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dacwi Feb 16th, 2004 07:50 AM

Sistine Chapel
The general consensus seems to be that you should walk quickly to the chapel as soon as the museum opens and then work your way back to the rest of the museum, if the guards let you. If they don't can you simply go back to the front and reenter? Or do you have to wait in line and pay for a new ticket? Thanks

adrienne Feb 16th, 2004 07:58 AM

When I was there I was told there was no re-entry to the Vatican Museums.

The Sistine Chapel will be crowded but I found that didn't detract from my pleasure at being there. I think the difference between the crowds at the Sistine Chapel and other crowded sights is that in the SC people are mostly standing still looking at the ceiling rather than wandering around. Somehow the lack of movement makes the chapel seem less crowded than it is.

rex Feb 16th, 2004 08:28 AM

This is certainly not my general consensus. Even if this did work, you would be "sharing the chapel intimately" with the hundreds of others who heard about it the same way you did.

Best wishes,


mr_go Feb 16th, 2004 08:30 AM

My Vatican/Sistine tip o' the day: bring small binoculars

Cicerone Feb 16th, 2004 08:45 AM

The Vatican museums are huge. The way the Museums are set up, the exit from the Sistine Chapel leaves you near the entrance to St Peter's cathedral. If the guards will not let you "backtrack", i.e., re-enter the Museums through the entrance door to the Sistine Chapel, you would have about a 25 minute walk from St Peter's cathedral all the way around the walls of Vatican City to get back to the front entrance to the Vatican Museums. Not sure if you could get back in with your original ticket, I doubt it.

I agree with the above posters that even if you get in the front door of the Museums as soon as they open, by the time you walk to the Sistine Chapel, hundreds of others will be with you, so there is no point in rushing. It may not be worth the risk of missing the rest of the collection in the Museums, esp as the Museums themselves have so much to see.

I would not be surprised in the guards will not let you re-enter the Museums through the entrance to the Sisten Chapel, they are pretty tough generally, i.e. no sitting in the chapel.

julie_Colorado Feb 16th, 2004 09:51 AM

Don't rush... We rushed due to excitment... and flew through some beautiful areas. After we visted the Chapel - I was so dissappointed I had rushed through these lovely areas.

Boodja Feb 16th, 2004 12:12 PM

The first time I went to the Sistine Chapel it was in the summer- there were many many MANY people there that day. I spent over two hours in there. It was a very powerful experience for me. Some time was spent standing in the various corners of the room, some sitting on the benches to the side. I found that there was an ebb and flow to the room. At no one time was I alone in the room, but as groups came and went there were definitely moments where the numbers of other visitors were diminished and the room was pretty cleared out.

All in all, I didn't notice most of the people around me; I was pretty enraptured by my surroundings. I only noticed how crowded it would get by the "sssshh-ing" of the guards periodically as the noise level rose.


subcon Feb 16th, 2004 12:26 PM

as an aside...

my first visit to the sistine chapel was in 1971, it was what i thought was one of the greatest highlights of that trip. i was an art history major at the time.

my latest was in 2002, i stood and cried openly at the magnificent restoration and the crisp colors that had been brought back to life after six centuries of indifference, if not neglect.

the chapel is an experience one has for oneself. it really doesn't matter how many other people are around. you only see it through your eyes.

CarolA Feb 16th, 2004 12:29 PM

Maybe it is just me, but having seen the Sistine Chapel, I don't ever plan to do the Vatican Museums again. They are just TOO crowded to enjoy. Plus when were there they allowed the tour guides to lecture all over the place! YUCK!

I loved the chapel and would love to see it again, but until the Vatican gets control of that disaster I probably won't.

AlanM1 Feb 16th, 2004 01:09 PM

I guess it depends on what time of year you go to Rome.....
We were in Rome last month (1/16 - 1/25) and we did go right to the Sistine Chapel, which we were able to enjoy with 5 other people for about 45 minutes, we then backtracked and took our time through the rest of the galleries. It seems to me that the route back to the galleries was clearly marked and we encounted no resistance, maybe it was just a slow day.

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