I would imagine that any Vatican tour is time limiting. Do they end at the Sistine chapel? Can you come back in and spend more time like say, in the museums or the chapel. I'm leaning towards a tour, but would like the option to come back and look a little longer.
Liz, I'm not sure what you mean by "time limiting". Most Vatican tours end just before entering the chapel. Tours are not allowed to give commentary inside the chapel so they take you to the pineapple courtyard to give the history of the chapel and explain the artwork. If your tour does not include the basilica, once you are finished inside the chapel you can exit through the regular door and re-enter the museums to spend as much time there as you wish. When you're ready to leave you can re-enter the chapel again. At that point you can use the "tour door". Just show the guards your ticket to show that you were with a tour and he will let you use the door. If your tour includes the basilica you will not be able to re-enter the museums or chapel without paying again. Donna
Thanks Donna. Now I need to find a tour operator.
Just book through the official site. They offer a few different tours so you can pick the one that is the best for you. http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?weblang=en&do Donna
Three years ago I found a recommendation on Rick's Helpline for Angel tours in Rome. Here is link: http://www.angeltoursrome.com/ We did two tours, one of Vatican museums which included Sistine Chapel/St. Peter's and one of the Forum/Colosseum. The guides were young,English speaking and seemed pretty knowledgeable. The price of the tour was worth it if only for the ability to jump the loooong line waiting to get into the Vatican! I am sure they can tell you if your ticket is good to come back. I would think that would be a little tricky - the whole tour is a line, you are covering a lot of ground and I don't know how you would go back to a particular part of it.
You don't need to go through a third party tour company in order to skip the lines. Buying entry tickets or booking a tour at the official site allows you to bypass the lines. As for if you can return with your ticket, if you exit the museums for any reason you cannot return on the same ticket. Your ticket only allows you to re-enter if you don't leave the museums. Donna