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If you are in Rome and want to visit the Vatican this is the only way to go. Skipping the line saves you hours of waiting and you really need a guide to appreciate and understand the stories behind the making of the ceiling. Also, St. Peter's basilica is so beautiful and the Pieta is breathtaking. Our guide was great.
This tour was really wonderful to be on as our guide provided so much useful background information and history on the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's work there. He also navigated us through skipping the lines, and going through all of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's, while pointing out some of the most important things to see in each place we visited. The area was very crowded, and I was awed by all of the information and seeing the Sistine Chapel and Pieta in person! You should not leave Rome without this experience!
This tour was great! We enjoyed it all. Our guide Rachel was fun and led us through the museum, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica with ease and professionalism. We saw many interesting sites such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Pieta, Pope John Paul II tomb, and other chapels, paintings, and sculptures. Rachel provided us with a lot of background information as well as the basic information about these sites. She was helpful in recommending how we could acquire tickets to the papal audience the following day.
Fantastic tour. It was 96 degrees that day, sweltering, but we skipped the line and had a lovely guide who really knew her art history and had a sense of humor too. The museum,s were beautiful. Sistine chapel was amazing, but nazi type guards kept herding us to center of the room, couldn't walk near the sides to get different views of the ceiling. St Peters gorgeous, especially the Pieta. We were even able to get under the altar and visit the papal tombs! Great trip and definitely worth the upgrades!
Great tour, with a fabulous guide [Nicholas]. Skip the line tours are well worth the investment. The lines inside for individuals were longggggg. There's so much art in this place that we were wearing really thin after 3 hrs, and were glad that Nicholas focused our attention on key things. Our travel companions did the really expensive Vatican tour [12 people, $440 per person]. They saw many of the same things as we, with some private rooms added. They were so overwhelmed that they left the tour an hour early. Note that our tour started at the museum entrance, and that's a long hike from where it ends at the front door of St Peters Basilica. It's my understanding that none of the tours includes the Basilica; you can do that on your own [at no charge, I think]. So if you just want to see the church and the Pieta, you don't need a tour. One thing to beware of: the tours start on a staircase across the street from the museum entrance. There's a cafe flanking the steps -- the only place on the street, as I recall, to get something to eat or drink. It's called Caffe Vaticano and they are rip-off artists. Charming, friendly, wonderfully manipulative rip-off artists. Read up on them on Trip Advisor before walking in the door. Otherwise, be prepared to open your wallet wide. Viator would be well advised to let their customers know to avoid Caffe Vaticano.
After we saw the Pope during a Wednesday morning mass (tickets reserved thru Viator), we booked the tour of the Vatican Museums. We chose the afternoon tour which commenced at 230 PM (our morning tour ended at about 1230PM). So, we had two hours to wait and so we decided to eat the Cafe Vaticano which was the designated Cafe where we are supposed to meet our guide (at bottom opt steps beside Cafe). The Cafe is right in front of the Museum but, beware, it was very expensive. For my wife and I, we paid about 90 Euros for lunch which was spaghetti and chicken with small ice cream for dessert! But we are not reviewing the cafe, so I will continue on with this great tour. Our guide was very good and they give you headsets so u can follow her through the many hallways. The Sistine Chapel is at the very end of the tour, and for that you need to have complete silence without the guide so she explained to us about the cailing paintings before we entered the Sistine Chapel.
The treasures in the Vatican are amazing and seemingly endless. My favorite was the ceiling of the Map Room.
Also, because I had a big backpack for the tour, I was asked to leave it at baggage claim. Unfortunately, the Museum closes at 6 PM and so I had to claim my bag later at about 7 PM when the bags are delivered to the back of the Vatican. This was interesting because I talked with the 2 Swiss guards at the side of the Vatican and they instructed me to pass by the "back" of the Vatican where there was no one else. I was able to see a part of Vatican which I think not so many people see, lol - thanks to my big backpack.
This tour ends with you entering St Peter's Basilica on your own (after guide explained what points should be seen), and it was truly great. Make sure you do not miss the Pieta statue at the side of the church.
