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Vatican-free on the last Sunday of the month

Vatican-free on the last Sunday of the month

Old Sep 16th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Vatican-free on the last Sunday of the month

We will be in Rome the last Sunday in October (next month!), is it crazy to think that the crowds won't be so bad that we can take advantage of the free admission?

Has anyone else go the last Sunday of the month, recently, or in October, like we are doing?
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Old Sep 16th, 2008, 05:33 AM
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The crowd on the free Sunday is even worse than on other days. In addition to tourists, a lot of local families take advantage of free admission.
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 11:29 AM
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I'm tagging on to this thread because I'm wondering if the free last Sunday in December is also more crowded than usual? Any chance it's less crowded? How are the crowds at the Vatican Museums in general at this time of year?

I know it's wrong, but I'm THIS close to skipping the vatican museums and sistine chapel altogether. I'd love to do an after-hours tour but I can't afford it this trip.

The galleries I'm most interested in are the Etruscan Museum and the Picture Gallery, maybe the Pio-Clementino, but it seems like such an enormous headache plotting out the best way to see things. I don't think I have any personal "must sees" along the so-called Sistine Route.

I can be very happy at numerous other museums in Rome and time is limited of course. If crowds are still a nightmare in the period between xmas and new year's, maybe I should save the vatican for another trip (?) Or is that crazy talk?
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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I'd expect the crowding to be just as bad in December. There are a lot of people in Rome for Christmas and New Year, and being in school holiday, lots of local families will take advantage of free admission.
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Apres Londee--
The pinacoteca has a spectacular collection and was much less crowded when we went than the rooms en route to the Raphael rooms and Sistine Chapel.
For the parts of the museums you want to see, I would try going in the early afternoon when lines seem to be short(er)
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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Hi welike2bike, will you please report back if you did go on the last Sunday of this month & if so, how long the lines were. We are going to be there the last Sunday in May but that will be our second last day in Rome so I don't want to leave visiting the Vatican until Sunday & then find the lines are too long. On the other hand, I would love to take advantage of the free admission.
If anyone has actually gone on a last Sunday of the month, I would appreciate hearing how long it took to get it.
Thanks.
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I was in Rome last month on the last Sunday. I actually took a picture of the line for the museum (it stretched almost to piazza at St. Peter's), but I didn't go to the museum. I talked to a girl staying at my hotel and she did go in that day. She said even though the line was long, it moved pretty fast since it was just for security not ticket purchases since it was free. Go early (at opening time)because the museum doesn't stay open as late that day.
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Old Oct 26th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Thanks Vttraveler, and kybourbon too for the info.

I think I'm going to forget about the free Sunday, I'd rather pay and have a (hopefully) smaller crowd to deal with.

I also think I'll take your advice, Vttraveler, for entry timing. I remember reading before that the lines are sometimes better in the early afternoon.

I'm going to have to think out a plan of attack, and keep it quick and dirty.

How much time did you spend in the picture gallery?
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 03:51 AM
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We only spent a little over an hour in the picture gallery at the Vatican museums. Normally we would have spent more time (at least two hours) but my husband and I were doing this on our own while our son waited for us (having lunch, reading).
Among the masterpieces are Giotto's Stefaneschi Triptych, Da Vinci's (unfinished) St. Jerome, Caravaggio's Deposition from the Cross and some major works by Raphael including his Transfiguration
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Thanks Vttraveler.

Thinking about skipping the vatican museums WAS crazy talk.
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Old Oct 27th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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I don't know if skipping the Vatican museums is crazy talk. I can see why people hate the lines and the crowds and I will probably not go to the Sistine Chapel and Raphael rooms again next time we visit Rome. The pinacoteca was much less crowded --only a few other people looking at any one painting at the same time.
Really, it was far less crowded than many other major art collections. The modern art collection which we wandered into because my son wanted to see something there was virtually empty.
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 05:54 PM
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We are also going to be in Rome the last Sunday in Oct. Do you need reservations for the Vatican even though it is free?
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Old Oct 10th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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The last Sunday of December this year is the day after Christmas . . . intense
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