Patricia C United States of ...
Very much enjoyed the tour. Our guide was excellent, detailed knowledge of the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's. She had some pictures to show us details before we entered the Sistine Chapel, so we could better appreciate it.
Well done. They took us up and close... second row of chairs to see the Pope as he passed by. Always a thrill. And always great to not get escorted around the lines and crowds.
Tour guide Tiberias was wonderful. Kept us entertained when in line, and had interesting facts when in the audience hall. Got us great seats very close to where Pope Francis entered the audience hall.
Travelling Trio Australia
Absolute highlight of our Roman holiday this year. My son attends a Christian College and even though we had visited the Vatican and St Peters Basilica on previous visits to Rome, we hadn't done the Papal Audience which was on his wish list - so this time we did.
We had to be there at day break to meet our tour which was conducted by City Wonders. We met at Piazza Pio XII at the end of via della Conciliazione, facing St Peters Basilica.
Our guide took us to the queue for lining up and by chance, a side fenced off section as opened and she told us literally to run and get seats near the front but to the side as we could then see Papa Francesco as he drove past in his Pope Mobile and then walked to see the disabled persons.
We were then given a brief but detailed history of the Roman Catholic Church and the Popes which was extremely interested, and then she told us not to leave. If you leave to go to the toilets, you will never find your way back. There were tens of thousands of people, from tourists, locals, Italians from other areas and those on pilgrimages, as this is also a Jubilee Year where all the Holy Doors are open to walk through which only happens once every 15/20 years I believe.
The atmosphere was incredible. We had a Sicilian folk group in front of us and they were singing and playing the piano accordion, it was fabulous. Then all went still as the Pope Mobile came out and then the noise was unbelievable. He did 2 laps of the piazza in the mobile, then he got out and walked amongst the people. My son had moved to be near the walkway and he got some awesome close up pictures and Papa Francesco stopped right next to him and our son cried because he just couldn't believe how close he was. Such a beautiful experience for him. The person next to him offered the Pope a drink which he took and had a sip - very brave as my son said he doesn't know it might have had something poisonous in it but he is such a loving Pope and he is revered which is evident when you are in the audience.
The service is conducted in several languages and the cardinals all get up and speak in a different language and welcome people from everywhere. It is truly astonishing.
Afterwards the queues to enter St Peters Basilica are insane, and as we'd been several times before we didn't go back in this day, our son just wanted to walk through the Holy Door here, which he did. Sadly he was very roughly grabbed and pushed aside by a rude American tourist lady of about 50 years of age because she wanted her own photo, to which I in no uncertain terms went off my trolley at her and told her how absolutely rude she was - we were all there for the same reason and paid to attend this holy morning, we didn't need her rudeness. My son was crying and disgusted that an adult could treat him this way. This was upsetting but the guards told her to move on and growled at her in Italian, so that cheered my son up, bless him.
If you are considering this tour, you will be left speechless and amazed for sure. It is a long tour and thankfully not a very hot day as it was Autumn so just nice and sunny. It would be very uncomfortable if it were hot as you are sitting in the sun uncovered for about 4 hours so take plenty of water and snacks. Also not all tours give you seating, we were lucky, but City Wonders are a recognised partner/tour company with the Vatican City so they are definitely the ones to book through/request.
Glorietta Ugpo B Ireland
it was a great experience... highly recommended...
I don't know how they did it, but 50,000 ardent pilgrims were waving national flags and singing for several hours, then quieted and greeted Pope Francis, sitting in the rain while he spoke to us. No pushing, frowning, bad tempers. Great organization and security without blemishing the experience. Viva el Papa!
This tour is well worth the money spent on it. Our tour guide, Claudia led us through the security check point without a hitch. Other people without a tour were waiting in long lines. Our seating was in the center section nearest the stage. We were in an excellent location to see the Pope as he passed by. The earphones provided allowed Claudia to communicate with us over the noise of the crowd. She narrated and shared a lot of interesting facts and history about the Church.
LVEGA United States of ...
A wonderful experience to see Pope Francis in person! Our guide was great, she got us great seats and we were able to see Pope Francis pass by from two different path ways.
this was a great way to get in to see the pope. you meet at the centre of st peters square at an easy to find location. the guide is waiting for you. each person has to wear head phones as you will get lost. that week, the pope fell and was unable to stand so he invited everyone to go to his auditorium instead. this caused massive chaos. we waited in line for almost 2 hours in the terrible heat. everyone was budding in line and pushing and shoving. my 8 year old almost got run over on many occasions. if it werent for the guide, we would never have gotten in. she pushed her way through the lines and many times we were all separated and could not even hear her on the head phones. my only concern at that point was to keep my child safe. but we all managed to get into the auditorium. the guide was awesome. while we were waiting for the 2 hours, she taught us the history of the vatican and the popes, which is not part of the tour. as soon as we got into the auditorium, she takes your head phones and leaves. you are on your own from then on. we were happy to be in the auditorium as it was air conditioned and we had seats. it was 35 degrees outside and my 8 year old was exhausted and scared from the entire process. this is not recommended for strollers, carrying babies on your back or chest, walkers etc. bring a knapsack with water and snacks or because there is no where to stop. inside the auditorium there were washrooms.
It was well worth the money spent to skip the line for the Papal audience. Our tour guide Claudia did a very good job of getting us good seats for the Papal audience.
The tour guide was super cool and was very familiar with the flow of the crowds, and really did guide us to grab the best place to sit in order to see the pope. Would recommend to take this tour to anyone.
Excellent tour, our guide was very a good person and the explanations very clear. Thanks for everything!!!!!!
An amazing experience to sit so close to see the pope pass. Was truly a trip highlight.
Not a Catholic but he is an enigmatic man of the people. The crowd of tens of thousands began chanting Papa Frank as the Papal car drove through the crowd. He stopped to bless a small child less than six feet away, Great photos. He went to every handicapped, sick or needful person and greeted them all spending two hours in the noonday sun., There was no one overlooked. Also they opened the Holy Doors into St. Peter's in this Year of Jubilee and we were some of the first to walk through into the incredible Basilica. The Pieta on the right and the Canopy in front, the Dove window, so much, art, architecture, history, religion, wonder.
Once in a lifetime. Great spot to see the pope. The guide stayed for 2 hours with us explaining St. Peter's and the square. Providing interesting stories and history. I would love to do this one again!
We were fortunate to have access to the area where the pope was. We were 3 rows back. Very close. Our guide gave an informative introduction prior to her departure while we waited for the pope and the service.
For me, it was amazing.
This was the best of all the tours we took! Extremely blessed to see Pope Francesko at 2-3 mts distance thanks to the place where the tour guide seated us - last line. The Pope passed by in his Papa Mobil right behind us. Indescriptible experience! A miracle that we were able to see him that close considering the thousands of people in the area. Make sure to arrive on time to the meeting point and to have a nice breakfast. Following reviews, we stay long after the Audience finish. We were able to see the Pope again when he was leaving St. Marco Square. Highly recommend!!
Getting to see Pope Francis was a real experience. We were seated right next to the place the Pope mobile went by. You could almost touch him. If I could do it over again I would have also booked the Vatican Museum with this tour. Had to wait 2 hours for tickets.
This was an amazing experience, our guide managed to get us 9 rows from the front to see the Pope. We could see his every move and expression. The talk she gave before the audience was very informative. She was a great guide. This is a must if you are visiting Rome
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