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Vatican Tour and Scavi Tour - suggestions?

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Based on several suggestions from family and friends, we reserved a space on the Scavi tour for our upcoming trip to Rome (March 9 -12). Unfortunately, the time of our tour is 15:00 on the 9th (the day we arrive).

We are arriving in Rome early in the day (9AM), but we'd like to make an entire day out of the Vatican City. Our plan was to check in at our hotel (Hotel Giuliana) and then head over to the Vatican City. Unfortunately, the guided tours of the Vatican are only at 8:30, 10:30 and 13:30.

Clearly, we can't do any of those times (as the tours are 2 hours long). So my question is, 1) do we need a guided tour of the Vatican? Are there any other possibilities that are just as good (i.e., walking by ourselves, using an audioguide, etc.) and

2) Can I change my time with the Scavi tour? Has anyone ever tried to do that?

Any suggestions or insights are welcome. Thanks so much!

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