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Vatican Museum at night? Please help with pros/cons

Vatican Museum at night? Please help with pros/cons

Old Aug 4th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Vatican Museum at night? Please help with pros/cons

I'm down to the short straws before my Sept. Italy trip, so I'm making my reservations. On the Vatican museum site: "Every Friday in September and October the Museums will be open to visitors from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (last entrance at 9:30 pm).
Visitors will be able to admire important collections, following an itinerary that includes the Upper Galleries of the Vatican Museums (Candelabra, Tapestries and Maps) the Raphael Stanze and the Sistine Chapel. "

pro: I'm staying about 4 blocks east of the entrance, so this could be easily done.
miss the bulk of the tourist crowd

cons: vatican is split over 2 days (scavi tour on thurs @ 1330)
miss 1 of my 3 roman sunsets (picture-taking) or "rushed"?? tour starting @ 2015
It doesn't sound like the full museum is available for touring.

Any ideas?
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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hi bitten - this sounds like a good idea. the museums are so vast that if you try to do them all, you can be quite exhausted, and there being fewer people is also a draw.

also trying to do the scavi tour and vatican museums on the same day might also mean that you were very tired the next day.

this way you get to use an evening profitably, and do the scavi tour as well. you will have plenty of time for the other sights if you plan well.

regards, ann
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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The itinerary described is the basic head-straight-to-the-Sistine-Chapel route with a minor detour to the Raphael Stanza. This route is often recommended if you're not that "into" art but want to see the Sistine Chapel. The Raphael Stanze are important rooms as well and worth seeing. Taking this route doesn't include the Belvedere Court, Egyptian or Etruscan Museums, or the Pinacoteca and other popular sections, but you will still experience plenty of sculpture, paintings, tapestries, and my favorite, the map gallery, as well as glimpse the opulence of the Vatican.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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annhig - You're right. I shouldn't cram too much into a schedule. Spontaneity and the unexpected are what I really enjoyed about my 1st trip to Europe.

ellenem - thank you for your insight on the tour. I like art, but if I "short" myself now, I'm sure I'll make up for it in other museums along the way.

Well that's 1 (maybe 2) for night tour. Anyone think of any reasons not to?
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Only two reasons against an evening visit that I can think of: being too tired at the end of a long day of touring to thoroughly enjoy it, and perhaps the Sistine Chapel not being well illuminated. The first issue can be solved with good pacing. Maybe someone who's done this can comment on the Sistine Chapel.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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We'll be in Rome during the time period that the night tour is an option - thanks for calling it to my attention. I just can't give up a leisurely Roman dinner! We'll still plan to visit the Vatican Museums during the daytime. I think, for you, it comes down to evening somewhere else in Rome vs. a less-crowded Vatican Museum.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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Keith and I have an appointment for the Vatican Museum on Friday, Sept. 4 and 2:30 PM.

Are you saying that the Vatican Museum will close at its normal time then reopen from 7 to 11???

Thin
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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The OP has quoted the Vatican site in the first post, which offers no other explanation of the closing/opening situation. However, note that booking online is obligatory:

http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/...sita=17&step=1
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 07:04 AM
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Thin - I tried to find out the same thing. As far as I can tell, in addition to the required separate booking, the museums will still close at their usual time of 6 pm. Then, I guess, reopen at 7-11.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Well,
I booked them for 20:30. That will give me time to snap some good shots of the bascillica @ sunset (19:38), drop my camera back off @ the hotel on Via Ottaviano, and make it to the museum entrance with time to spare.
Thanks everyone for their input.
I'll bump this later, after I've been, let you know any other +/- I encounter.
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Old Aug 13th, 2009, 07:26 PM
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FYI - There are a few other museums that are staying open one night in Sept. and Oct.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-colosseum.cfm
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 04:39 AM
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Just been yesterday. Quite a nice experience. You'll still find a queue even if you have a booking, but the whole queue is admitted in a jiffy once the doors are opened. You don't get the crowds you could get in the morning inside the museum.

True, the Pinacoteca was closed and so was the Etruscan museum I believe, but trust me - you would not be giving up your Roman sunsets. The views over the Vatican ground in the setting sun with birds singing and fountains tinkling are astounding, as are the occasional forays into some of the spaces and yards in the Museum.
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the review. Was the Sistine Chapel sufficiently illuminated?
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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"Was the Sistine Chapel sufficiently illuminated?"

It was when I was there on a night tour a few years ago.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 04:10 PM
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I just returned from Italy and we did the night at the museum with 7 PM entry. We went to the Basilica at 5 pm, no lines saw the Basilica nicely. Then went to the Museum. The line was really nothing as it was just people waititng to get in for their time. Once the doors opened you were in quickly. I did not find it crowded and we spent a lot of time in the Sistine chapel sitting on the bench. I did not feel that lighting was an issue. It was amazing! We spent two hours altogether in the museum and then went for dinner.
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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 06:17 AM
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"we spent a lot of time in the Sistine chapel sitting on the bench. I did not feel that lighting was an issue. It was amazing! We spent two hours altogether in the museum and then went for dinner."

Excellent. I'm glad that you had that experience. I did pretty much the same, sat on the bench in the Sistine Chapel and savored the art.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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do you have any particular tours that you would recommend for the after hours Vatican tours as I assume that you have to be on one to get in in the evening.
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Old Jul 30th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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We did the Friday night entry this past May. It was wonderful. Not in the least crowded when we went. Had some rooms almost to ourselves. Sat on the bench in the Sistine Chapel, too. Enjoyed going out on one of the Terraces--I think the Belvedere courtyard where the pinecone is? You could get some nice photos there.

We took a Context Rome tour. There were only 3 of us on the tour, plus the guide. It was like a personal tour. Our guide was great and asked us if there were particular things we wanted to see, questions we had. She even helped us get a cab since we were leaving so late.

I had dreaded going to the museum because my last visit was on a hot day in June when it was extremely, unconfortably crowded. I am so glad I went on the Friday tour this time around--it was a highlight of our trip.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 02:48 PM
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My family is headed over to Italy soon, and we are considering doing the Friday night entry. It seems like a great idea. Thanks to all for the info and advice.

I have a question that might be silly - does the itinerary include the Pieta, within St. Peter's Basilica? Seeing that sculpture is very high on my list of priorities and is the only reason why I would not book the nighttime entry to the Vatican.

All help is appreciated!
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 02:58 PM
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I think I just answered my own question - I knew it was silly!

It looks like the Basilica is open until 7:00, and since it's a separate entrance from the Vatican Museums it wouldn't be included in the "Vatican by Night" thing.

So, it seems as though my family and I would be able to see the Basilica and all it contains at whatever point during the day, and then the Museums in the evening. Am I correct, does anyone know?

Let's hear it for research! Haha!
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