This was one tour that the "skip-the-line" feature was welcome, also a tour guide. The lines are very long and there is so much to see, that you need to have someone guide you. It was a very complete tour, considering all the art work there is. The guide was very good and thorough. The work was truly awesome, especially the "Pieta" in St. Peters, which sadly is behind a glass or plastic security shield, so you can't get close to it. This tour is a "must-see" for anyone visiting Rome.
Was great and our guide Igor was really funny and informative. Can be a bit tiring as lots to see. Highlights were the Pieta and Sistine Chapel. Igor gave us a lot of information at the Raphael rooms and he was really enthusiastic and tireless.
Well worth the money to skip the long line. St. Peter's Basilica was closed when we began the tour but was open by the time we had seen the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms. The Pieta was just beautiful. Our guide was knowledgeable and kept our group moving as the museum is huge.
Larry B USA
We had a wonderful tour of the Vatican museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Our guide Simon was very knowledgable and had a good sense of humor. The crowds were large on the day we attended and it was definitely worth the extra money to skip the lines. The artwork was amazing through out the museum. The Sistine chapel was breath taking. It was appropriate just to stand in silence looking at the masterpiece all around. St. Peter's Basilica is overwhelming with the grand design and size. The Pieta with Mary and Jesus is a masterpiece worth the visit as well. I would highly recommend the Dark Rome tour company as a guide for this tour through Viator.
We had a wonderful experience on this tour. I'm not sure I will spell her name right, but Susanna, our guide, was so pleasant and engaging. I have some back and knee issues and she was thoughtful and considerate, finding me an elevator when available, keeping the pace reasonable and constantly keeping an eye on how I was doing. She was full of information on all the treasures and wonders of the Vatican and The Basilica, sharing historical facts and many stories passed down through the ages. It was a day of light traffic in the Museum which made the day extraordinarily good, but skipping the line, getting started so early in the morning and being part of a small group enhanced the experience greatly. We really got ahead of the crowds and had many of the halls and rooms in The Museum to ourselves. Susanna was terrific in The Basilica as well. It was especially crowded at the The Pieta and The front of The Church as there was a Mass being conducted, but she assertively manouvered us through to a splendid view. The early morning, small group tour was definitely worth the price!
Our tour guide Davio was wonderful. His knowledge about the Vatican was evident throughout the tour. He was very charming and often made us laugh with his sardonic humor. But his passion for the beauty and splendor of specific areas and sculptures was inspiring. When he described the Pieta I almost cried it was so moving. When I saw it I did. Definitely go but ipray for luck to be assigned to Davio.
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.
Our guide Allesandro (I think that's right) was first rate. I can't imagine a better tour of so much wonderful art and history. His preview mini-lecture on the Sistine Chapel (no talking inside) was thorough and insightful. I teach this material so I know whereof I speak! Dark Rome tours through Viator are simply excellent. Three hours is about right as there is so much to see. Note that if you still have some wind after that, you can either go back through the Modern Collection (which we flew through) on your own or go into St. Peter's on your own to see the Pieta and all the rest.
This was a good tour and well worth the money not to stand in line for hours or be confused trying to figure out what you're seeing while being jostled by crowds. The Vatican Museums are amazing, as is the Sistine Chapel and St.. Peter's Baslica with the Pieta. The commentary by our tour guide was useful and helped to ensure that we understood what we were seeing and that we didn't miss anything significant. I found it a bit confusing to re-connect with my group in the Sistine Chapel which is really very crowded but eventually that got sorted out. Otherwise there were no glitches and our guide did a wonderful job of keeping us all together and preparing us for the different venues were were about to enter. I definitely recommend this one!
