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Vatican Museum entrance? And other assorted questions.

Vatican Museum entrance? And other assorted questions.

Apr 24th, 2000, 07:16 AM
lisa peretz
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Vatican Museum entrance? And other assorted questions.

I will be visiting the Vatican Museum -- to see the Rapheal rooms and the Sistine Chapel. I plan to rent a headset, as many of you have suggested. I really don't have a lot of time so my focus is narrow. What's the most efficient way to expidite this mission? Is there a closer entrance than from St. Pete's Square? I plan to go right when it opens. What should I do?

Does anyone have a good evening stroll/dinner idea. I'm staying near the Spanish Steps and would like to spend one night walking around Piazza del Poppolo and one or two more walking around the pnatheon/piazza navona area?

Where is Fratelli Piadini (in Rome)?
Apr 24th, 2000, 07:33 AM
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Buy Fodor's 'Italy' & follow it.(I lost mine & bought another; it was indispensable). When arriving @ Vatican go to gift shop & buy a good vatican museums guide & pick & choose what you have time to see (it makes a great souvenir). The museums close early so you should stay as long as they let you. You have to include the library (magnificent frescoes). You don't need to go through St Peter's Square (entrance to museums on side street) but don't tell me you're going to miss the Basilica? It's awesome & its grandeur has nothing to do with religion. Bernini's bronze canopy is as astounding as the Sistine chapel.

Your evening stroll is right on (again follow Fodor's). Walk around Piazza del Popolo, eat ice cream just like the Romans. Pantheon is a church when they have mass on Sunday mornings & the 'eye' filters sunlight through the incense used in the service it's an unreal spectacle-check it out!

Apr 24th, 2000, 07:42 AM
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Hi Lisa--we were at the Vatican on March 20; take a cab from your hotel directly to the entrance of the Vatican Museum (we stayed at the Spanish Steps and the cab to the entrance costs $5); the cabdriver will know where to take you--it is essentially around the corner from St. Peter's. Get there one hour before it opens. You will have to decide what to do re: Raphael Rooms because we went straight to the Sistine Chapel and it was wonderful because there were only about 20 or so other people there; we then went back in (there is only one direction to walk--strongly enforced by many guards)to see the Raphael Rooms and it was literally wall-to-wall people; in hindsight we would have either stopped on the way to the Sistine Chapel to see the Raphael Rooms (risking more people in the Chapel) or foregone seeing the Raphael Rooms altogether. When we went back through the Sistine Chapel to exit the second time, it was like a New York City subway car at rush hour--PACKED and unpleasant.

If you are physically able and not too afraid of heights, do go up to the cupola--amazing views.

As for your stroll, I would recommend the Scala Reale evening tour--we missed it because of a snafu, but we took another tour with them and it was wonderful. The fountains are lit at night and are wonderful. Look at their tours at www.scalereale.org. Other tour groups do evening tours, as well).

We found Rome very safe to walk around at night. Near the Spanish Steps we enjoyed Ristorante Nino (big green sign can't miss it) and would definitely tell you to have your hotel make dinner reservations each night. Rome is very busy and that saves you waiting around, or worse, searching for a restaurant with an empty table.

Can't help with your third question.

Have fun!

Apr 24th, 2000, 08:22 AM
lisa peretz
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Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
Apr 24th, 2000, 12:18 PM
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On your Piazza del Popolo stroll, be sure not to miss visiting Santa Maria del Popolo. It has several extraordinary Caravaggios, and countless other magnificent works of art, and is open in the evening. Be sure to bring many 500 Lire coins to light the paintings. There's a delightful moderatly priced restaurant in the area called Da Settimio all'Arancio at 50-52 Via dell'Arancio. The food is elegantly prepared and delicious.
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