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Rome - Vatican/Sistine Chapel

(16 Posts)
motheroftwoboys Tue 12-Aug-08 13:44:14

Going to Rome in a couple of weeks and want to go and see the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Can anyone advise me? Is it possible to go an in independent visitor or must one join in a guided tour? Is it best to pre-book and, if so, can anyone recommend a good company. There seem to be so many!

lilyloo Tue 12-Aug-08 13:46:55

We went on our own but there were lot's of tours you can join as you go in.
I would pre book if you can as we were queing for a couple of hours and they stopped letting people in at 1 i think.
If not get there early and check whihc days it's open as there are some Sundays in the month it isn't if i remember rightly.
Have a lovely time it is fabulous!

soremummy Tue 12-Aug-08 13:48:06

You can go in as an independant visitor. Just to make you aware it willl be heaving! We did it a few years ago and was lovely. dont forget that your shoulders/arms will need covering up and no shorts allowed unless they have relaxed the rules

tokentotty Tue 12-Aug-08 13:49:23

You can do it completely by yourself, no problem. However I would recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid what can become enormous queues.

Another top tip for Rome... To avoid queueing for ages to get into the colliseum there are some nearby gardens where you can buy your tickets and walk straight in wink

finallypregnant Wed 13-Aug-08 07:16:06

I agree, go to the Vatican as early as you can!

leosdad Wed 13-Aug-08 18:44:22

Also tip for Rome(and some other european cities) don't forget to take proof of EU citizenship as children under 18 get in free to some places (coliseum and forum)

ten10 Wed 13-Aug-08 19:04:29

my biggest tip would be to take very comfy shoes as we walked miles

If the queues aren't too bad, and you don't mind heights then i recommend going up to the top of the dome of st peters, the view from the top was amazing.

In the vatican museums, the Borgia apartments and the map rooms are also really cool.

you don't need a guide but you probably will want a good guide book, especially as it will tell you all about the paintings as well as opening times, entry prices etc. we got the mini rough guide and it did the job really well.

if you are there with children and want a place for them to run around the Villa Borghese is a large park just up the top of the Spanish Steps

I loved Rome, am so jealous envy smile

you will have such a fab time,

Weegiemum Wed 13-Aug-08 19:05:49

Its shut in the afternoon, some days (Sistine Chapel)

That was the mistake we made, and we still haven't seen it!

Califrau Wed 13-Aug-08 19:21:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Califrau Wed 13-Aug-08 19:21:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tinker Wed 13-Aug-08 19:23:33

I've been to Rome twice. Just queued up and looked round first time. 2nd time, queues too long both days we tried so gave up. Definitely pre-book if you can.

Blandmum Wed 13-Aug-08 19:28:06

Get on a guided tour or you will queue for hours

you still have to queue for a tour but they are much shorter.

also there is just so much stuff in there , unless you are a bit of of a culture vulture you will get overwhelmed

skydancer1 Wed 13-Aug-08 19:30:59

I lived in Rome for three years. Yes - get there early and bring picnic and water for the queue (although there is a cafe in the museum, worth stopping off in if only to rest your feet after a two mile walk). Also they arrange the museum so the Sistine is the last thing you see. Bring binoculars to see the detail on the ceiling!

blowsy Wed 13-Aug-08 19:36:43

We got in the queue (tip-every other Sunday is free entry or something, avoid!)and got approached by a tout to join a guided tour.

It was money wellspent as we then went to the front of the hideous queue and had the most fabuous tour by an American art history student who was so knowledgable. The Vatican museums go on for miles and it would have moslty gone over our heads if it wasn't for the guide.

Make sure you have something to cover your shoulders for St Peter's. That and Sistine chapel are worth every penny. Michaelangelo's Pieta is just overwhelming.

Have a fab time - it's just wonderful!

motheroftwoboys Thu 14-Aug-08 12:18:25

Thanks everyone for all this useful stuff. Can't wait - think will pre book to save queue. We are not staying in Rome itself but in a village nearby so wouldn't be there first thing. Haven't yet decided re tour but may be a good idea as we are not culture vultures and would prob miss out otherwise. Will def. check if Sistine Chapel will be open as so want to see it.

bluesky Sun 17-Aug-08 18:48:17

Have just seen this thread. We went to Rome with our two boys, aged 11 and 7 and chose Angel Tours (www.angeltoursrome.com)

Saw them recommended in one of the Sunday papers. They were EXCELLENT. The girl was Irish, she had been at Uni in Italy, then decided to stay and work teaching english to italian boys at school, and then did the tours when she could. She made it come alive for the boys. (We said at booking that we had 2 young boys). We did the Colloseum tour with her. Saved hours on the queuing!

Would echo to check when Vatican open, luckily Angel Tours told us this when we booked (all via email) our Colloseum tour.

You see tours with SO many people in them, it was great to be just 12 of us!

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