Scavi Tour and Vatican in one day?

May 6th, 2010, 09:54 PM
  #1  
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Scavi Tour and Vatican in one day?

We have tickets for Scavi tour at 10:45am in June and I am wondering if we should try to see the Vatican in the afternoon after the tour or come back on another day to see the Vatican/Sistine chapel.
macdogmom is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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I had the same English tour last month. I arrived at the St. Peters at 9 and was done visiting the basilica at 10:30. I think the basilica (is this what you meant by the Vatican?) opens at 8am and before about 9:30, there were no crowd. Unless you want to visit the basilica when there are wall to wall people and a long wait going through the security check, I would go there as early as possible.

The Sistine chapel (Vatican Museum) also has a long line during the day so you would probably don't want to do with right after your Scavi tour.
greg is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 04:13 AM
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You can also do this...

Book the reserved, early entry to the Vatican Museums, for 8 am. You do this at the museums website. It only costs a few euros more, but there is no line.

Go straight to the Sistine Chapel. You will find yourself almost totally alone. Exit the Sistine through the door on the LEFT and go back through the museum, now the crowds are building and you can see whatever you want. Plan on being back at the Sistine by 10am. It will be wall-to-wall people by now.

This time, exit the Sistine using the RIGHT side door (it will say Group Tours, but you can ignore that). This puts you into St. Peters, past the security lines. Walk straight across the front of the Basilica to the opposite side and turn right. You'll have to show your Scavi reservation to the guard. This will take you to the Scavi office.

Once you are done with the tour, you can then visit the Basilica. You've only had to go through security once.

Another trick, bring a sandwich in your backpack. Take the elevator to the roof, assuming you are planning on climbing the dome, and have lunch on the roof of St. Peters. This is perfectly fine, as there is actually a small coffee shop up there where you can buy some expensive drinks. After your picnic, climb the dome.

dave
daveesl is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 04:28 AM
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I forgot to add this..

It is POSSIBLE to re-enter the Vatican Museums, through the Sistine Chapel from St. Peters. This is totally dependent on the guard and their mood at the time.

Keep a copy of your original reservation form and your ticket. After touring the Basilica, go back to where you exited into St. Peters. When you see the guard, show him/her your original reservation form and ticket. They may or may not allow you to go back into the museums through the Sistine Chapel.

Don't get upset if they do not allow you to do this, as they are not supposed to, but we have done it a few times with about 50% success.

dave
daveesl is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 05:14 AM
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>>>(it will say Group Tours, but you can ignore that). <<<

You may or may not be able to do that. It depends on the guard. Some will check to see if you are part of a tour group.

I would visit St. Peter's after your Scavi tour instead of another day. Depending on where you exit you Scavi tour (it seems to vary at times), you can enter St. Peter's without going through security. My tour exited through the grotto which was roped off so everyone had to exit to the outside near the Scavi office. From there you could go up the front steps of St. Peter's (left side if you were facing St. Peter's) instead of out the barriers.

You could book an afternoon entrance to the museums after a lunch break or come back another day.
kybourbon is online now  
May 7th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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We did the Scavi tour and St. Peter's and then came back the next day for the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel. You do have time to do both, but I would recommend splitting. Going on the Scavi tour and seeing the Basilica is a lot to absorb. Unless you are pressed for time, I think you would get more out of the experience by going over two days. After the Museum tour we went again to St. Peter's. There is so much to see and it is so large that two visits were worthwhile.
As for the advice to ignore the sign and exit through the group tour door, I wouldn't plan on it. On our visit they were turning people away who weren't with the tour. Our guide said they have started doing this because it is a problem. They can tell who is with the tour because participants have a colored sticker.
Lynnaustin is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Must be a recent thing on the Sistine exit, we were there in February and no problems, twice.

dave
daveesl is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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hi macdogmom,

yes it is possible to cram all this into one day - the question is why you'd want to.

