Lines Into St. Peters

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Nov 6th, 2018, 08:05 PM
  #1
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Lines Into St. Peters

When we went to see St Peters Basilica in July 2000, there were long lines to get through security but it wasn't unbearable. We will be going in over week for a private 10:00 mass on a Saturday morning. I thought that if we got there by 9:00 we could get through security and into the Basilica within 45-50 minutes. But now I am wondering if there is a line to get into the Basilica in addition to the security line? Should we try to get there by 8:30????

Thanks for any advice!
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Nov 6th, 2018, 08:45 PM
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We stood on the security lines no more than five minutes. No line after that to enter St. Peter’s. It was late October last year.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 06:55 AM
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same for me. Mid october, no real lines that I recall. Lines for Vatican and museums though, but fast at that season.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 01:44 PM
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No line to get into St Peter's, just line for security and fashion police.

You shouldn't stand in line for more than 10 minutes at 9 AM.

Thin
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Nov 7th, 2018, 01:47 PM
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At this time of the year, long queues are unlikely, but it also depends on the day of the week and the cruise ship situation. I think an hour should be enough, though.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 07:49 PM
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phew, thank you for talking me off a ledge. We can go an hour early and just explore the Basilica while we wait for the mass to start. Thank goodness for this forum!
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Nov 8th, 2018, 06:40 AM
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The short lines were a surprise.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 06:54 AM
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Yeah, I went this time years ago and swore we were the first people in the security line. It had to be around 9 am. In summer, the line was terrible. We took a shortcut as we had reservations but I knew about it from before so didn't coordination is needed in the summer.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 09:11 AM
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Even during the busiest summer day if you go early the line isn't a big problem. With the OP getting there at 9 most tourists will be finishing breakfast. Assuming they've woken up.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 11:23 AM
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It used to be that 9 AM was sufficiently early to avoid a wait at St. Peter's Basilica, but in recent years, waiting time has increased at all the popular places in Rome. Here is an example given by a tour expert in Rome:

"The author of this post arrived at 8:30 am on a weekday in mid-February and waited approximately 20 min to enter St. Peterís. When he left the basilica at 10:30 am, the security line was easily 4x as long as when he arrived (see the line in the image above)."

(From https://freetoursbyfoot.com/st-peters-basilica/ )

February is low season, but October is not. Weekdays are less busy than weekends. 8:30 is half an hour earlier than 9. Draw your own conclusions. I wouldn't advise anyone that they wouldn't have to wait if they arrive at 9. However, as I said, arriving at 9 should be sufficient for a10 o'clock mass.

I used to tell people that the security queue disappeared after 5 PM. Then I followed my own advice a few years ago, and found at 5:30 a line stretching all the way around the square.

What day of the week is the mass?

Last edited by bvlenci; Nov 8th, 2018 at 11:35 AM.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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Low season to a certain extent depends on the year. I remember one February (Three I think years ago) the city tourist board had some sort of promotion with China for I think Chinese new year. A larger number of tours. Plus that week there was some holiday in France and a large number of French tourists. Okay it was less than July but the popular sites were busier than you expect for low season.
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Nov 8th, 2018, 09:25 PM
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Saturday mass in November at 10 am. I am going for a 9:00 arrival.
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Nov 9th, 2018, 01:46 AM
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Saturday is busier than most weekdays, but I still think 9AM will be fine.

Please let us know what the line situation was, at 9 and after the mass. It will be useful for others.
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Nov 9th, 2018, 05:10 AM
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bvlenci--I always post super detailed trip reports--I get so much from this Forum, I feel the duty to give back!
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Nov 11th, 2018, 08:56 AM
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Stantonhyde, I have searched through my map box, but I didn't find my Streetwise Venice. I found Rome, Paris and Amsterdam. I was sure I had one for Venice too. I wish I had more of these because they are so great. The traveling couple who spent 30 years researching and creating these maps finally retired a couple years ago and the series is no longer available. Maybe GPS made their maps obsolete, but not to me. I prefer a map where I can get an overall sense of a place and directions.

I guess that makes me old!!!

Have a wonderful trip and I hope your daughter enjoys her performances!

Buon viaggio!
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Nov 11th, 2018, 12:51 PM
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Doyle--so far, using Google Maps has worked so well in Venice!! Only gotten lost once or twice. I need to have the "you are here" blue dot to guide me I can follow a backpacking trail easy peasy--get me in a city and I just don't have a sense of direction! I do still buy paper maps though. I agree that you need to see the overall lay out/orientation.

They sang in a huge Basilica today. The music sung in the settings for which it was written--truly amazing!! We overheard the priest who accompanied the choir to say the masses remark, "that was the biggest chair I have ever sat in" He is young!!
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Nov 11th, 2018, 04:29 PM
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Wow, I didnt realize you were already there. Enjoy! There is so much to see in Venice!
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