Vatican tours revealed

Great expectations

For many travellers to Rome, a Vatican tour to remember is of paramount importance. Small group and private tours of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica are ubiquitous online, the latter covering far more Vatican City real estate than the former. Several recent articles ironed out the basic do's and don'ts, without going into any great detail about specialist tour guides and specific client requests. Print this one, it's your machete in the Vatican jungle.

An inverse economy is at work here. We receive many more enquiries about small group Vatican tours (which cost in the region of €50) than pricier private Vatican tours. Private tours of the Vatican confer a superior experience and cost significantly more than small group tours, converting quickly senza drama.

Earlier today, a forthright German gentleman (the inspiration behind this article) enquired if our €59 Vatican Vatacombs tour included the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, St. Peter's Dome, and the Vatican Scavi. Not quite half right. To visit the Vatican Necropolis beneath St. Peter's Basilica, one must e-mail scavi@fsp.va on bended knee, or fax +39 06 698 73017 while speaking in tongues well before arriving in Rome. 250 fortunate souls (or lucky devils) are allowed down per day for €13 a head. Clearly, the issue is one of availability rather than cost. Access to St. Peter's Dome can be had for €7.

Every Vatican tour guide at When In Rome Tours has a specialization, a subject area in which they excel and continue to research in addition to having a strong background in and extensive knowledge of the history, art, and archaeology of Rome and the Vatican. Our private tour clients have the exclusive right to request a guide who is an expert in a field of their choosing, for example, Michelangelo, Roman Catholicism, Bernini and the Baroque, Pope Sixtus V, so on and so forth. Small group tour clients are allocated an expert guide who will convey a thorough understanding and appreciation of Vatican City treasures, while stopping short of personalizing the tour for individuals, what with 15 - 20 other people in attendance.

So what is there to be learned about what to expect on our Vatican City tours? What must be seen, what can be seen, and what is the cost to see it all with a guide who knows it all?

Small group Vatican tours will invariably lead you to most, but not all of the same locations as seen on a private Vatican tour. If you want to leave Rome and the Vatican having left no stone unturned, you know what your options are. The most cost-effective way to experience the Vatican City with a private guide is to bring family or friends, 5 or more people on board a private tour will slash client-side costs to that of or slightly more than a small group tour. Less time and space to connect with surroundings is the main reason why our clients generally prefer a privately guided tour, as opposed to a small group tour when in Rome and the Vatican City.

Published on July 23rd, 2014
© When In Rome Tours, article provided by Cajes.

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