From what I have been reading, Mondays are traditionally busy at the Vatican because of pent-up demand from being closed on Sunday. If I go to the Vatican on Monday after "free Sunday" shouldn't it be less crowded? I have the choice of touring either on Saturday or Monday. I am leaning toward Saturday, but my decision is based on RS and Roninrome both saying Mondays are crowded. No one talks about Monday after free Sunday. I plan to reserve a time on the Vatican site for around noon on the day I eventually choose, they are both available at the end of May.
The other pressure you have on Monday is that other attractions in the Rome are closed on Monday, especially if they were open on Sunday.
I have no particular expertise, but I'm not sure it makes much of a difference in late May. Every day will be crowded. A friend of mine went in January, and was actually able to see, appreciate, and enjoy the Vatican museums. I went in September, and was not so lucky.
I agree with Harold. It's May-you won't get away from crowds. Your best bet to is arrive as early in the morning as you can stomach on the day you choose to go.
I've gone early in the morning and late in the afternoon, several times. Lately it seems more tour bus groups are booked early in the day. I still
prefer to go early because I feel like I have more control over my time. Regardless of when you go, don't eat the pizza at the downstairs cafeteria.
Oh, Ha, ha, Thanks for the good advice. Could I go back and redo my itinerary, I would. Seems like mid-week Rome would be less stress. I have decided to stop agonizing about every decision, I know it is best to be informed but it can get overwhelming. I do enjoy this helpline and thanks to all your help I will be doing things I may have missed.
Went to the Vatican on Saturday and it was crowded. I did have reservations, and although we arrived about 45 minutes early, we went right in. The line to get in without reservations was all the way the length of the wall, it was great to walk right up and go in, the extra euros were well spent for the reservation. St Peters was so crowded and the was roped off for a mass. We were staying only a 10 minute walk away and went back to St Peters on Monday morning around 7 . It was fantastic! The whole cathedral to ourselves, we went right in, spent a good while taking it all in. The trip up to the dome was open around 8 and that was also a pleasure with minimum people to share the best view of Rome. By the time we left around 9, the whole place was heavy with tour groups. It seems that if there were no tour groups, there would be about a quarter of the tourists left. But getting back to my original question: is it still very crowded at the Vatican on the Monday after free Sunday? And the answer is Yes! No difference in the crowds, still lined up the whole length of the outside wall.
This is really good info...we will be visiting the Vatican on Mon 6/24. Early next am sounds perfect for the Basilica. Counting the days......
Besides using rs guide, look at roninrome.com for advice on the vatican & other sites. We looked at the spiral staircase and the Pinacoteca before entering the museum . Any tour groups in that gallery were small ones, great art and pleasant to be there. Also, if you take the shortcut into St. Peter's , you will miss the gift shop. We saw some books in small gift shops throughout the galleries that we did not see again. I suspect they had these items at the gift shop surrounding the spiral staircase, bu
but we did not exit that way, since we took the shortcut to St Peters. So, if you see something you are interested in, buy it, because you may not see it again. When I say we went to the Pinacoteca before we entered the museum, I meant before we went into the main part of the Vatican museum. We were already inside, at the top of the escalator when you divert over to the staircase and eventually Pinacoteca.