73

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Excellent tour that packs a lot in. Dario was brilliant.

Olga D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

A long but an amazing tour with an amazing finish! Tour guide very friendly and knowledgeable.

MRS. ANNMARIE T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Well, this was one of the highlights of our trip to Italy. Our guide Tiberius was so wonderful and passionate about telling wonderful details along our tour, about the art, the stories behind the art. He is a wonderful example of the expression "carpe diem"! Whoever is fortunate enough to have Tiberius as their guide, you will enjoy every minute of your time in the Vatican.

Joseph L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2014

Very nice tour, well organized and our tour guide Susanna was very good and she provided us with great information that we would have not been able to discover on our own. Very knowledgable
Highly recommended doing this tour

Ee Koon N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2014

Highly recommended for so many reasons - first and foremost to skip the astoundingly long queues. Guide was very pleasant and very knowledgeable. The Vatican Museums have an incredible number of priceless art, and 4.5 hours is scarcely enough, but because the place is jammed with visitors going through the circuit that will end up at the Sistine Chapel, this is a good compromise - it is more difficult than at other museums to take your time to appreciate all the important pieces. The guide did her best - and she was very good indeed. Of the hundreds of painters exhibited, she focussed on Michelangelo, Raphael, Carravaggio and da Vinci, providing a linked narrative (if she were to cover every important painter, this link would be lost, and we won't have enough time anyway). You could go on your own for your other favourites after the tour. Just before the Sistine Chapel, there are surprises - moderns like Francis Bacon, Cezanne, Dali, etc. Explanation of Raphael's inclusion of Michelangelo in his pivotal School of Athens in the Papal Apartments was especially touching. Bramante Staircase was a great privilege - no other tours offer this - entry is barred to everyone else.
Sistine Chapel left me speechless - watch out for Jonas - the first prophet - his legs really appear to hover over your head - so real it is surreal. Michelangelo is more than a genius. He is also a cheeky bastard, as he depicted in The Last Judgment his enemy (a bishop who criticized his penchant for nudes) as a nude Midas in Hell, with his family jewels in the jaws of a serpent...

Bruce K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

This tour is long but well worth it.

Michael W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Our tour guide was Allessandro and he was an encyclopedia of info on all things Vatican, and art in general which he studied in college I believe. Besides the usual stuff, he knew interesting details about the artists that most history books don't tell you. Very informative and you see an incredible amount of art. The Sistine Chapel is breathtaking. This is a pretty exhaustive half-day tour but since you get to skip the lines, every minute is well spent. Amazing place and epic guide.

Steve

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Guide was great, skip the line is a must and the information and visual stimulation was endless. I would highly recommend this tour to art enthusiasts.

Paula O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2014

Excellent commentator.

Therese R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Our guide, Alessandro, was excellent. Very informative and worthwhile!

DiDi C G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Excellent guide and great tour.

Tammy M

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

The tour is a must see and the skip the line was the way to but our our guide stated St Peter's was closed an it wasn't. When we got outside there was a line 2 miles long and we had to pay extra to see the Church and even more to skip the 4 hour line.

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Tour code: 3731EXTENDEDVATICAN

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