Finding the Right Vatican Experience

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    Mark Wilson

    Me and my wife booked an early bird vatican tour in February 2016. the guide stefania was superb! really!! I booked a private tour as we do for any of our holidays but i wasn't used to having so much fun. Especially on an indoor tour. Bravo Stefanie!
    we passed the line of people waiting for the museum opening and we went right in. the rooms were almost empty and i was able to shoot at least 50 pictures of my wife with no one else around.
    we had to leave my camera tripod at the cloakroom of the vatican museums and when we had to go back to pick it up after the tour we saw the museum was packed. 
    I would definitely recommend an early bird if it gets always so busy durning normal opening hours. 

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    Sharon Smith

    I agree, the Early Bird was great! I had no idea this was even an option. 

  • Ciao Mark!

    Thank you for choosing an early bird Vatican tour: it is one of the best options, especially during the summer, when the Museums can be packed and hot.

    The advantage of this tour is that you can also choose if to go straight to the Sistine Chapel, as soon as you enter, and then back to the entrance, to visit better the Museums; or you can start enjoying the Museums at 8 AM, with calm,  and reach the Sistine Chapel at the end, before going to the Basilica, like in a regular tour, but taking advantage of the early entrance.

    The first option allows you to enjoy the Chapel with a few more visitors. The tour is longer than 3 hours (usually 4 hour) since you walk back and forth in the Museums, 2 times in the Chapel (when it's empty and when it's crowded, after the regular opening time), and then go to the Basilica and the Square. But if you have a real interest it is worth a longer visit and walk.

    The second option allows you to do a regular 3 hour tour, but starting earlier in the morning is a gift, especially to avoid crowds and too much heat in the Museums. Once you see the Chapel you'll leave the Museums and visiting the Basilica is always easier and there's a lot of space around you. 

    I would definitely recommend to look for the best Vatican tour options anyone who will visit Rome and the Vatican, especially during the summer. There are many opportunities available and I think it's worth to spend some more money for a memorable and positive experience.

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    Becky D.

    Hi Eyes Of Rome. Can you explain the difference between the Early Bird tour and the Art & Breakfast tour?

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    Support Team

    Ciao Becky,

    Thank you for your question. They are actually very similar as the itinerary is the same and they both allow you to visit the Vatican Museums before the public opening.

    The Art & Breakfast tour is actually an Early Bird Tour with the addition of a buffet breakfast at the Vatican Museums - therefore it is more expensive. 

    The main difference between the 2 is that with an Art & Breakfast tour you will be already inside the Museums when the galleries will open. So you can be among the first to enjoy the artworks and the Sistine Chapel. 
    Consider it takes about 10-15 minutes for Early Bird visitors to arrive to the Galleries after the Vatican Museums opens.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Grazie from Eyes of Rome Team.

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    Patricia Bernardini

    Hi, Please tell me how long the classic vatican experience tour is, what time you enter the Sistine Chapel, how long you spend there, and how much time you spend in the Vatican museums.

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    Eyes of Rome (Edited )

    The regular tour of the Vatican Museums includes the Museums Galleries, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. This colossal museum complex occupies the 5.5-hectare Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano and contains one of the world’s greatest art collections, culminating in the Michelangelo-decorated Sistine Chapel.

    The regular tour takes approximately 3 hours, starting from the Museums Galleries. It is hard to say exactly how much time is spent for each part of the tour, for it also depends on the visitors number per season. Moreover, having a private guide will mean that each tour can be adjusted according on client's interests and needs, and even speed. Also, you can consider that, if you have special requests, you can even add extra hours to your tour for an extensive experience! 

    You must know that, for example, it is forbidden to talk inside the Sistine Chapel: this is due to the sacredness of the site. When entering the Chapel, your guide will generally consider 15 - 20 minutes to let you marvel at the mighty beauty of Michelangelo's summation. She/he will have already provided the Chapel explanation during the previous time at the museums, so that you can enjoy its spirituality the way it was meant to be: in meditation. After visiting the Chapel, you will exit in Saint Peter's square and access the Basilica, where the last part of the tour will take approximately 40-45 minutes. 

    Hope this helps, Patricia, and please feel free to contact us if you have more questions!

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