I keep reading about one-way dirrected traffic in the Vatican Museum. Is it really compulsory? I would rather see the Sistine Chapel in the morning, before group tours gather there, and then spend the remaining of the day in other parts of the museum. Is it possible to backtrack? Or is it at least possible to go to the exit-entrance area after seeing the Chapel and re-start on one of the one-way routs?
Once you are in the Sistine Chapel you must exit. The exit door to the right goes to St Peters, if you exit to the left you can walk back to the entrance of the msueums and start over again (you will still be within the museum and will not have to stand in line again.)
But i need one more detail. If I choose to start over by backtracking from the Sistine Chapel to the entrance, do I need to buy a new ticket? Not having to stand in line is obviously a plus, but having to pay twice would still be a problem.
No, you will not have to pay twice. Just make sure you do not exit to the right!
I recently did a tour of the Vatican museums and when we went to go into the Chapel half of our group got separated from the others. I was in the group that didn't go straight to the Chapel but went through all the other areas first and ended up in the Chapel before exiting to St Peters. I did try to back track to go to a little bookshop but found I was over whelmed by people coming into the Chapel and had to go back. They were not really nice about it all either. This was an afternoon tour. I'd try the way you want to go as tour groups do that and if you go early it probably won't be a problem.
The one way traffic in the Vatican Museum is not so much compulsory as just self defense. Trying to go against several hundred people coming in the opposite direction would be horribly frustrating and time consuming. Take your time, see everything you want and make your toward the Sistine Chapel . You won't want to fight your way back through the crowds. The Sistine was packed when we arrived at it, but we just positioned ourselves to the side and spent about an hour looking. Nice thing is that the crowds aren't on the ceiling.
i went through the vatican 3 years ago, and after the sis.ch. turned back and found other rooms i wanted to see. like the raphael room, he painted several things for julius ll, during the renaissance. just ask the security guard , if they stop you, where the Raphael Room is. they'll wave you on through. kat