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Vatican Museums/Sistine - Private Tour vs. Vatican Website?

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I'm coming back to Italy after four years, but bringing somebody who's never been. We'd like (of course) to see the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. We'd also like to avoid the around-the-block-several-times line without having to get up at 4 a.m. and pitch a tent to do so. The last time I went, my traveling companion made the arrangements, and we avoided the queue by booking an official tour with the Vatican. I also seem to remember this process taking a while, and involving actual letter-writing back and forth.

Four years later, I checked out the Vatican's website, and it looks like things may have changed -- there is a specific page to join an official tour of the VM/SC, and they only will only book the tours a maximum of 60 days out. The guidebooks I have read, however (which are about a year or two old), all seem to indicate that such tours need to be booked a year in advance. Are the guidebooks wrong? Has the Vatican changed its policies recently? I'm not leaving until late July--should I simply wait until 60 days before my visit to Rome, then book the tour through the Vatican website? Or, is there some super-secret year-long waiting list that I don't know about, and I've already missed my window. Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated. Grazie!

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