Vatican visit

Old Apr 19th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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Vatican visit

We are planning a 2+ weeks trip in May 2014 to Italy (Rome and Amalfi Coast).
We’ll have 6 1/2 days in Rome (1/2 is the first day when we land at 7:45 am, if current flight schedules maintain), with a day trip to Tivoli, and I will come back here later with a detailed plan for you to take a look at. As of now, I keep cutting things, because I realize that even 6 full days don’t allow us to see everything…

So, one of those Rome days (Tuesday, I think) we will visit the Vatican. Most likely we will take the morning Pristine Sistine tour with Walks of Italy, which starts at 7:35am and lasts 3 hrs 45 min (according to their web site).

1) I like that the tour gets us in early, before the crowds, but I hear that after you finish the tour (that ends in the basilica), you cannot go back to the museum to visit areas where the tour does not go. Is that true? Any way we could get back into the museum?
2) I really want to climb up the dome of the basilica, so I guess we’ll have to do that after lunch. Do we need separate tickets for that? Any idea about how bad the lines are, usually?
3) Is it feasible to visit Castel Sant’Angelo after that?
Thanks
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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You have to get in a line (can be quite long) to buy tickets and climb to the dome.

Does the tour include the Basilica? Do they have a tour that doesn't? If you could link the actual tour, it would be helpful.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 02:23 PM
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ky,
Yes, the tour includes the basilica, see the link
http://www.walksofitaly.com/tour_boo...l_listing/6/43
Thanks
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 03:49 PM
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It used to be the ticket was valid for the day and you could reenter with it. The website still says the ticket is valid for the day, but doesn't mention anything about reentry with it.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 03:57 PM
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Oh, that would be great, thanks.
Any thoughts on visiting Castel Sant' Angelo after that? WOuld we have time for it?
Thanks
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 05:11 PM
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The entry to the Vatican Museums is nowhere near St Peter's - it is completely on the other side of Vatican City (gigantic high walls).

In St Peter's you will also want to see the Dome and the Treasury - and the Scavi if you can get tickets.

I believe that Castel Sant Angelo is open later - or you could see it another day if you run out of time.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 10:08 PM
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We didn't have enough energy to do the Vatican + St Peter's + Castel S.A. but maybe that's us.

Sounds like you are set on the tour. We did it the opposite way around by going up to the Cupola first thing (no lines). After visiting St. Peters and having lunch we went to the Vatican (no lines but still crowded inside). Sneaking out of the group entrance of the Sistine Chapel saved us the long walk back.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...log-photos.cfm
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 05:02 AM
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indy_dad,
The energy/stamina part is what worries me, too. I heard that Castes SA is a lot of stairs, will we be able to do it after climbing the dome and walking the miles at Vatican? I know, only we can answer that...

No quite "set on the tour", but it sounds like a good option to get us in early, before the big crowds. I know everyone is different, but listening to the general consensus gives me a good idea and a starting point.

We are definitely NOT the Energizer bunny, so we might leave the castle for another day.

I just added 1 more day to the whole trip, we are up to 17 full days in Italy, and I don't think I can add anymore. We'll have to make do with that. What a terrible problem to have
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Castel Sant'Angelo does have stairs, but a lot of them are in a ramp format, like you could ride a horse up them.

I did the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel (return visit), St. Peter's (return visit), walk to Castel Sant'Angelo and climb to top, walk to Vittorio Emmanuele Monument and steps up to the top in one day, and I'm not a hiker.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 07:51 AM
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The Vatican Museum tour does end with the opportunity to go right into St. Peter's. However, instead of leaving the museum at the end of the tour ... just stay inside the museum and see other sections that the tour did not cover.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 08:01 AM
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I'd been to the Vatican a few times before I signed up for a tour. Loved it, so much information! This was years ago so I don't know about re-entry and all that. I like your idea of getting there early. The crowds are overwhelming most of the day.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:47 AM
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>>>The Vatican Museum tour does end with the opportunity to go right into St. Peter's.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Once you leave the Museum you cannot re-enter on the same ticket.
Walks of Italy does have a tour that includes only the Vatican Museum. You could select that tour and see more of the Museum after it ends. Then, do the St. Peter's portion on your own.

Another alternative would be to go to the Vatican website and purchase an online timed ticket for entrance to the Vatican Museum. You could use it later in the day after your tour ended. You would be double-paying but you cannot get back in on your tour ticket.

Walks of Italy can confirm that with you, they are a good group.
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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Ohh, Delaine…that was quite a performance, thanks for sharing. We will try all that minus the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument in one day. If it won’t happen…well, we’ll do SA Castle the next day.

pdx, have you heard about the Vatican under the stars tour? It is a late evening tour of just the museum and the Sistine Chapel…so that sounds interesting. I doubt anyone did both to compare them, and I am wondering which one might be a better use of time…we would see the basilica at a different time.

Ok, so there are several options and alternatives…will have to think what’s best for us. I haven't made up my mind yet.
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