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Guided Vatican Tour

I was in Rome in early July and, fearing long lines at the Vatican Museum and St.Peter's Basilica, signed up for an afternoon tour of both places thru Europe Oddysey (recommended by Rick). We met our guide Rahul, an Indian who turned out to know a great deal about the Vatican, the Catholic church, and medieval art, at a cafe right outside of the Vartican Museum.
Our group was only about ten people and with Rahul, we easily bypassed the rather long line in front, and quickly got in the museum. He instructed us on how to hold our backpacks folded under our arm as we went thru security so the guards would not make us check them (would have been a big nuisance to get them back since we exited the museum directly to St. Peter's without coming all the way back to the museum entrance. Even if you're not on a tour you can do this (right out of the Sistene Chapel instead of left) if you just sort of tag along with another tour group.
Rahul gave us a lot of interesting details and facts about the art as we went thru the museum which we appreciated. It certainly gave context to the pieces as we were looking at them. He did the same thing inside St. Peter's (again we jumped the line in front thanks to being on the tour). All in all, since we were there at a pretty busy time, I think it was worth it to spend the extra $ for a tour and Rahul was certainly good. He was very adept at guiding our groups thru all the people plus he was very interesting as well. Without him, I know I would not have learned as much as I did and he definitely saved us a lot of time. Because of him we were able to take a taxi from in front of St. Peter's to the Borghese in time for a 5:00 reservation (open until 7:00 on Tuesdays) and we would have mixxed out otherwise.

Posted by
694 posts

Thanks for the tour info. We will be in Rome next May so I've bookmarked their website. Question for you - can we join an existing tour or do we need the minimum number of people to book this? It wasn't clear on the website. Thanks!

Posted by
2 posts

That is a question for Europe Oddysey. I would suspect that they probably have a minimum number of people but I don't know. Our group was pretty small, probably no more than ten which certainly makes it easier. Good luck!