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May BOE21 tour When in Rome.

Hi All.

I'll be on my way soon & I can't believe it's so close now! So here is my question...This tour doesn't go to the Vatican City & Sistine Chapel. I've read the itinerary for the day we will be in the area, and I'd like to purchase tickets for these, however I'm not sure what time the RS tour sightseeing will be over, so that I can buy tickets for a certain time so as not to have to queue there.
Anyone have any experience with this?

Also, anyone else on the scheduled May tour planning on going to Vatican City?

Posted by
241 posts

I'm going in May and wondering the same. At this point I haven't booked anything. I may just visit St Peter's and skip the museum. We are in Rome for so short a time that I don't want to spend it there if it truly is that overcrowded. Hope our guide can help with this.

Posted by
985 posts

You could call the RS office to inquire, but remember, you don't have to do what the group is doing. You can set your time for the Vatican and just slip away from the group when you need to go. When on our tour we had one lady who rarely showed up for anything. I'm not sure what she was doing but she wasn't doing it with us. If it is that important to you then make sure you see it regardless of what the group is doing that day. Have fun on your trip!

Posted by
333 posts

The guides are wonderful resources- use them. Tell them during some downtime at the beginning of the tour what you want to do in Rome. Chances are, they'll be more than willing to guide you through setting up that visit. Since that used to be included, most of the guides will know what to tell you to do to get the most out of your visit, and bypass the hours long lines. The guide can also tell you, or help you to choose whether or not to skip other scheduled activities in order to have more time to visit the Vatican. (I was there last year in May for the 21BOE). Rome is extremely crowded, but so is the Vatican. Public transportation is sardine packed crowded. I really experienced some claustrophobia in that city. But at the same time, there is so much WOW factor there.

I know whatever you do, you'll have a fantastic time!

Posted by
58 posts

I'm doing this tour in July. If you go to the 21BOE on this site and to pre tour, it mentions booking tours to the Vatican. It says when would be a good time to book the tour. For our tour, it is day 13 after 2:00. I booked a Dark Rome tour for 2:30 that includes the Vatican and St. Peter's. I'm thinking we will probably have to take a cab from wherever we finish our walking tour and may have to leave a little early to make sure we get there on time.

I wanted to book one of the evening tours since we will be there on Friday, but it doesn't include St. Peter's and I really would like to see Michaelangelo's Pieta.

Have fun!


Posted by
6364 posts

Also, if you do decide to skip out on some of the group activities, be sure to let your guide know! They won't mind, but it may affect some side trips, and they certainly don't want to think you're missing! Of course, let your "buddy" know, as well.

Posted by
7209 posts

Rome is just FULL of historic artifacts in every nook and corner. If you only have a bit of free time it would be a shame to spend it INSIDE the Vatican Museums sardined in with all the other tourists attempting to be funnel through to the Sistine Chapel. Yes, it's grand, but I wouldn't waste my precious Rome free time standing and wading through the Vatican Museum.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello, My wife and I are also taking the May RS tour and the Vatican City was originally on the itinerary when we first reserved, but then later removed. We went to the RS store and asked them about it and discovered that this is the Catholic year of the Jubilee. Basically like the mall at Christmas, everything in Rome will be seriously packed which is why the tour removed the Vatican from the itinerary. We were bummed, but it makes sense since the already long lines are now going to be extremely long and they can't guarantee admission. So we are looking into other non-traditional things to do like explore the aqueducts or the old bones museum.

Posted by
6364 posts

The mind boggles trying to imagine the Vatican even more crowded than usual. When we were there a few years ago, the crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder in the Sistine Chapel, and in St Peter's I was shoved away from the rail at one of the side chapels by someone who wanted her friend to take her picture with the altar as a backdrop! During a Mass!!!!

But still, it would be a shame to miss the Vatican. It is truly "awesome," in the best sense of the word.