Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vatican Museums crowd on free Sundays: Avoid it.

i've recently moved into an awesome new apartment (more pics and stories to come). The entrance is on Piazza Risorgimento, here in Rome, but my bedroom window looks down on the walls of Vatican City and via Leone IV. This is the view from my window at 9am this morning:

Last Sunday crowd for the Vatican Museums on via Leone IV.
Those are people waiting in line to get into the Vatican Museums. On the last Sunday of every month, the museums are free. The museums are around the corner there on the right, uphill about 100yards ahead. i had forgotten how crowded it could be on these Sundays as i've been avoiding them for years.

Lineup for Vatican Museums, on Piazza Risorgimento.
When i first moved here, before i became a tour guide, i went to a free Sunday at the Vatican with my friend Simona. i love Simona for taking the time and effort to bring me there, but i also learned free Sundays are the wrong time to visit the Vatican - it's like being a cross between sheep and shivering penguins huddled together for the entire visit!

The line to enter the Vatican Museums stretching all the way to Saint Peter's Square, April 29, 2012. These people will be waiting about 3hours before they get to the Museums' entrance.
When i went outside to get my morning espresso i found that the crowds had only just begun as the museums had only just opened, and that they were getting much worse quickly.

View from the roof of my building at about 10am, you can see the crowd has gotten much thicker.

And remember, the entrance to the Vatican Museums is still at least 100meters further after that corner!
That yellow sign the people are looking at is the calendar and hours of the Vatican Museums. The entrance closed at 12.30, this photo was taken at 12.36pm.
All of these people are still waiting in line. If they were going to be able to enter the Vatican Museums (and it seems they are not), there is still about 45minutes worth of line ahead of them, and this is 5minutes after the entrance was scheduled to close.
 Moral of the story? In my opinion, pay the 14euros to enter the Vatican Museums, or 18euros if you pay for an appointment so you don't have to wait in line. If you value your time even almost as much as you value your money, you will this is a much better value for you:-)

5 comments:

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    I would just like to add that in Gallery of the Statues (Galleria delle Statue): as its name implies, holds various important statues, including Sleeping Ariadne and the bust of Menander. It also contains the Barberini Candelabra.
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