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Vatican tour options...

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Nov 25th, 2013, 06:46 PM
  #1
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Vatican tour options...

Looking at doing this on a Saturday (12/28) as the holiday makes our dates a bit tighter with midweek closures. Would rather do after lunch. As opposed to the 7:30 start times, hoping with 'free sunday' the next day, the afternoon before MAY be reasonable.

Options with Context, which I like the 4 hour, 6 person tour...NO headsets. It is a bit pricier than Dark Rome, but indeed a larger group here, which would necessitate headsets. And a 3 hour tour, as opposed to 4 hours above.

I hear Pristine Sistine ( Walks of Italy) is not really an early entry...and that so many of these alleged early entries are not. Comment??

Through Eternity has a 5.5 hour and a 3.5 hour...anyone recommend this? again, the size sounds like headsets, which I understand make any two way communication null.

IDK, here I go again, but ... 'when in Rome...'
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Nov 25th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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I don't think you can get much better than Context. I've done their Vatican tour and thought it was excellent.
adrienne is offline  
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Nov 25th, 2013, 07:00 PM
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I thought all tours were required to use headsets.
We did the Dark Rome small group and it was excellent. We did have headsets but you could still talk to the guide. Our guide was an American with a Masters in Art History (she was married to an Italian). We also like Walks of Italy tours.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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We took the Pristine Sistine tour with Walks of Italy this May. That tour did begin an hour before the general public can enter. There are a few other tour groups with the same privilege so there were about 100 of us in the Sistine Chapel. Our group was 12 people. Later when we passed back through the Chapel to continue our tour it was literately jammed full like sardines in a can. If you can book that early morning tour by all means do so you will not regret it.
Walks of Italy dis use headsets but there were ample opportunity for personal interaction with the guide. The headsets are turned off while in the Chapel.
One tip I brought binoculars and was able to just sit on a bench and study each panel of the ceiling close up.
Here are images of Rome. The tour are images 114 through 137.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7634677664021/
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Nov 26th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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>>>Options with Context, which I like the 4 hour, 6 person tour...NO headsets.<<<

Since the Vatican requires headsets for tours given in the museums, I would be surprised this has none unless it's just outside of regular opening hours. It doesn't have to do with group size, but for Vatican rules about tours/tour guides.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 11:28 AM
  #6
 
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Sorry, it seems they do have a size listed now on their website. Groups of 11 or more must have headsets.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 12:37 PM
  #7
 
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I took a tour that I booked through the Vatican in August and it was awful, although that MAY have been due to the crowds. It was so crowded and the guide skipped a lot of sections that I would have liked to see.

I spoke to a group that had booked through Viator and did breakfast at the Vatican, saw much more than I did, and had the Sistine Chapel to themselves. I wished I took that route instead of the choice I made.

I am not sure how helpful this info is, however, given that I was there in August!
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Nov 26th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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I actually prefer tours that use headsets. You can adjust the volume to your liking and you can still here if the guide turns her/his head away.
Agree, no headsets in the Sistine Chapel or guides speaking. It is supposed to be quiet.
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Nov 26th, 2013, 05:36 PM
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We went with Pristine Sistine/Walks of Italy. We went on a tour where Stuart was the guide as he goes straight to the Sistine chapel first. So it is relatively empty because you go there first. He knows most of the guards and they allow his groups to take some short cuts back to the beginning and you work your way through Vatican Museums.

We did use headsets to her his commentary. He is an excellent guide and we were very happy with the tour. Money well spent.

I believe the private tours entry is 30 minutes before regular museum entry, so you get a slight head-start. It was striking to see how crowded the Sistine chapel was when we came to it at the end if our tour, compared to how empty it was at the start.
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Nov 27th, 2013, 03:29 PM
  #10
 
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