To Vatican or not to Vatican?

Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:37 AM
  #1  
diane
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To Vatican or not to Vatican?

4 of us will be going to Italy in June for our birthdays. Two want to go to the Vatican on wed to see the pope and tour. Two of us are not that interested and are looking for something else to do. Are there side trips around Rome that we could take a tour and be back by dinner time?
Thanks ,
Diane
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:47 AM
  #2  
shanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Catacombs are fun, but since they took the bones out, not so scary.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:49 AM
  #3  
StCirq
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you mean a tour outside the city, I'd recommend Ostia Antica, which is eminently do-able in a day. We drove there and back, but I understand it's relatively easy to get there on public transportation, and there are probably organized day tours as well.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:00 AM
  #4  
Tina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Okay, Vatican Museum may not pique everyone's interest, but you are planning to see St. Peter's Basilica aren't you??? Forgive me for presumption -- no trip to Rome is complete without seeing the largest & most spectacular church in all of christendom. St. Peter's is open early -- you could pop in for a quick looksee and move on to other things.

Down from my soapbox. Ostia Antica is given very favorable reviews on this forum. Another sidetrip outside the city is going to Tivoli. I did a day tour that took us to see Hadrian's Villa and then Villa D'Este (both in Tivoli).

Or there are so many sites in Rome itself, you could take a half day tour with Scala Reale (again, if you search on this board you'll see alot of positive input on their tours).
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:07 AM
  #5  
Tina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Diane,
More info. Here are several websites that may give you ideas on what to do --

www.scalareale.org

For walking tours of Rome:
www.enjoyrome.com

For coach tours:
www.adv.it/vastours/english.htm
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:45 AM
  #6  
bly
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
diane - I'm not catholic or very religious for that matter, but St. Peters is SPECTACULAR. Its beautiful, immense, the trip to the top of the dome has a great view of the city... Michaelango's Pieta and frescos in the museum are worth the trip alone. I wouldn't miss it. IMHO. I don't think an organized tour is necessary, a good guide book can get you to the highlights faster if you're not that interested in the details. Check the museum hours carefully. b
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 07:55 AM
  #7  
Sherry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
This is not a side trip but everyone says the Scavi tours at the Vatican are wonderful. You could go to the Vatican with your friends, they could do the museums and you could tour with the Scavi, and then meet up with them. As Tina says, you could just take a quick look into St. Peter's at least to see the Pieta. But probably this would not take up as much time as your friends at the museum. Just a suggestion.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 10:57 AM
  #8  
topper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
to the top
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 11:04 AM
  #9  
aj
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Diane,

We were in Rome last May and I had mixed feelings about going to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's. I am not Catholic and therefore felt I might not be interested but I was wrong! It is beautiful and the Vatican Museum is not to be missed. It was well worth the short afternoon we put into it. You could actually spend several days there! Please go!
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 11:14 AM
  #10  
Fr. Georghan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would be glad to babysit your younger boys if that would help you extend your tour. I would sit them overnight, if that helps.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 11:18 AM
  #11  
Capo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hi Diane, IMO, you could skip seeing the Pope, and perhaps the Vatican Museums as well, but I'd highly recommend you at least see the inside of St. Peter's Basilica.

I keep remembering something Rick Steves wrote: no matter what you've seen or heard, nothing can prepare you for seeing the inside of St. Peter's. I found this to be absolutely true; it was breathtaking.

The view over Rome from the top of the dome is also spectacular.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 11:35 AM
  #12  
fairfax fielding
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We just did the scavi tour and it was very interesting from both a religious and an historic perspective. You have to make a reservation well ahead of time and can do that via e-mail, easier than by snail-mail. We had two funny little nuns from New Jersey in our group, and they gave a spin on things that we wouldn't have otherwise had.
From an art history angle, St. Peter's is amazing, too. The sheer volume of art is astounding. Architecturally, the building is intersting, especially considering when it was built, and (to tell a secret from the scavi tour) you realize that the alter and the dome are built in a plumb line above St. Peter's tomb.

When we were there, they were serving communion, so I had it, but as my mother, the uber-Catholic said to her fallen child "It's not like a cocktail party, just because they are serving it, you don't have to take it." I wasn't struck by lightning, either.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 11:39 AM
  #13  
Grasshopper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If for no other reason that to see the Pieta! An incredible work of art.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 05:02 PM
  #14  
Howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If are a museum person, then the Vatican Museum should be a must. It's one of the world's greatest! If you're not a museum person, then who knows? It might be a waste of time for you.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 05:29 PM
  #15  
kelvy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I zipped over to St. Peter's for the Wed AM audience last fall and - can someone clarify on this? - I'm not sure, but I don't think you can go into the Church while they're prepping for the audience or while the audience is going on. The weekly Wed audience starts at 10AM; I got there about 9:30, and stayed til about 11AM. I saved my 'big' Vatican visit for the next day - got there about 8AM and there couldn't have been more than 100 people in the church when I got there (plus, spectacularly, a boy's choir singing under Bernini's baldachin when I walked in to the church...WOW.) PAY ATTENTION to the guidebooks when they say to get to St. Peter's EARLY - it was incredibly moving, and very serene. If you get there at 8AM, you can spend an hour or so in the church, ride the elevator up to the halfway point & walk the base of the dome, climb UP the stairs from there (!!!) to the cupola, and be down and on your way by 10:30 (which is right when the lines and congestion are really starting to kick in). I had a Scavi tour scheduled for 11AM and segued right into that after coming down from the top of the dome. After the Scavi tour I struck up a conversation with a local hottie named Paolo and we shared our brownbag lunches in the square, then I headed to the museum for the til it closed around 5PM. What an awesome day!!!
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 05:52 PM
  #16  
zoe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would heartily recommend the Vatican -- especially Scala Reale's tour (I can't remember our tour guide's name, but he was a student of canon law).

Our best day trip was to Orvieto -- even though it's much further away than Tivoli, it took much less time to get there.
 
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:09 PM
  #17  
claire
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Agree it would be a shame to miss St. Peter's & the Vatican in general. We did the papal audience thing on a Wed. morning and then the Scalareale tour & it was exceptional. BUT, as Howard said, if museums aren't your thing, don't make yourself miserable.

Outside of Rome, I'd recommend Villa d'Este, especially in June when it should really be lovely. The grounds have extensive gardens and fountains; a nice change of pace from central Rome. Inside Rome, and not far from the Vatican, is Castel Sant'Angelo, another fascinating place you can take at your own pace, even if all you want is that view of Rome from the top. Remember the movie scene where Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck jump into the Tiber from the outdoor dancing platform? The bridge and castel are looming just behind....And, naturally, Tosca fans wouldn't want to miss the castel as it is the site of Act III.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information