Marianne G USA
Fantastic!! Could hear everything due to transmitters. Guide had excellent command of English and was approachable for ? all the time. A bit long but worth it, even as a non-Catholic. Loved the tapestries, Sistine Chapel and PIeta
Christinia was so nice and pleasant and very informative about the beautiful history and art work on the Vatican! With such rich and historic treasures at the vatican, and after growing up learing about the things that Michelangelo had done, such as the ceiling painting in the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta. This is a beautiful and historic tour. I highly recommend Christina taking anyone on this tour because she is very good and this is a historic and beautiful site to behold and learn more of!
vatican tour guide Mike was very well versed on the subject. Most enjoyable tour. The fact that the access from the Sistine Chapel to the Pieta was closed on Wednesdays until 1pm should be mentioned in tour information
Not only is the Vatican amazing, so are the number of people who are trying to do the same thing at the same time. Do not attempt this tour if you are claustrophobic! We took the 9:00 AM tour. We heard later that it is less crowded in the late afternoon. Of course our guide was great and managed to maneuver us through the hordes. We couldn't get close to the Pieta but had sufficient time of spend in the Sistine Chapel. I suppose so many people want to see the Vatican that they can't tightly regulate it like the Borgese. The Vatican is surely one of the wonders of the world on many different levels.
The tour guide was very good. We learned a lot about the Vatican and the Museum. However, the tour was only 2.5 hours not the advertised 3 hours and we did not get a guided tour inside the St. Peter's Basilica. We had to read our Rick Steve's book to learn anything about the inside. Our guide took us to the main door and told us a few things, but said she was not able to go in. So we thought no tour guides in the Basilica because of the mass however, there were numerous tours going on inside the Basilica. So I thought maybe I misunderstood the description of the tour I booked, but I looked once we got home and it states, Explore St Peters Basilica on a fully guided Vatican walking tour and see the famous La Pieta sculpture. So our tour was cut short and we did not get a fully guided tour of the Vatican. We are not sure why this happened, but we did not get what was advertised and therefore, what we paid for. But to end on a positive, what we did see was great!
When we arrived at the tour office, we all had to pay 23 for the entry to the museum and the headset which was as stated in the details. Our tour guide was a lovely lady called Marzia who is a history student and was very knowledgeable and interesting. She was very helpful, suggesting the best places to take pictures from and also suggesting what to look out for in the Sistine Chapel since talking and photography are not allowed inside. The tour of St Peter's Basilica was very informative and moving. The Pieta was awe-inspiring and the tomb of Pope Saint John Paul II elegant in its simplicity. At the end of the tour, you can stay in St Peter's and look at it in more detail which is good because the queues were horrendous. It is certainly worth booking one of these skip the line tours because you would be queueing for hours otherwise. I would recommend this one as it was not too long and gave enough detail that you could understand what you were looking at and appreciate it properly.
You definitely need to have pre booked tickets otherwise be prepared to wait in line for hours. It was easy to locate tour guide by following ticket directions. Very informative if anything too much information. Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica with Michelangelo's Pieta were highlights for me.
Very knowledgable guide. Loved her comments about Michelangelo's Pieta.
Uncomfortably hot and crowded. Unless you want to see he 'big' items visit Rome's smaller less visited churches. They contain many treasures and are tranquil and peaceful. However, if you must, this tour was excellent, if only for the guide who was interesting, informative and enthusiastic about her subject, about Rome and its history. She coped admirably with the crowds and kept tour together well. Organisation at the tour office was good. The microphone and earphone system, essential in the packed museum, could be a bit difficult when dozens of other tour groups around use the same system. Best bits: sitting in the shade on the steps in the Vatican museum garden listening to our guide give a first class overview of the Michelangelo's Cistine Chapel ceiling fescos, the Laocoon and the awesome interior of St Peter's. Terrible shame the stunning Pieta has to be viewed behind glass from about 30ft away.
My family and I (myself, husband, 3 sons who are 11, 9 and 4 respectively) enjoyed the tour very much although I personally felt it was a little rushed. Our guide, Jeanette (not sure whether spelled correctly), knows her stuff well and managed to capture my sons' attention with her frequent use of their names in her many tales and examples given! The only thing I wasn't too pleased was that Jeanette forgot to tell us about the need to park our stroller before entering St. Peter. As a result, my husband was stopped from entering and had to spent at least 10-15 minutes getting the stroller parked at the proper place. Hence, he missed the bit about the Pieta and almost didn't manage to find our group in the huge throngs of visitors in the Basilica. Overall, Jeanette did great as a tour guide manoeuvring us through the crowds/queues and we learned a little bit more about the Vatican Museums, St. Peter and got to see Sistine Chapel.
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