on our first visit to Rome, we spent a good half day in the Vatican museums, and then [using the "group" door which was at that time unguarded] went down into the Basilica, but truly, we were too tired really to enjoy it.

this last time, we split our visit into two - the first time we had a reservation for the Scavi tour at 10.45, which we followed by a leisurely tour of St. Peter's which this time I really enjoyed. the 2nd time we made an early start to avoid the queues, and went up the dome [and yes there is a cafe up on the roof, who know?] and then wandered round st. Peter's a bit after we'd descended.

personally I much preferred the 2nd time, but it only worked because we were a) in Rome for a week, and b) we were staying reasonably near by.
annhig is online now  
May 7th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses. Our two sons will be with us and probably the "going early" option will not be popular. Sounds like it makes the most sense to do the Scavi tour and St. Peter's and come back another day for the rest. I want to make this a sightseeing trip, but also a relaxed wandering around Rome trip. We can always come back and see things we missed the first time. Rome is one of the few cities in Europe I have never been to and we are excited to go there.

Just sold our house of 19 years and are in the middle of buying a new house, so I am really grateful I planned most of this trip in the winter. I am now trying to focus in on the details--Florence and Rome sightseeing and seeing if we can fit in Pompeii between Rome and Positano. Thanks, again for everyone's kind responses. I have learned so much on these boards--we are going on Scavi tour because of all that I read about it on this forum.
macdogmom is offline  
May 7th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Another idea: Do the church early in am before the mobs or after 5pm and the mass lets out. Both are slower times less crowds, do the scavi and then museum but keep in mind its a good 15-20 minute walk from the end of the scavi tour thru vatican square, down the porta angelica and up the via vaticano where the entrance to the museum is located.
JoanneH is offline  
May 8th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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hi again,

one way of getting your lads out of bed is possibly to pronise them a trip up to the dome - it got my 19 year-old out of bed earlier than me which is no mean feat!

also you can tell them that if you get there before 9am, they won't ahve to spend any boring time in queues - another plus for teenagers of any age.

my plan would be to arrive at about 9am, climb the dome [do take the lift to the roof - it cuts out about 200 of the 500 steps which is well worth it when it gets to step no 455!] then get down again in time to do the scavi tour at about 11am, and then tour the Basilica. this involves only one [hopefully short] security queue, and means that you should be finished by about lunchtime.

leave it any later and the queues both to get in and to climb the dome will be horrendous.

come back another day to see the Vatican museum if it's a "must" - personally for statues etc i would rather go to the capitoline museums which are far less crowded, and for pictures to the doria-pamphilli - which has no crowds at all.

and as you're going to Florence, if you want great art, you can go to the Uffizi - crowded, but nowhere as big or tiring as the Vatican, and much easier to arrange tickets in advance.
annhig is online now  
May 8th, 2010, 04:51 PM
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Thanks, Annhig, sounds like a good plan. Climbing the dome sounds really interesting and if it gets really crowded later the 9AM plan is a good one. We are staying on Via dei Giubbonari so I will need to figure out how long to get to St. Peter's. Life has been chaotic and I am hoping to do lots of research in the next 2 weeks--we leave on May 22. Would not going to Vatican Museum include not seeing the Sistine Chapel? Feels like one of those sights that one has to see in Rome. Maybe we can go back for a quick tour on Monday since we leave Rome on Tuesday afternoon.

We do have tickets to Uffizi and Accademia in Florence. There, we will not have 20 and 25 year old to worry about, they are going to Dublin and Barcelona on their own and meeting us in Rome (tough life!).

