St. Peter’s Basilica
Here are some tips for taking a tour to the Vatican.
Take a tour. Use a tour group that has good reviews. There is always going to be the unhappy person, but take the one with the most positive review
Take the early morning tour. Trust me it is worth it. Then you have the whole day to explore or take another tour (like we did)
We used Walks of Italy. I recommend them https://www.walksofitaly.com/
Keep a little cash (Euros) for a tip at the end if you liked your tour guide
Make sure you praise the guide to the company, it keeps really good guides in demand
Plan your day early
I know you are on vacation, but heading The Vatican is not a “trip to Disneyland”. There are some serious worshippers here and they make no bones about it, The Vatican is the bee’s knees for thousand and I mean thousands of people each and every day. I mean you have to go through a metal detector to get in for Pete’s sake. Take the early tour.
Take the skip the line for anything!
Take the “skip the line” for anything. The lines are off the hook long. Trust me on this. On a brighter note, the restrooms are clean and there are plenty around because trust me you will be in a long line even with the “skip the line”, so for goodness sake… “skip the line”. It is worth the extra money.
Tour, Tour, Tour
I can’t emphasize this enough. You may have read all there is to read about where ever it is you want to visit. St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, etc… even the gift shop is packed. If you read all this, so did 50,000 other people and let us be real here, your Italian is not that good! Trust me, preggo and Grazie only goes so far!
Unless your a native Italian, know native Italian or speak impeccable Italian, trust me on this. Be prepared for large crowds and many many different languages being spoken. It truly is amazing how international The Vatican is and that is wonderful.
We had an amazing morning and afterward had a really cool rest of our day. We went to the Catacombs that night. That will be in a separate post. Understand that you can’t see it all in one day!
If you only have one day then really pick the one tour you want. Climbing to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica was pretty amazing and if you have a hard time with stairs, take the elevator. It is small, but they really do prefer that you can climb the stairs and walk. This and other tours can be quite taxing, but on the flip side, get you ready for a yummy meal!