Vatican Museums

We are on the Rick Steves Seven Days in Rome tour this coming October. If we want to spend several hours in the Vatican Museums (even at the cost of not touring the Sistine Chapel, which we have already visited), should we order separate tickets than those associated with the tour visit? Pete

Posted by donna
cranberry twp, PA, United States
2403 posts

I'm not sure I understand but I'll try to answer your question. If you are on a tour that just includes the museums and chapel you can stay as long as you wish inside the museums. You don't need to exit after the tour is concluded. If your tour includes the basilica you won't be able to re-enter the museums without paying an additional entry fee. So it really depends on what the tour includes as to what you'll need to do. Donna

Posted by David
Sacramento, CA, USA
205 posts

Peter The simple answer is NO-no need to buy anything extra. I did the RS Rome Tour in September. I've been to Rome 4 times previously but didn't feel like traveling solo this Sept and I wanted to test drive an RS Tour for future reference (aka 21 day Best of Europe) as I'm not big on Tours and figured I knew Rome and could fire the guide/tour group at will and just do my own thing if I disliked the Tour. Didn't, loved every minute-great folks to tour with. OK- first of all I enjoyed the RS Tour and learned alot and enjoyed so. I love the Borghese but enjoyed Francesca's (local guide) tour of it and learned a good deal as to Renaissance sculptures beyond what I thought I knew, spent more time on public tranist then previously (really learned it) etc.... so money well spent. As to the Vatican Museums I've been there twice previously and felt "rushed" ... to get to the Sistine Chapel with the hoards as that seems to be the main point of interest for many.

Posted by David
Sacramento, CA, USA
205 posts

Anyway back to your point. Our Guide was Ben-great guide. I explained my plan and he was FINE with it. The group entered the Museum early with the other tour groups. Ben picked up the audio headsets all the guides use and passed them out..to everyone but me. I said thanks but I'll see ya at dinner (as previoulsy discussed) and split. Spent the entire day inside seeing all the areas that tour groups skip (and even the best ones SKIP A LOT). My favorite discovery was made at the end of the day near the end of the public spaces on the way to the exit-in the restoration/storage area. They keep left overs there aas well as works being restored and funeral/grave pieces. There hanging on a wall I found a wonderful piece of moasic taken from a grave. A potrait of a young woman and a man with an inspection-it translated it was a dedication to his beloved wife of 3 yrs and X months who had passed away.....very touching to see. 2000 yrs ago this man obviously loved her very much and as a result she lives on to this day with people gazing upon her beautiful face...some 2000 yeaqrs later. How many people will think of you in 2000 yrs-he gave that young woman in death the gift of immortality. Just talk to your RS guide and advise your going into the Musuem with the gourp but then going solo-NOT an issue at all. You will have to skip the headphones as your guide would need to return them. (You can rent your own audio guide if you desire -slight quirk to that PM me if your interested) See it all, including the Sistine at your pace. Crowdsthey ebb and flow. Wait and they pass by and you get a period of peace again to study. BUT many areas-entire side gallerys with long hidden hallways and stunning window views of Rome are devoid of people-just wonderful.