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"Early Morning Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel" with Through Eternity Tours: Excellent

Our tour guide Cinzia and Through Eternity exceeded expectations. My wife and I joined the "The Early Morning Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel". Great performance on all aspects. (Through Eternity is mentioned in the Rick Steves 2019 Guidebook.)
Much much better than the other tour we did in Rome with a different company.

Pros:

  • Sign-up process. I was able to sign us up 12 months in advance. (If you sign up far in advance as we did, I recommend reconfirming a few days before the tour in case the time or meeting place has changed.)

  • Advance information on when and where to meet was easy-to-understand.

  • We were the first tour group among the tour companies to enter the Vatican Museum. Front-of-the-line.

  • Size of tour group was manageable, numbering only about 12 people. (The other tour we did in Rome from a different company had about 21.)

  • Our TOUR GUIDE CINZIA. Cinzia was outstanding. Highly professional and engaging, she was a wonderful representative for Through Eternity. She appears to enjoy her work and meeting new people.
    Cinzia warmly greeted everyone at the meeting place and learned where we were from.
    Very knowledgeable about the artwork and Vatican history, CInzia provided us much new and interesting information. We especially enjoyed the explanation of the Sistine Chapel paintings, and the humor of Michelangelo that can be found in some of the illustrations.
    Cinzia was nimble at maneuvering our group through the Museum among the other groups entering after us. She set clear expectations with us on how she would focus on certain displays.
    Cinzia continuously monitored the mood of us tour members, anticipating any unease with explanations that quickly tamped down such feelings.

After completing the Vatican Museum portion of the tour we moved directly into St. Peters Cathedral through a passageway. Also excellent.

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour, and learned much. A great value.

Posted by
364 posts

Thank you for posting this.
We are planning on going next spring.
Two things
- #1 --------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a link to 'eternity' https://www.througheternity.com/en/rome-tours/
I do not see an "early sistine chapel" as a tour.

Can you give a link, please?
And anything else to aid - thanks.

There are tours that that get in really early but cost $400-$500.
I know I'm willing to pay $60-80 and may go over $100 but would have to think long and hard.
- #2 --------------------------------------------------------------
One person in our group wears hearing aids and will probably have a hard time with the accent of a tour guide.
Did you use electronic transmitter (for the guide) and receivers (for the group)?
Any thoughts along that line?
I'm figuring he'll be happy to have early entry ....

Posted by
131 posts

Hi Evan. I am happy you find the information helpful.

The following link will direct you to TE's Vatican tours -- including the Early Morning Vatican Tour with Sistine Chapel: https://www.througheternity.com/en/vatican-tours/

Our group was first in line at the museum door among the regular tour groups. There were quite a few people that entered earlier; our guide Cinzia (noting some of us shifting our feet in discomfort on seeing those people enter before us) reported that these folks were from organizations/families that pay very large annual donations to the Vatican and thus are allowed earliest entry. (Perhaps some of those organizations sell some of their slots for the $400-$500 you mentioned.) In any case, my wife and I were very satisfied with the Through Eternity early entry.

Our guide used an electronic transmitter. Earbuds were provided to plug into the receivers we each received; I opted to use my regular cellphone earbuds.

I had scouted out the bus route and bus stop from our lodging in the Monti district in advance, and had a 48 hour Roma pass so didn't need to bother buying a ticket. The Probus Rome mobile app (mentioned by Rick Steves in his Italy guidebook) was very useful in figuring out the buses. To be extra sure we arrived on time and didn't get lost, I even went to Street View in Google Maps to do a virtual walk of the two blocks from our destination bus stop to the tour group meeting point.

I signed up about a year in advance, and as I recall the online tool wouldn't allow sign-ups that early. Therefore I sent TE an email, and they signed me up outside the tool.
A couple of weeks before the tour date I sent TE an email confirming that my wife and I were still planning to attend on our reserved date. I am glad I did, because somehow they had missed sending me the email wherein the meeting time had been moved back 30 minutes.

Have a great trip.