Any restaurant recc's for Rome? My memory of reading your trip report from Rome was that you stayed in the same neighborhood we are in. Thanks for all your help!
macdogmom is offline  
May 9th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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hi macdogmom,

if I got the spelling right, your apartment is just south of the campo dei fiori, which is the other side of the corso emannuale to where we were - about a 10 minute walk, once you get the hang of the back streets enough not to get lost noce or twice! we generally ate very close to where we were staying so the reastaurants i would recommend are all the onces I mention in my TR - the area between the piazza navona and via coronari is a mass of little streets and lovely [cheap] neighbourhood trattorie, and seemed to us to be perhaps a little less touristy than the campo dei fiori area, but that may just be because we haven't stayed near there [yet!]

one good stop near-by to you is the doria-pamphilli gallery -our favourite new thing on this trip. at €10 each a bit expensive but we loved it.

as for the Vatican it's very much up to you. I was exhausted by the route-march that we undertook round the museum, and perhaps consequently underwhelmed by the sistine chapel with its gawkers and snappers. the best bit was definitely resting my bare feet on the marble floor of st. Peter's and the beers we drank afterwards!! you pays your money and takes your choice; but IMHO you can see more from a really good art book on the subject, and you get to take it home with you!

anyway, have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
May 9th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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The Sistine chapel is part of the Vatican Museums. When we went to Rome 3 years ago our son then 16 was very interested in ancient Roman history but not much in art history. He did agree to the Sistine Chapel and Raphael rooms (which are nearby at the same end of the museum)
My husband and I had read Michalangelo and the Pope's ceiling (Ross King)so had lots of background information. We also visited the Pinacoteca

I think trying to do the Scavi tour, the basilica and the museums all in one day is a lot, and we split them up into two different outings. After the museums we took a bus up to the Piazzale Garibaldi on the Gianicolo hill for a great view of the city then walked downhill into Trastevere and back across the Tiber.
Vttraveler is online now  
May 9th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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So on May 31 at 10:30 - I have the a "Two hour exclusive guided tour" of the museums and Cistine Chapel...never been to Rome, but heavy travelers..should we do Scavi tour and visit Peters all in the same day? do I need seperate tickets to St. Peters?
riversair is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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hi riversair - does this mean that it's just you?

in which case it might not be so tiring as the usual route march round the museums - i hope that for what they will be charging you, it will be tailored to your interests!

you will have time to do the scavi tour in the pm, but may not want to, and of course you will be able to decide on the day whether you want to spend time in St. Peter's afterwards. there are no tickets for st. peter's - but unless you are entering via the group door at the back of the sistine Chapel [mentioned above], or tacking it on at the end of the scavi tour, you'll have to go through security again, which at that time of day could mean a long queue.

if it were me a lot would depend on how long I had got overall in Rome - if you are there for a week, then you have probably got time for another half day at st. peter's, doing the scavi tour. if you are there for less time, and it's a priority for you, then by all means book it for the afternoon - just don't expect to get anything else done that day, and think seriously about getting a taxi back to your hotel!

have a great trip,

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
May 10th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Hi Ann,

Thanks so much for the advice! There will be 5 of us - so we will definitely exit the group door to get into St. Peters. Of course, I didnt realize how scarce scavi tickets were - I e-mailed them and asked my concierge (Hotel Eden), but I doubt I'll get that. We'll definitely want to see st. peters though!!
riversair is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 05:55 PM
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You probably will not be able to secure Scavi tickets at this late a date, particularly for 5 people. Your hotel cannot get them for you. They are only available via application through the Vatican and people apply months ahead of time.
Lynnaustin is offline  
May 10th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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If you haven't gotten tickets to the Scavi before your arrival in Rome, you can try to call or visit the Scavi office while you are in Rome to arrange a spot on a tour that is not full. You may have to 'talk' your way past the Swiss guards to get to the office if visiting in person.

The Scavi tour is less than an hour... so I think that you can do the tour, Basilica, and Vatican Museum in one day.

Many of the posters on this forum are older/retired and don't run around as much as the younger folks! ;-)
joannyc is online now  
May 10th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Sorry... I guess the Scavi tour lasts somewhere around 75-90 minutes. Not a day buster.
joannyc is online now  

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