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Vatican museums/Sistine, Scavi/St Peters, Vatican gardens

Vatican museums/Sistine, Scavi/St Peters, Vatican gardens

Jul 8th, 2010, 09:55 AM
  #1  
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Vatican museums/Sistine, Scavi/St Peters, Vatican gardens

We have only one day to visit Vatican City (in early September), and I was wondering on advice for the order in which we should try to see as much as we can (considering lines/location/etc); we are planning on getting an outside tour guide or booking directly through the Vatican.
As of right now we are doing the Scavi tour from 1:45pm - 3:15pm and are planning on showing ourselves around St Peters afterwards for a bit.

Should we try to:
1) Tour the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel in the morning, do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm, and then the Vatican gardens late afternoon
2) Tour the Vatican gardens in the morning, do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm, and then the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel in the late afternoon
3) Tour both the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel and the Vatican gardens in the morning, and do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm

Any advise/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
wendymindy is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 10:40 AM
  #2  
 
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I'd go with the morning Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel, if you are going with a tour (and won't have to be standing in the line, which could cost you valuable time). From my experience with the Scavi Tour, I'd not try to change it if you already have that booked. You'll end that tour in the basilica. We didn't see the gardens, but I would imagine it would be a nice leisurely way to end the day.
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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I'm assuming you are booked on the scavi that shows St. Peter's bones (there are two scavi tours). If cost is no factor,guides are great, but IMHO not necessary for the Vatican museums/St. Peter's.
If you want to tour the museums in the morning, you will need a guide. If not, the lines will be too long.
My thoughts:
-I wasn't that impressed with the gardens. You can only see them at designated tour times and takes two hours plus. This ,with the set scavi times, will "force" you into the museum and St. Peter's times.

-You will need to be available no later than 1:30 for scavi tour and assume you will not leave the Vatican until 3:30.

-You will need to check bags for most everything you want to see. Thaty make take time and coordination with your schedule.

-What day is your scavi tour? I believe there are no garden tours on Wednesdays.

-If it were me, I'd go to St. Peter's first and get a "free" (donations allowed)tour there. The tour is about 45 minutes and you may decide to spend another 30 minutes there. Figure 20 minutes in line and for checking bags.
If I did the garden tour,I'd do it after St. Peter's. This takes you to lunch time.
Do the scavi and then walk to the museums. There will be no lines. Rent the audio tour and exit straight into St. Peter's where you can quickly get your checked bags (assuming you left them there for the scavi).
You will be very tired after all this.
With no garden tour, I'd get an am tour of the museums that gave you time to see St. Peter's before lunch. Your time there would be finished around 3:30.
jabez is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 11:21 AM
  #4  
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Thank you both for your responses!
To follow up on a couple items Jabez:
*I am indeed on the Scavi tour to the Necropolis under St Peters (this is on a Thursday); hence the reason I figured after that tour that we would just show ourselves around the Basilica.
*From reading your response above it sounds as though we can only see the gardens if we purchase a ticket/tour directly from the Vatican? Is this correct?
*If we are required to check bags, are cameras not allowed?
wendymindy is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Cameras were not allowed on the Scavi tour when I went. I did have my camera for inside the Basilica and in the museum. However, no photography was allowed in the Sistine Chapel. Of course, there were people who did take pics in there, but you're asked not to.
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 07:29 AM
  #6  
 
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"From reading your response above it sounds as though we can only see the gardens if we purchase a ticket/tour directly from the Vatican? Is this correct?"

Yes
jabez is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 06:23 PM
  #7  
 
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I don't think you will find much time selection for Vatican Garden tours as they don't offer that many tours, especially in English.
kybourbon is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 05:01 AM
  #8  
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It looks as though most of the garden tours are only offered at 9:00 and 9:30 for English.
Problem is, the only museum/Sistine tours are at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:00, and my Scavi tour is at 1:45.
So, next question......do I:
1) skip the gardens all together, or
2) book the gardens for the morning and try to get an outside private tour guide to do the museums/Sistine Chapel from 3:30 - 6:00?
wendymindy is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 09:17 AM
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Don't skip the Scavi Tour - that is awesome.

You could do the garden tour in the morning - go through St Peters - have lunch - Scavi Tour and then take your time to go through the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel on your own.

We have been through the museum and chapel twice on our own. You really don't need a guide unless you had something special in mind that you wanted to do.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 12:07 PM
  #10  
 
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I highly recommend VIATOR which you can book online(www.viator.com). We took the Skip the line Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel tour(as well as their Forum and Colosseum Tour and museum tours in Florence). You really don't need a tour of St. Peter's Basillica because you can roam freely through it. Viator's guides are passionate about their subjects and provide facinating historical insight. Don't know about the gardens.
LaSalle61 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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wendymindy, either of your options would work, but your outside guide will most likely cost more than the tour supplied by the Vatican.

I took the gardens tour this spring, and while it was lovely, and we are glad we did it, we chose it only after many visits to all the other Vatican City attractions. We had been to the museums a few times; we had been St Peter's several times; we had been on the Scavi tour; we'd even seen the Pope a couple of times, and been to the top of the Dome.

Since you have only one day, and so much to see, I think skipping the gardens tour might be OK. And it isn't leisurely at all, as someone suggests above. There is as much enforced walking on the Vatican Garden's tour as on any other tour. You might be tired.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Jul 11th, 2010, 02:47 PM
  #12  
 
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Your first choice is close, but I would go with the vatican museums and Sistine Chapel in the morning, ( a quick bite to eat) then the Scavi, followed by touring the inside of St Peters, topped off by a not to be missed elevator to the roof, up the stairs to the inside of the Dome (see the mosaics up close and personal) and then walk up the stairs to the top of the dome. A walk around the top exterior overlooking Rome and the Vatican Gardens would be beautiful way to end the day. While I love gardens, I've been to the Vatican Gardens and was not inpressed. With a choice between the gardens and the top of the Dome, give me the Dome everytime. Its still hard to believe we actually were able to walk between the walls of the dome to the capital. Have a great trip and eat lots of gelato.
LBev769375 is offline  
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