touring the Vatican in Rome

Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 04:10 PM
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touring the Vatican in Rome

Just wondering what the best way is to get into the Vatican in Rome during the peak tourist season of the summer. We are a family of 5 going this summer to Rome for 4 days and would like to avoid long line ups in Rome going to see the attractions. Any helpful hints or tour companies would be appreciated.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 04:39 PM
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We used Walks of Italy - small group tours and we got in ahead of the lines (Vatican Museum tour). The tour ends at the Sistine Chapel and you can exit and visit St Peter's. Another plus is Stuart...great guide and he goes directly to the Sisitine Chapel, so it is virtually empty (book the first tour of the day). He knows the guards and politely asks if the group can cut back through to the beginning, then you see the entire museum and end back in the Sistine Chapel (when it is packed). If you book with them, ask for Stuart. Worth the time and money.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 05:00 PM
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If you go very early in the am you can visit the Basilica of st Peter's - different entrance from the museum and there will be no line. However, I don;t know when the Treasury and the Dome open to tourists (each has a separate entrance fee, the Basilica is free).

If you want to do the Scavi (underground tour of with tombs of popes and supposedly St Peter) you must buy tickets far in advance directly from the Vatican. But all members must be at least 15 - so don;t know if youwould qualify.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 06:19 PM
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If you want to visit the Vatican museums, order your tickets online so you can reserve a specific time and avoid waiting in line.

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 22nd, 2015, 10:47 PM
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The best way to see the Vatican is to sign up for their night openings. Less people and a great atmosphere. Check out the above posted website for more details.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2015, 09:50 AM
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St. Peter's Basilica has a security queue, which can get very long at busy times of the year, especially from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. If you're an early riser, it opens at 7 AM in the summer, and is not crowded at all until after 9 AM. Otherwise, the best time to go is in the late afternoon (from about 5 PM on). It closes at 7 PM in the summer.

If you'll be there on a Friday evening in the summer (until the end of September, except July) you can visit on a Friday evening, as mentioned above. The night visits begin at 7 PM, which is when the Basilica closes, so you could visit the Basilica with not wait, and then walk around to the Vatican Museums entrance for your uncrowded visit there. The Friday evening visits must be reserved; there's no possibility of showing up and getting in.
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