Vatican museums/Sistine, Scavi/St Peters, Vatican gardens

We have only one day to visit Vatican City (in early September), and I was wondering on advice for the order in which we should try to see as much as we can (considering lines/location/etc); we are planning on getting an outside tour guide or booking directly through the Vatican.
As of right now we are doing the Scavi tour from 1:45pm - 3:15pm and are planning on showing ourselves around St Peters afterwards for a bit.

Should we try to:
1) Tour the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel in the morning, do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm, and then the Vatican gardens late afternoon
2) Tour the Vatican gardens in the morning, do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm, and then the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel in the late afternoon
3) Tour both the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel and the Vatican gardens in the morning, and do the Scavi tour/St Peters Basilica at 1:45pm

Any advise/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by Nadine
Austin, TX, USA
492 posts

The Scavi tour is hard to get and you can only book it through the Vatican site so try for that first and then plan the Basilica and Museums around your Scavi time, when we booked it you could request a time and they tried to accommodate you but you could get a different time than requested. The Gardens is also a separate private tour, it may be tougher to get than the Scavi tour is and also can only be booked through the Vatican site (last time I checked anyway). If you really want to do this tour as well, try for it as soon as you know your Scavi tour time and have paid and confirmed that reservation.

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

Do you already have a confirmed tour for the scavi? If so, then you could do the gardens in the morning, your scavi tour and then the museums tour, finishing in the basilica.

If you don't have a scavi confirmation, it's hard to answer your question. They don't confirm everyone and you don't get to pick your time. You can request a time but you don't always get it.

If you don't have a confirmation wait to plan your day after you get the scavi tour confirmed or denied.

donna

Posted by Mindy
Charlotte, NC, USA
39 posts

I already have a confirmation/reservation on the Scavi tour at 1:45pm - it lasts an hour and a half. I'm trying to figure out how to plan the rest of the day; if I should visit the Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel prior to the Scavi tour and the Vatican gardens after, or vice versa, or another option someone suggests.......
Is the only way to visit the gardens by booking a tour directly through the Vatican?

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

The only way to tour the gardens is through the vatican. You can book at the same site as you do for their other tours.

I would do the gardens in the morning, break for lunch, do the scavi then the museums (either a tour or just entrance tickets) then the basilica.

This will be a full day.

Donna

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

I've heard mixed reviews on the garden tour. You might want to book the tour of the museums for the morning then do your scavi tour. You can enter the bacilica after the scavi.

If you are really interested in the garden tour do it in the morning, as early as you can, then you can enter the museums with that same ticket. You may not be able to get a tour but you can easily see the museums on your own. Don't rent an audio guide as you have to take it back to the front of the museums to return it and you won't have time for that.

The other option is to email the scavi people to see if you can get on a later scavi tour for that day. I have heard of a few people being able to change their time. If you let them know you are interested in doing the garden and museums tour they may be able to work something out for you. It's worth a try.

Donna

Posted by Mindy
Charlotte, NC, USA
39 posts

It looks as though most of the garden tours are only offered at 9:00 and 9:30 for English.
Problem is, the only museum/Sistine tours are at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:00, and my Scavi tour is at 1:45.
So, next question......do I:
1) skip the gardens all together and book the morning museume/Sistine Chapel tour, or
2) book the gardens for the morning and try to get an outside private tour guide to do the museums/Sistine Chapel from 3:30 - 6:00?