Vatican museums / Sistine Chapel tour | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Vatican museums / Sistine Chapel tour

Status
Not open for further replies.

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,127
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Have just bought tickets (voucher) for visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel including audioguides. 9am start (first of the day) in July.

Any tips to get the best out of the visit? Is it a 'set route', or can you go your own way? If the latter, I imagine zooming straight to the Sistine Chapel would be the go, hopefully ahead of the crowds?

On that subject, do tour groups get in before individuals? (We found that at the Hermitage, St Petersburg they do so even though we were first in line, by the time we got in, the place was already packed :( )

Any 'tricks' in getting in - I see for on line vouchers you have to present to Customer Care, go through security and then exchange voucher for ticket. Is this straightforward?

ps have seen a number if posts on AFF re this, but looking for recent situation :)
 

JessicaTam

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
13,291
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
I had a guided tour when I was there in Feb and the ability to skip the queue to get in was great. I don't think that will apply to normal pre-bought tickets. Sorry.

I think they have brochures with suggested routes, but am not sure. The tour finished in the Sistine Chapel and we spent an hour just looking. Get a seat on one side and you can sit and look for ages. Then go and sit on the other side. We then wandered out into the cathedral and again spent ages just looking. Take your time, and sit when you can.

Oh, by the large pillar on the centre-left towards the front of the cathedral there is a discreet stairwell down to the catacombs. Tricky to find, but worth the trip.
 

medhead

Suspended
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
18,994
Flights
My Map
My experience is old, 2007. But I think the tour guides will still get to queue jump. The whole Vatican was very interesting. But the Sistine chapel was the absolute stand out for me.

Before getting in there they did the whole no photos allowed thing and I wasn't bothered. Once in there I had to take photos and video. I strongly suggest making sure your camera is in stealth mode so you can discretely take pictures if it takes your fancy. By discrete I mean down by your side shoot from the hip stuff, as they seemed to jump pretty quickly on anyone hold up a camera. But this was a long time ago.
 

Bali Belly

Member
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
141
Flights
My Map
I had a guided tour when I was there in Feb and the ability to skip the queue to get in was great. I don't think that will apply to normal pre-bought tickets. Sorry.

I think they have brochures with suggested routes, but am not sure. The tour finished in the Sistine Chapel and we spent an hour just looking. Get a seat on one side and you can sit and look for ages. Then go and sit on the other side. We then wandered out into the cathedral and again spent ages just looking. Take your time, and sit when you can.

Oh, by the large pillar on the centre-left towards the front of the cathedral there is a discreet stairwell down to the catacombs. Tricky to find, but worth the trip.
I also agree the general public were lined up for miles my tip would be to get there early very early as the tour groups all arrive at once and just sail through
It can be a case of following the sheep as you all try to get an advantage point to take photos but the reward is ultimately the best in the world and do make use of the seats and no sneaky photos!
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,127
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
My experience is old, 2007. But I think the tour guides will still get to queue jump. The whole Vatican was very interesting. But the Sistine chapel was the absolute stand out for me.

Before getting in there they did the whole no photos allowed thing and I wasn't bothered. Once in there I had to take photos and video. I strongly suggest making sure your camera is in stealth mode so you can discretely take pictures if it takes your fancy. By discrete I mean down by your side shoot from the hip stuff, as they seemed to jump pretty quickly on anyone hold up a camera. But this was a long time ago.
Friend told me his experience. He was blatantly taking photos in the Chapel about 20 years ago. A padre/priest came up and told him "Sorry sir, no photos allowed". Friend: "Sorry, I don't speak Italian." Padre: "I don't bloody well either."

The entire exchange was in English, with broad Australian accents on both sides.
 

medhead

Suspended
Joined
Feb 13, 2008
Messages
18,994
Flights
My Map
:D :D bloody smart **** Aussies.


They had dudes in security/police like uniforms when I was there. Shame as that probably can't happen again.
 

Fifa

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
1,950
Make sure you also walk/climb to the top of St Peter's Basilica cupola - a fantastic experience.
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
15,413
Flights
My Map
When you reach the Sistine Chapel and you are ready to leave, walk to the back right and try look like you are part of a tour. And leave by that door. This takes you downstairs and a quick entry to the Basilica and avoiding the huge security queues. The door is guarded. If you take the door on the left it takes you back through the entire museum and you have to go to the start of the security queue for the Basilica.

We were blown away by the sheer magnificence of the Basilica.

I'm a fan of The Borgia series and it was amazing to be standing in his actual bedroom! How things change in a 1,000 years.

They were constantly yelling at people to stop taking photos.
 

