St Peter's- in what order?

Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:20 PM
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St Peter's- in what order?

I have a 10:30AM reservation on a Thursday for the scavi tour. When I am done with that I want to see St Peters and the Vatican Museum on the same day. What would be the most efficient way to accomplish this and minimize walking and standing in line? Should I make reservations to join a museum tour and then duck out at the Sistine Chapel into St Peters? I do not love tours but would be willing to buy a tour ticket to avoid the lines.

Will I still have to walk a ton to get from the scavi tour to the entrance to the museums?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Yes, you do have to walk to the Vatican Museum and queue for tickets after the Scavi. There is no special way to get in that avoids the queue.

I don't think that you can go from the Sistine to St. Peter's.

When I did this, we did the Scavi tour and St. Peter's in the same day (we climbed to the top of the dome and that takes time because you have to take breaks unless you are in better shape than I am).

I would not attempt to do the Vatican Museum the same day as the Scavi and St. Peter's. It's just too much. And, you will want to eat lunch or a snack after the Scavi tour.

When you enter the Vatican Museum, you go through a very long trek through the museum to reach the Sistine. Do not just run through. Organized tours do that and it really is a run to get in and out in the time allotted. There is just so much to see there and by no means miss Rafael's School of Athens. To me that painting, which takes up an entire wall, is even more impressive than the Sistine. Sorry, I'm sure many will disagree, but I was absolutely astounded by the Rafael and did not want to leave. It was my third visit to the VM before I saw it. Just amazing.

I spent 6 hours in the VM the last time I was in Rome. Of course, I had the luxury of a 17 day home exchange and had the time--something you may not have.

If you do not have a second day: Finish the Scavi. Then send one of your group to get sandwiches or snacks somewhere while someone waits in the queue for VM tickets. Then eat in the queue (not the best, but the only way if your time is limited). If you enter the museum and spend the balance of your day there and do not have time for St. Peter's (for sure you won't have time to climb the dome), just take some photos outside in the square. That is impressive by itself.

The walk from the Scavi tour (which enters and exits to the left of St. Peter's as you face the church) is not long. The problem is inside the VM there is a lot of walking. Wear the most comfortable shoes you have.

I don't know anything about museum tours because I generally don't do them.

Post again if you have further questions. Rome is going to be very crowded during Easter.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
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hi, vivi,

yes you can exit from the sistine chapel into st. Peter's without retracing your steps around the walls of the vatican museum. there is a door at the back of the chapel on the right [with your back to the altar] marked "groups".

go out of there, down the steps,[inside] down the next steps, [outside] by pass the waiting groups [for what I don't know] and enter st. peter's which will be on your right. thus you avoid the long walk round the walls and the security queue for st. peter's.

This doesn't work if you have hired a guide from the entrance and need to recover your credit card or driving licence.

I haven't done the scavi tour, but unless you have exceptional staying power and a re-booked vatican tour, I don't see you donig all three in one day.

IMO, you should stick to the Scavi and st. peter's, and think about the vatican for another day.

the organiseation for getting into the vatican has now changed, and it's apparently much more difficult than it was for those who turn up "on spec" rather than joining an official tour. try searching this forum for details of the current arrangements.

regards, ann
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
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I know nothing of the VM, but did take the Scavi tour. After our tour ended we walked straight into St Peters and avoided the very long line that was forming. Once inside St Peters, if you're interested, a guide will find you and give you a private tour. There is no formal fee, but a tip at the end is expected. It was very much worth the euros.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:30 PM
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You could see St. Peter's before the Scavi Tour in order to save time. You may even have enough time to climb the dome if you wish. You need to be at the Scavi office by 10:15. Your tour should be over around noon. Then you will have to walk to the entrance of the Vatican Museums which takes about 20 minutes. Hopefully the line will have diminished by 12:30 or you can book a tour of the Museum starting at 12:30 or 1:00 and avoid the line. If you don't see St. Peter's before the Scavi Tour, you will not have time to see it before the Museum which usually has a last entrance time of 1:30. You can see after the Museum by exiting the Sistine chapel through the group tour exit as described above. This would be a very long and tiring day with no break for lunch. It would be preferable to see the Museum on another day.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I may try to do it all in one day. I will be alone so I will only have to worry about myself being tired and cranky, LOL. I have 3 full days in Rome plus one half day so I think I may have enough time to split this into 2 days though I do also want to see the Borghese and maybe Orvieto.
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