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The best time in May 2019 to tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & Colosseum & Roman Forum

The high season in Rome will officially start with the Easter Day, the 21st April. We are expecting that the month of May will be very crowded.

Save your time and don’t get stressed with the following few tips we are about to give you.

As we mentioned in our previous article, we have experiencing delays at the security checks of the Vatican and the Colosseum, therefore choose the best days to visit these sites.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel openings in May

During the month of May 2019 the Vatican Museums will be closed on the 1st May and on Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month the 26th May, when the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel will be open for free from 9am to 12.30pm (last entrance).

Also, throughout the month, every Friday evening the Vatican Museums will be open from 7pm until 9.30pm (last entrance).

From our experience we can suggest you to avoid the 2nd of May and also the 3rd and the 4th May might be very crowded at the Vatican. In that case you can opt for a visit to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums in the evening of the 3rd May. On the 2nd and the 4th May the Vatican Museums will be open until 4pm (last entrance) instead of the usual 3pm closure.

On the 1st of May and every Sunday except for the 5th May the Pope will hold the Angelus, the Benediction at the St Peter’s Square. The Angelus is at 12pm.

Also the Papal Audience will take place every Wednesday at the St Peter’s Square at around 9.30am. For the Audience you must book your tickets or you can collect them, the day before the Audience, at the Swiss Guards at the St Anna’s Gate.

May Colosseum and Roman Forum

From the 31st March, the Colosseum and Roman Forum will be open from 8.30am until 7.15pm (last entrance is at 6.15pm).

The entrance will be free on the 9th May for the whole day. Please keep in mind that the security check line, especially at the Colosseum might take longer than usual.

The tickets are valid for all three sites: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill and the cost is 12€ if purchased directly at the site or 14€ on line. They are valid for two days and for one entrance to each site: one entrance to the Colosseum and one entrance to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill (that have the same entrance for both sites).

Please keep in mind that the Colosseum and Roman Forum might close on the 1st May 2019.

For any further information or in case you want to plan your visit and book a guided tour please contact us and we will offer you our best option and prices. If you’re staying in Rome for few days let us know and we will give you the best dates to visit the Colosseum, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.

In our next next article we will give you the latest news about the openings, closure and the best days for a visit to the Vatican and Colosseum in June 2019!

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).

 

 

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