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Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

by elebe Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Ciao a tutti!

I realize that this question may have been asked and answered before, but is there a "best website" to buy tickets for the main Rome attractions? (I understand the tickets / vouchers still need to be printed in most cases).

I'm traveling with my hubby and teen boys in March. First time for my kids. So far we've only booked a day trip to Pompeii -but still need tickets for the local visit-, and are planning on visiting the Via Appia on a Tue. or Wedn.

Also, I understand that these days is worthwhile to see the Vatican via a private tour for easier access and lighter crowds?

Any advice much appreciated :-)

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19 Answers
  • SOUTHAFRICANDELLA's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by SOUTHAFRICANDELLA Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    Hi, we did a private tour of the Vatican in March 2012, with a teenage son. With the private guide it was easier and faster getting around, as well as hearing the information and interaction, but the overcrowding was still horrendous. You feel like a sardine trapped in a can. I have seen that there are private tours of the Vatican at night, which I think would be less crowded. If I can do the trip over, will definitely try the evening option, as the daytime crowds, was just to much. Enjoy!

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Hi there -
    The "Vatican" that people are allowed to see consists of just the museums, St. Peter's and the gardens. Tickets for line-skipping and tours may be ordered here,

    mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_...

    Tours to the Scavi must be booked very far in advance to I won't include info on that.
    Depending on how old your children are, they may quickly be frustrated with the crowds and bored with the miles of art at the museums: it's a lot for children to deal with.

    You don't need tours for Via Appia: can easily be done on one's own, and there's lots of info on the park's website:

    parcoappiaantica.it/en/defau...

    Ask me if you would like more specific info on that one?

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  • shrimp56's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by shrimp56 Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 6:32 AM

    There is the early morning option. It's pricey, but friends who have chosen that option did not regret it. walksinsiderome.com/index.ph... is one option. This is another italywithus.com/vatican-tour...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    Just a thought....

    For art, we preferred Galleria Borghese to the Vatican museums because the quality of the works, manageable size of the collection, the fascinating building itself, and excellent crowd control: 2-hour time slots are reserved in advance, and those slots are restricted to a sane amount of bodies.

    If interested, I'll provide the info but it's possible that the Sistine is a must for you, insanely packed or not. :O)

    The popular "Vatican Under the Stars" is not currently being offered by the museum itself just now and private tours are very expensive, last I looked.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by mccalpin Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Kate is right that access to the necropolis under the basilica is limited, but well worth for anyone who wants to touch history as there seems to be solid evidence (not to mention the word of Emperor Constantine) that St. Peter was buried here.

    Two things come to mind:
    1. Although the tours fill up, you may have enough lead time to get in on one - but you'll have to take what they offer.
    2. The tour is open only to children 15 years of age or older and they claim to be strict about this (of course, if your boys are 8 feet tall like many young men nowadays, they may not check too closely ;-) )

    See the info at vatican.va/roman_curia/insti...

    Bill

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    I did see you mention that your kids are teens: mentioned that age thing as there can be a difference between the tolerance of a 13 and 17 year-old. :)

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by mccalpin Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 8:03 AM

    What teenaged boy wouldn't like walking through a graveyard in the dim lights under the floor of a massive church with the zillion-ton baldichino directly overhead ready to squish everybody? ;-)

    (Seriously, Mom, it's not a particularly small space, so no claustrophobia, and the fact that the groups are limited to only 12 people, means that there are only you 12, the guide, and a few conservation/archaeologists working in the tombs - it's much less crowded than upstairs ;-) )...

    Bill

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    I meant the museums, Bill - not the necropolis. :O)

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by mccalpin Online Now Feb 8, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Of course!

    Bill

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  • Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by elebe Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    Many thanks Southafricandella, Kate, and Bill. Your detailed replies are greatly appreciated.

    My hubby and I have been to Rome and its main attractions several times (I had an aunt living at walking distance from the Vatican), but it's been years now. We were under the naïve impression that now, six weeks before visiting, we'd still be able to get tickets to the Scavi, for example :0)

    Kate, my boys are exactly 13 and 17 :) and I hear you about the level of tolerance to museums... Didn't know about the Galleria Borghese- will certainly check it out!

    Everyone have a lovely weekend. THANKS.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    You've very welcome!

    Here's my info (with the website for ordering tickets) on the Borghese:

    "Galleria Borghese: La crème de la crème" - Villa Borghese Tip by goodfish

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    For pete's sake - just realized I hadn't included the ticket website on that review. Sorry!

    Here it is:

    galleriaborghese.it/borghese...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    ARGGGG! Had trouble finding ticket ordering page in English - try this:

    tosc.it/tickets.html?affilia...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 5:35 AM

    Last post, I promise (eyes not open yet this morning) - here's more background on the museum:

    galleriaborghese.it/borghese...

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by GracesTrips Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    I have an extensive write up on visiting the Vatican if you want to check it out.

    Rome Things to Do Tips by GracesTrips

    I would definitely make the visit to the Vatican. As for visiting other attractions in Rome, I wouldn't buy tickets in advance. We easily bought guided tour tickets at a fair price and were not restricted to a schedule. We could go at our convenience and not feel rushed. Hope you have a great trip!

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  • anilpradhanshillong's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by anilpradhanshillong Online Now Feb 9, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    For reference:

    "2013 'Vatican Under the Stars' Evening Tours are available every Friday during the months of May, June, July, September, and October only."

    eyesofrome.com/tours/vatican...

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by goodfish Online Now Feb 10, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    Right, Anil. By my previous comment about the museum not offering their evening tour "right now", I meant they're not offering them during March, when our OP is traveling.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by cgf Online Now Feb 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Between March, 15th till [20th ??] there will be [probably] the Papal conclave, the Sistine Chapel would off limits and also some area nearby.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Online tickets to attractions? Private tours for Vatican?

    by mccalpin Online Now Feb 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    The conclave probably won't commence until after 20:00 on the evening of February 28th (when the Pope's resignation becomes effective), but one could expect the Sistine to go off-limits a few days before that to prepare. The Sistine will stay off-limits until after the new Pope is elected, perhaps about March 15th (or it could be immediately or it could be months later...). Well, probably not months later as there are some funny stories about the people of Rome bricking the cardinals in until they elected a Pope... ;-)

    Anyway, while the Museums may be pen more or less normally, the exit will be changed to route you away from the Sistine Chapel.

    I have looked at the Vatican website, in Italian, but no notices yet of changes.

    Note that there will be other places placed off-limits here and there, such as when the new Pope is presented to the world - the basilica will probably be closed at that point to visitors while he is presented on the balcony over the entrance...so hang loose...

    Bill

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