This tour gets my highest recommendation. I didn't know what to expect, but I was not disappointed at all, thanks in part to our tour guide...I wish I had gotten his name! Please note that even though you skip the line, you still have to make line at Security. However, our tour guide started the tour during this time and it went by so quickly. He gave us some background on the Sistine Chapel, so we didn't waste any time. Once we got into the Vatican, we went to the Sistine Chapel first, to avoid the crowds, and it worked out great! This worked even better in our favor because we got to go through it again on our way to the basilica! He explained everything so well and we went at a great pace. I can't say enough good things about this tour. The knowledge our tour guide had was impressive. Fantastic tour!
YOU WILL NOT ENTER THE SISTINE CHAPEL BEFORE OPENING TIME!!! This tour company runs a number of tours that do go early, but the Viator tour starts far to late to get in on time. That said, we still got in early and got to skip the lines. Also, the tour guide was very good. Just don't expect to go in before opening time.
Everything about this tour was excellent. Lougi was prompt, efficient and absolutely knowledgeable about the history. He got us right in to the most important areas so we could enjoy them without the crowds. The group size was small 8 which was perfect. The timing was also good - rushed when needed with plenty of time to discuss and explore when the timing was right. Would absolutely recommend - the early morning start is a plus - not hot and not yet full of people.
This tour was phenomenal! This tour is a great way to get into the Vatican a little earlier than the regular crowd, and trust me when I say you'll want to do that since lines are horrendous especially during peak season. Our tour guide Maria Teresa was so passionate and engaging. I highly recommend this tour!
Not one for usually going on a tour in museums, this was an extraordinary tour - and the best way to see the Sistine for the general public. Our guide timed our entry into the chapel perfectly so that we were not packed in like sardines, although it made for a slightly rushed experience through the Vatican Museums. The museums themselves were such a highlight. Our guide was deeply knowledgable and provided us with a truly fantastic tour.
My wife and I were on our 10-day honeymoon to experience Italy, and we can easily say this tour was the best tour we had the entire time! We cannot offer our guide, Simon, enough thanks for sharing with us his extensive knowledge of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and most importantly his knowledge of all the people involved in their centuries of history. Our guide revealed his passion for history with every story he told. He didn't attempt to point to every single painting a sculpture and say this is this and that is that, but rather delved deep into the personal dramas resulting in particularly unique works of art. His English was impeccable, which always helps.
The sites themselves are among the most impressive I have seen anywhere - inside or out of Italy. Do not miss out on them if you have not seen them. Plan to spend at least an hour extra time after the tour he leaves you inside the Basilica at the end to breathe it all in and experience the enormity of it all.
Early morning is well worth it even with our jet lag. The Vatican fills fast, and our guide knew how to get us in fast and in locations that become heavily crowded before they got to that point, and then rotated into the larger rooms later in the tour. It gives you some time to do another tour in the afternoon.
Check In instructions sent were clear as to location, and time. We arrived early because we did not know what to expect for traffic. Company had a visible clipboard with their name on it so it was clear we were in the correct place. Meeting place had an area where we could get coffee, water, hot chocolate etc Snackbar.
First time to Italy, even though we are in the shoulder season, had no idea of how large the crowds would be. This tour gets you into the Sistine chapel before the crowd builds. There was a very detailed explanation of what we would be seeing and the history prior to entering which was very helpful.
Our guide was Sev, and our group was a total of 8. His knowledge of the collections we were viewing was evident, and he added so many details that we just would have never picked up on our own. In addition to his knowledge of the collection, his ability to navigate us through the crowds of other tours were an extreme benefit. In addition his ability to relate to any question, whether it was basic or a higher level question, he had the skillset to provide a valuable answer.
In conclusion this tour has two critical added value components. 1. Beat the crowds, it gets you in early and around the large lines saving you easily hours standing in lines. 2. You get a large amount of details and explanations of what you are seeing in a 4 hour tour from an extremely knowledgable guide.
Definitely worth the costs of the trip. This tour was one of our highlights of Rome.