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Vatican Museum/St. Peter's best way to see it

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Jul 4th, 2016, 07:45 PM
  #1
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Vatican Museum/St. Peter's best way to see it

I am want to go to Italy in June 2017 and I am planning now. I will be with my hubs and 2 kids (8,11)

I am thinking of booking the earlier entry to the Vatican Museum. 7am Breakfast and audio tour after. Its only 58 Euro if you book direct. Then we would go to ST. Peter's on our own. I really hate the idea of booking a tour through a tour company for more than double the amount.

But my question is: Can you still slip through the "group door" from the Sistine Chapel?? I have seen people write its easy to slip through but this was a few years ago. Also, can you return the audio tours there?

If we have to exit normally and go through the security line to get into ST. Peter's in June how long will the line be?? Any guesses?
livydugan is offline  
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Jul 4th, 2016, 09:59 PM
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I haven't been there in several years, but I never"slipped" through the tour door. I just walked right through it, more than once. Maybe someone who's been there more recently can give us an idea.

The Basilica opens at 6 AM. If you can get there that early, I'm sure you'd find almost no one there. You'd have about 45 minutes before you'd have to leave for your breakfast.

In June 2015, on a weekday, at 5 PM, we found a very long queue for St. Peter's Basilica. My previous experience had been that there was no queue at all that late in the afternoon. So anyone's reported experience is not of a lot of use.

Another option is to go to the Museums on a Friday evening, if they continue the Friday evening visits, which usually start in May.
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Jul 5th, 2016, 01:36 AM
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You can't return your audio guide/equipment in St. Peter's. You need to double back to the ticket office, therefore you won't be able to use the door.

One of the bonuses of doing a tour is no audio guides to return and access to the door at the right which takes you down a ramp and into one of St. Peter's side doors.

I've done an early entry tour with my sons and their cousins and there were very few people in the Sistine Chapel - most were on tours - they were allowing everyone through the St. Peter's door.
Blueeyedcod is offline  
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Jul 5th, 2016, 05:11 AM
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It slipped my mind that there were audio guides involved. That rules out the tour door.
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Jul 5th, 2016, 08:42 AM
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Here are some other options:

We are not often tour group people, but we did take one once in the Vatican Museums. It was a 2-hour tour, offered by the Vatican, as I recall, and was informative, but the tour guide's choices of things to see weren't always our choices. We ended up doubling back to see the pieces that we didn't have time for during the tour.

Several years later, when we visited the Vatican Museums with our then 10yo daughter, we did a tour ourselves, based on several guidebooks (included Rick Steves). That way, we could spend time on the places that we wanted to visit (including the Pinacoteca, which doesn't seem to get as much focus as the rest of the museums). You can buy tickets to the Museums in advance, on-line, and may skip the at-times very long line into the Museums.
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Jul 5th, 2016, 01:58 PM
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Our 2 kids were the same age when we went through with a guided tour. Most of the tour narrative goes over the kids' heads. If you really want detailed description, you cannot beat having a live guide that will point things our and answer questions.

Having a reserved spot with a tour group will also avoid some lines.

I'd suggest
1) do your homework before going-know what you're going to see.
2) Guided tour through Vatican museum & Sistine Chapel.
3) Leave through the tour group door.
4) Instead of going straight to St Peter's, go right to the line to climb the dome. Your kids will love it. Great view of Rome, and nice "breather" before taking it the art of St Peter's.
5) End with St Peter's.
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