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Robert M United States of ...
This tour is the best way to view the Vatican! No crowds, we entered before the public although other tours did as well. We saw rooms and amazing art/frescos I had no idea even existed! The best way to view the Vatican. The historian that lead our tour was very knowledgeable and friendly. I would do this tour again.
The tour is a great to experience.
Mateo, our tour guide was knowledgeable and charismatic. Very well organized tour, communication before and during tour was excellent. Even though is advertised as a beat the crowds tour, it was busy before 8:00 am but thats just how many people want to enjoy this place!
Loved it! Had an amazing time! Our tour guide Claudia? was terrific!!
My wife and I don't typically sign up for tours - we like to explore on our own. Signed up for this mainly for the early access - but was really impressed by how great the tour guide was, how knowledgeable she was, and how fun she made it. We never felt rushed - and it never dragged. It was the perfect amount of time. A nice small group that. Loved it and would highly recommend it. Again, we were totally reluctant as we don't generally like guided tours. But his was definitely a highlight of our trip, and I'm so glad we did it. We would not have waled away with such a wealth of knowledge about all the history. If you're thinking about it - definitely do it!
This was an excellent choice - not only could we actually walk around freely but we could also see everything. Our tour guide Manuela was wonderful as she managed everything so smoothly and moved our group around key areas giving us enough time to view and photograph. Her knowledge was extensive and she spoke so well giving good information without overdoing it, having really interesting facts and answering our questions.
tour was great and our guide Georgia was awesome. really passionate and knew her stuff. after the tour we went to the top of the dome for some great views.
already recommended this tour to a friend
Our tour guide, Matteo, did an awesome job!
Best way to see the Vatican, beat the lines and very informative.
frankenzac United States of ...
The difference between a 3- and 5-star rating has nothing to do with Viator or the tour guide. Mateo was an excellent guide and handled our check-in and the tour beautifully. The early hour tour seemed like a farce until we saw the crowds when we were leaving. You are grouped in with a whole bunch of other early tours, so you definitely don't have the place to yourselves. However, the crowds are so huge that it really is worth escaping at least some of that by going early. I'll probably be cursed for life for saying this, but the Vatican has gotten greedy. They really should limit the number of tours and people they allow in so that those who are there can actually see things and enjoy it. There are so many people many of them extremely rude that you really can't get views of any of the art. Even more frustrating, the Pope closed off St. Peter's Basilica at the last minute for a special mass, so we couldn't do that part of the tour and had to return another day. Also, since I visited with my son two years ago, they've installed several gift shops right in the middle of the hallways in several areas of the Vatican. It's my understanding that the Vatican has so much wealth in priceless artifacts and artwork that they can no longer say what their holdings are valued at. Do they really need to sell memorabilia throughout the museum? It only adds to the traffic snarls. We were there in a Jubilee year happens every 25 years which makes the Vatican even more crowded, so I'd recommend at least trying to avoid that if you really want to see it. My husband grew up Catholic, so we thought it would be important for him to see it. Now we can check it off our list and not go back. Again, Mateo and Viator made the tour as good as possible, but unless you have an entire day to devote to it and have a massive amount of patience, skip it.
I am giving this tour three stars but I realize that the things we weren't happy with were not really the tour guides fault. The Vatican is just WAY TOO crowded. The church should really limit the number of tours they allow in a day. Touring the Vatican jammed against the throngs of people, many very ill mannered, is just not enjoyable. It feels like a money grab! One feels like this is a must see when in Rome but I can't imagine what would ever entice me back. A private tour - yes most likely! Even though it is early morning, you will be shoulder to shoulder with EVERYONE. We were hustled through the Sistine Chapel like a herd of sheep...appropriate? Perhaps! At one point I was praying for a miracle - instead of parting the Red Sea, please part the human sea so I can stop and take in where I am! Before you visit the Vatican meditate, do yoga, take a xanax or a swig of whiskey or you might just might commit a crime against humanity and really have something to confess about when you're done.
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