Guided visit to the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel – organization and procedures
Many people, when they come to Rome, have the Vatican Museums on their check-list (who doesn’t?!). The Vatican Museums are part of the Vatican city, but by entering the Museums you are not going to “visit the city”.
The Vatican city is an independent country and not all of the territory is open to the public.
If you opt for a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel there is a procedure to follow.
First of all, if you are part of the group you will skip the line for those who are waiting to enter and purchase their tickets inside.
By entering the Vatican Museums, with a group tour or semi private tour, you will enter from the main entrance where you will have a security check. This is the first step where you need to respect certain rules imposed by the Vatican. It is not allowed to:
- to carry big backpacks
- to carry weapons, knives, scissors and/or metal tools
- to enter with medium and large umbrellas (non-telescopic umbrellas)
- to enter with long sticks (apart from those used for walking)
- to bring inside camera supports (like tripods) and stands for photography, banners and signs of any type
- to bring inside alcoholic and super alcoholic beverages
- to consume food and drinks inside the exhibition halls
Once you go through the security check, if you’re part of a group, the tour manager or the guide will redeem the Vatican Museums vouchers. You might ask why you have to wait (it can be up to 5 mins) the tour manager to give you the tickets, but the Vatican procedure requires that once inside we redeem our on-line reservations (skip-the-line tickets) purchased in advance.
In the meantime, with your guide, you will approach the desk where you will be given the headsets. The only devices allowed inside the Vatican Museums are those of the Vatican, therefore, we need to wait the personnel to provide the headset with the right frequency. You will have a sound-check with your guide in order to control that every single participant can hear the guide clearly.
Once all the participants have confirmed that their device works properly, the group and the guide will head the Galleries of the Vatican Museums and your tour will start.
All this time, from the meeting point to the entrance, the security check and during the sound check you will be assisted by your guide who will lead the group until the end of the tour.
Please be sure to give back your radio to the guide at the end of the tour (or at any other moment in case you need to leave the tour earlier). Otherwise, you can return your radio to the Postoffice of the Vatican (leaving the Basilica on the right-hand side).