If we do the Vatican Musuem and St Peters in the morning and because of time constraints (wanting to be at the train station by 3:00 pm)you could only choose one more thing in rome what would you choose? (did I mention she likes to shop)
Vatican rule change - Heads UP! Just saw this on the slow travel update list. For those of you who are planning on visiting the Vatican:
In trying to deal with constant lines & overcrowding, the Vatican Museum has announced a new admission policy and price increases. Here's a summary of the new policies and prices, effective from the beginning of January 2007:
Access to the museum at 8am and 9am will be limited to groups booked by or through tour agencies registered at Italian chambers of commerce. Such agencies will have deposited a large sum of money with Vatican Museum authorities (6000 euro) and will have made reservations for entrance at least 30 days in advance.
Most foreign tour agencies and even Rome's authorized guides will be excluded form this scheme
Those wishing to enter the Vatican Museums independently (without a tour agency) will have access only from 10am onwards.
The price of tickets will rise from 12 euor to 13 euro & those booked through tour agencies will pay another 2 euro reservation fee atop the 13 euro entrance.
The cost of private, after-hours visits will also rise. For groups of up to 30 people, the cost will be 2,500 for a two hour visit, plus a 15 ticket for each member of the party (as against the present 1,800 plus 12)
Very large groups (several hundred) making a private visit will pay 20,000 euro (rather than the present 7000 euro) plus the individual ticket price.
I'm sure there will be more news about this as the policy is implemented. As mentioned in the Wanted in Rome article, it's hard to understand how this policy can possibly improve things for the independent visitor, who will be able to enter in winter hours only from 10am to 12:20pm.
Perhaps the idea is that large crowds will have already passed through the museum, but unless it is required that they do so (and no indication of that in this article) I doubt that every large group will be handled at 8am or 9am.