Vatican-timing?

Hi - we depart for a cruise from Rome on June 28th. If i sign up for the 9am Vatican entrance ticket, is 2 hours enough to see the highlights before leaving for the ship, around 11am? We are in Rome the day prior (arriving mid-morning)but wanted to use that time for the Colosseum. First time in Italy but unfortunately not enough time to do much before the cruise. Thanks, Kim

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

If I were in your shoes. I would spend the first afternoon at the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Palatine Hill. Have a nice dinner and then after dark do Rick Steves' Rome night walk to see everything beautifully lit after dark. http://www.theculturebite.com/2010/06/21/rick-steves-rome-2010-night-walk-across-rome/ Get up early the next morning and go to the Vatican - St. Peter's Square and St. Peter's Basilica, but not the Vatican Museums. They are gigantic and even if you have a 9:00 am ticket it doesn't mean you will actually be able to start walking through the museums at 9:00. There's entry security. It's just not enough time and you would be dealing with a humongous set of huge galleries and struggling against the crowd. Instead, at St. Peter's you could climb the Dome early when it's less crowded and spend time really appreciating the astonishing beauty of the interior of the Basilica, including Michelangelo's breathtaking Pi├Ęta, the tomb of Pope John Paul II, Bernini's Baldacchino, etc. You would probably also have time to go down into the Crypt (not the Scavi excavations, though, beneath the Crypt, where St. Peter's tomb is - that's a separate tour that must be reserved in advance).

Posted by Kim
Dumont, NJ, USA
4 posts

Hi Chani - yes, this is what my travel agent recommends. The port we are departing from, Civitavecchia is actually 1-1.5 hours away from Rome. Boarding starts at 11:30am but she recommends we arrive around 12:30pm to miss the rush. We definitely don't have enough time to see everything we want in Rome but we will use our time wisely! Thanks, Kim

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3496 posts

Do you really only have until 11 am? In my experience, there's usually a pretty long check-in time and if you are one of the last to arrive, there's no waiting and once you're in line before they close, they aren't going to leave without you. Alternately, sometimes you can check in really early, then go back out to sightsee before the sailing. Never sailed from Rome, though.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

To add to what people said above, even if you did try to squeeze the Museum in during that time, it would exhaust you before you have to rush off to the port. The Basilica can definitely be seen in that time, though.