No Lines from 1-1-2008!!! (Last update December 2009)
From January 2008 under a new Director the Vatican have extended the opening hours of the Vatican Museums to avoid the crowds and lines experienced in previous years.
There is not Line going to the Vatican Museum at 1pm!
There is still a VIP Entrance for groups in the early morning rush. We normally do not use the VIP entrance as we have found that the museums are very busy at this hour and some areas of the Museum are closed until later in the day.
From our experience we have found that by conducting our tour at 1,30pm, the Museums seem quieter, more relaxed and there is less competition between large tour groups and guides.
We cannot guarantee this will be the case in high season 2009 (June - Sep) but so far last year high season 2008 there have been no lines at all at the time of our tour.
If this is not the case in high season (June-September) we will change over to the VIP entrance and alter the tour time, however this will incurr an extra cost subject to the charges made by the Vatican for this service.
Our main aim is to give a pleasant and stress free tour for both our clients and our guides!
The lines are due to security checkpoints located at the entrance to both the museums and St Peter's Basilica. Your guide will be able to purchase your tickets from the group ticket counter available only to tour guides. This enables you to avoid having to wait in a second line for tickets. We also use the Tour guides exit from the Sistine Chapel to reach St Peter's Basilica bypassing the security checkpoin t at the Church. (Usually open 6 days a week except when masses/celebrations are being held in the Basilica, we cannot be held responsible in the event that this exit is closed).
To get a Sudent discount at the Vatican Museums you need to be under 26yrs of age and have a Valid Student ID from your place of study.
It doesn't have to be a European ID but anything that prooves that you attend a College or University.
If your ID doesn't have a photo or your date of birth you will also need a passport or a driving license along with the Student card. For High school students (16 and under) a passport is usually fine if accompanied by a parent or adult.
European Union Citizens below the age of 18 & above the age of 65 by showing a European passport will get a free admission ticket.
European Students under age of 24 with a European Passport and student ID will receive discounted entrance fees.
Entrance Fees can be paid to the tour guide at time of tour and do not need to be purchased in advance.
Entrance fees need to be in cash (Euros only) as most sites do not accept credit cards.
Soon after payment is completed you will receive an automated Booking Confirmation e-mail (e-ticket)
with your Meeting Point, Map & and all relevant information you need for your tour.
Normally takes about 5' till 15'.
(PLEASE CHECK YOUR BULK / SPAM FOLDER!!!)
In the case of the Vatican, while the museums follow a strict schedule, St Peter's Basilica may sometimes be closed to tour groups If a mass is taking place. We do our best to keep up to date with any celebrations and while most are listed on the Papal Calendar the Vatican may sometimes schedule celebrations in the Basilica without prior warning, This is their right do to do so and we respect the fact that St Peter's is a Church not just a tourist site.
Due to the amount of touring time needed to cover the most important areas of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel and the need to include new areas to cover important sites such as the Raphael rooms to include the whole Basilica as part of the tour would take around 4.5hrs.
Due to the amount of walking through the Museums we have found that this is too much for most people with 3hours being the most popular choice.
As the entrance fee is paid for the Museums and the Sistine Chapel we aim to get the most out of this area as the Basilica can be visited for free at any time.
At the end of the tour the guide will explain what is important to see inside the Basilica such as works by Bernini and Michelangelo at the entrance overlooking the Square and they will also include an explanation of the Piazza, the Swiss Guards, the Papal Palace etc..
You are then free to spend as much time inside the Basilica as you wish, which we find is a more relaxed way to visit the Church and we have found while some people will spend 10 minutes, some will spend 2 hours and it is nice to have that choice.
All religious sites especially the Vatican have a strict dress code for men and women. Modest dress is required and includes no shorts, no bare shoulders and skirts/dresses must be below knee level.
Some sites like the Vatican have made the use of headsets in some areas obligatory. Where headsets are needed no extra charge will be incurred and we choose only the best sound system for a more enjoyable experience. As this is a service which we personally pay for we ask that all clients respect the fact that we are responsible for any lost or missing radios. You will be billed personally for any radio not given back to the guide at the end of the tour.
Once you have booked your tour you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing all relevant details and a map to show you exactly where your guide will be waiting along with the time and directions to the site.
Yes, you will need to pre book the tour. As we are committed to small groups and in some cases when we feel the use of headsets are necessary we need to know beforehand the group total.
Unfortunately wheelchair access to some sites is limited. All our Group tours are classed as walking tours so please contact us personally if anybody in your party has a walking disability or uses a wheelchair as some tours may only be available as a private tour. We're happy to provide further information.
General Items which are strictly forbidden include pocket knives/pen knives, oversized backpacks, Tripods and large sized Umbrellas. As you must pass through security to enter the Vatican if you are carrying any of the mentioned items you will either be refused entry or be required to check in your bag. Having to Check in your bag can prove to be a big inconvenience and may result in you missing part of your tour.
Rome is generally a safe city but unfortunately pickpockets are rife. Take care with bags and wallets particulaly when using public transport. Ie: Metro, buses and in busy areas. Being aware is always a good prevention.
There is a penalty if the tour is canceled 48 hours or more before the departure time of 20% (Reservation Fees) for administration fees. Within 24 hours of departure, the following rules apply: Cancellations within 24 hours of departure will incur a penalty equal to 50% of the total tour cost. Failure to show or cancel before a scheduled tour will be subject to a 100% charge of the tour cost.
TAXI NUMBERS: 06 3570
REMEMBER, you can use coins in most public phones in Rome.
Keep our phone number handy so you can contact us if you're having trouble finding the meeting point.
Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci (06/65951; 06/65953640 English-language flight information. www.adr.it).
Aeroporto Ciampino (Via Appia Nuova. 06/794941).