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MelJ Oct 16th, 2008 05:48 PM

Vatican visit in early November, do I need to spring for a guide?
Finalizing our Italy/Paris plans (11 days to go--yippee!!)

I've toured the Vatican twice, but both times with a guide, which enables you to get in early and avoid the lines.

But do we really need one in November? Our Scavi tour is Nov. 3 and I was hoping to spend the earlier part of the day at St. Peters--on our own.

Thoughts about crowds/lines in November? Thanks!

kybourbon Oct 16th, 2008 07:25 PM

They no longer have the rule of only tours allowed in early. If you want to bypass lines, book with the Vatican.

It's hard for anyone to say what the crowds will be like this November because it's the first year of them staying open longer hours during the winter.

What time is your Scavi tour?

MelJ Oct 16th, 2008 08:12 PM

Thanks. The Scavi tour is at 3:00 on the 5th, not the 3rd (made a mistake).

The last two times I was there was in the 1990's, so it's been a while. My husband has not been to Italy at all, so this will be a really fun trip!

kybourbon Oct 16th, 2008 08:35 PM

What I was referring to was last years Vatican rules (tour groups only between 8-10am). No individuals were allowed in until after 10. That didn't work so well and they did away with it this year.
This year's hours:

Vatican's tours:

If you haven't been since the 90's then things have changed a bit. A modern entrance and decent cafeteria (if you need something to eat before your Scavi tour). The Vatican employees will not let you go back to the Scavi office until about 15 minutes before you are scheduled. You will also have to show your reservation to the Swiss guards.

kybourbon Oct 16th, 2008 08:37 PM

Perhaps I misunderstood. My response about hours was about the Vatican Museums, not St. Peter's. The line for St. Peter's moves fast as it's really just a security screening.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:46 PM.