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#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2016 11:10:51 AM(UTC)

Posts: 0

We are considering an Italy tour including a Vatican visit. This will be a highlight for my brother in law and his wife and we have some questions. Is there a private guide for this tour? Does anyone know the approximate time allowed at the Vatican? Specifically, the tour we are considering is the 14 day Tuscany & Amalfi with Venice and Rome.

Since this is so important to them, if they don't think the included Vatican tour will be long enough or have the depth they want, they may consider booking something on their own through a private company so I am trying to find as much info for them as I can. I also know we can book a Saturday departure and stay in Rome on a Wednesday for the weekly Papal audience. Unfortunately, I don't like the hotels used for those departures so I am trying to do the best with the tour itinerary.
gotta travel  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2016 3:15:06 PM(UTC)
gotta travel

Posts: 128

Rome is an amazing city with so much to see and experience. The Vatican tour when we did it with Gate 1 utilized a local tour guide (who was excellent and one schooled in art history). It's an early morning start to beat the crowds (we were one of the first tour groups in the morning) with a well paced, not rushed tour of the Vatican Museum and then to the Sistine Chapel (spent about a half hour in the Chapel which for us was enough time). From there a short 'jog' over to the Basilica with some free time following to do a little more gawking. All told we spent the most part of the morning before regrouping for the afternoon optional tour of the piazzas (same local guide and was a great optional). As far as the depth of the tour, can't really judge as though I've done these before on my own, this was my first with a guide to explain what I was seeing. It seemed to have been a meaty tour. DId spend a little time than needed at a souvenir shop (for restrooms and money exchange so they said, but more like to help the local economy) before moving on to Piazza Navona for gelato and lunch.

If more time is needed they can either opt to bypass the optional afternoon tour (if this is their first time in Rome, I would not advise that) to spend more time at the Vatican or perhaps add a day or two to the end of the tour on their own (G1 can help you with hotel arrangements if needed or you can book something on your own - just note that you'll have to also arrange for your ground transfers when you extend a trip like that). We often do add a few days to the start of a G1 tour. Just a thought should you want some added flexibility.
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 17, 2016 5:08:43 PM(UTC)

Posts: 48

Ditto to everything gotta travel mentioned (although I think that early in the morning it was still crowded) - but I can add information on the sem-private tour that I booked through Viator. It was the VIP tour of the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel. The tour is with 15 people or less, and currently is $377.41...worth every penny! It does not include St. Peter's. The tour is in the afternoon, when the crowds are beginning to thin out. Our guide was wonderful; we were first escorted by a guard into places that the larger tour groups never go to; the Niccoline Chapel, the Bramante Staircase, and the Raphael Rooms were three. As we went on, the museums had fewer and fewer people, until finally there was no one else, just our group of 15. We saw everything that I had seen on the Gate 1 tour, with some additional information on some things. When we reached the Sistine Chapel, the guards were herding out the remaining tourists. We were then allowed in - just our group of 15 and our guide. While the Gate 1 guide wasn't allowed to talk to us in the morning in the chapel (there's 100's of other people in there), the Viator guide was able to point out all of the interesting and important facts while we are looking. We were also allowed to take pictures...not allowed in the large groups. Yes, it was expensive, but for a once in a lifetime experience for a real history geek, it was perfect!

#4 Posted : Sunday, August 21, 2016 12:24:04 PM(UTC)

Posts: 0

Thank you both, this is exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate your responses
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