A330

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
135
I was there in July 2012. Not having prepaid a ticket I joined the queue snaking around the Vatican walls. If your prepaid ticket allows queue jump you will save a good 30 mins of queuing. But you won't be able to avoid the queues at the security check.
The tour groups are extremely frustrating as once you think you have gotten away from one, you run into another one next to them! I likened the experience to Ikea in that most of the time you just follow the crowd all going in one direction. No chance to go back to something you missed.
I second the suggestion to tag onto a tour group using the right side exit from the Sistine Chapel. Much easier to get into St Peters. It's a shame that despite the constant blasts to be quiet and take no photos, everybody ignored the directions.
 

codash1099

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,635
Qantas
Platinum
I did it about 2 years ago with Angel Tours. Very small group (5) and a good guide. Skipped the queues. I wouldn't try it alone or in a big group.
 

NFF

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2013
Messages
303
A friend of mine was allowed to take photos inside the Chapel with camera flash switched off. The Vatican website had a 3D view of the Chapel.
 

codash1099

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,635
Qantas
Platinum
A friend of mine was allowed to take photos inside the Chapel with camera flash switched off. The Vatican website had a 3D view of the Chapel.
Doubt that he/she was "allowed". The reason behind the "no photos" ruling, as explained to me, was that a large benefactor (Japanese?) had put quite a few $$$ into a refurbishment and consequently owns the copyright.
 

JessicaTam

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
13,291
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
Doubt that he/she was "allowed". The reason behind the "no photos" ruling, as explained to me, was that a large benefactor (Japanese?) had put quite a few $$$ into a refurbishment and consequently owns the copyright.
I have to admit that sounds unlikely. I would rather think that they just want to control the images that are issued. :confused:
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
15,413
Flights
My Map
I heard the same story about Japan? Funding the restoration and limiting pictures.
 

ALH

Active Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
961
We had a private tour after hours in 2007. Probably one of the best experiences I've had. Our guide spent quite a lot of time explaining what we would see before we went in. It was nice and quiet with so few people. No photos.
 

robd

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
2,211
Flights
My Map
We did a guided tour at the Vatican last year and whilst we had quick and easy access through, our guide seemed to be more of an art expert rather than an historian - imparting the style of painting and method rather than the history behind the piece. She was boring. We still enjoyed seeing it, but it would have been a lot more pleasant with a better guide. We had a brilliant guide through the Colosseum, who managed to bring it to life with his knowledge. What a difference a good tour guide makes!

Our guide told us that photos weren't allowed to be taken in the Sistine Chapel because the flashes fade the paint :/
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
14,127
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Hmmm ... I'm getting the feeling that we should have opted for a tour rather than just buying tickets. Tickets were about 22 euro each and I think non refundable. Would be a waste, but put in context of trip, not a big deal.
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
15,413
Flights
My Map
A guide is good but just do your reading in advance. We didn't have one but I'd taken an interest in the Borgias (the Pope who "created" the artwork collection and lived there - he was an interesting guy!) and felt like we achieved a lot by the visit. ImageUploadedByAustFreqFly1401577759.176362.jpg
 

Sprucegoose

Senior Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
6,621
Doubt that he/she was "allowed". The reason behind the "no photos" ruling, as explained to me, was that a large benefactor (Japanese?) had put quite a few $$$ into a refurbishment and consequently owns the copyright.
copyright on the Sistine Chapel?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

AFF on Air Podcast

  • “Hidden City” Court Case – AIR022
    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:30:46 AEDT
      Earlier this year, German airline Lufthansa tried to sue a passenger that exploited the loophole of hidden-city ticketing by skipping the last flight on their ticket. This ...
  • Summer in Europe – AIR021
    Sat, 05 Oct 2019 17:28:53 AEST
      Qantas and Virgin Australia are fighting over two rare and lucrative new landing slots for Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Meanwhile, four European airlines have gone bankrupt in ...
  • Are Loyalty Programs a Scam? – AIR020
    Sat, 21 Sep 2019 08:36:18 AEST
      The ACCC recently released a damning draft report into Australian loyalty schemes, calling out practices that it says may shock consumers and putting loyalty program opera ...
  • Air Chathams – AIR019
    Sat, 07 Sep 2019 16:41:06 AEST
      With less than two weeks until the upcoming Qantas Frequent Flyer changes, now is the time to make any last-minute Classic Flight Reward bookings! In this episode, Matt ch ...
  • Project Sunrise – AIR018
    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:12:31 AEST
      Later this year, Qantas will decide which aircraft it will use to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York - a feat it aims to achi ...

Community Statistics

Threads
83,350
Messages
1,935,997
Members
50,945
Latest member
Chucks
Top