Romeing Tours Review – Vatican City

| June 20, 2012 | 31 Comments

What do Zac Effron, the Pope, women pretending to be men and ancient history all have in common? Not a lot you might reply. Unless of course you had just been on a Romeing Tour through the streets of Rome and inside the holiest of holy’s, the Vatican City. This is our Romeing ours review of the Vatican City.

Due to our total ignorance and lack of historical knowledge of the Vatican City we decided that we really should take a tour to appreciate the wonders of the smallest country in the world. It’s even located within the city limits of Rome. Don’t bother with your passport though as you won’t be getting a stamp on your way in.

St Peters Basilica, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: St Peters Basilica

Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours has been around for over 10 years and has been designed for budget backpackers in mind. The Vatican City tour is only 20 Euros and is pretty damn good value for a tour advertised as lasting 4/5 hours. Ours took over 6 hours so be prepared for a long day.

Travel Tip: The heat really sucks it out of you in summer so bring plenty of water and sunblock as you will need it.

There is quite a bit of walking but it’s done at a very slow pace with lots of breaks. My first question (of course) was “what about lunch?!” But do not fear as they take you to an “insanely bad-ass” sandwich shop along the way. And we can vouch for how bad-ass they really were!

A-ma-zing.

Best Rome Sandwiches, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: Worth it just for the badass sandwich

Romeing Tours Vatican City Tour

To keep your attention, the guides weave a masterful tale of intrigue, history, humour and pop culture to create a really upbeat and humorous account of the history of the Vatican City. I am sure they have all been trained as comedians and I actually haven’t laughed that much in so long!

This was actually awesome as a lot of the jokes made references to people or characters I know. Justin Bebier, Katniss Everdeen and of course the Twilight characters were all mentioned. As I am a total book nerd I loved it!

Our tour started with our Canadian guide, Justin, embarking on an overview of how the Vatican City came about. As well as some really interesting information on Rome’s history in general. Usually I zone out after about ten minutes of constant information overload that usually accompanies tours.

This time I found myself listening intently to Justin’s comical and interesting speeches. In fact I think I was laughing the loudest at his jokes much to Cole’s embarrassment.

After a couple of hours of one of the better history lesson I have had it was on to the Vatican City itself. Unfortunately as mentioned, Romeing Tours is not one of the selected tour groups who get to skip the lines, so we had to wait for about 20 minutes which sucked.

Note: You will have to buy your own tickets to the Vatican and wait in line.

Rome Pictures, Rome Photos, Vatican Photos, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: Inside the Vatican

The Vatican Museum was ridiculously busy and it was at this point that I really appreciated having a guide. Justin was able to point out the key items, arguably his favourites but no complaints, in the museum and give some background history on all of them. So many of which revolve around the world renowned Michelangelo.

To me this is far more preferable than walking aimlessly through the museum not knowing what the pieces are. And instead of looking like other tour group sheep with ridiculous headsets and an umbrella to follow, we looked semi-normal.

One of the downsides of the tour for us was that you are actually only in the Vatican for just under half the tour. Walking through the ancient halls of the Vatican Museum with so many historical artefacts surrounding you really is an enlightening moment. We would have loved to explore more of the artworks and statues for a few hours as it all felt a little rushed.

Romeing Tours Vatican Museum, Romeing Tours Review

Romeing Tours Review: The Vatican Museum

However, in argument to myself, I don’t think we could actually handle any more time amongst the sweaty chaotic crowds within the Vatican Museum walls.

Basically the entire tour builds towards the grand finale inside the Sistine Chapel. Looking up at Michelangelo’s fresco painting on the ceiling is a bit hard to believe. Even for non-arty types like ourselves, it is bloody impressive.

The tour finished outside St Peters Basilica overlooking the main square. This is perfect as you are then free to wander through the Basilica at your leisure and also go back into the Vatican museum if you wish. By then it was too late for us and 6 hours had worn us out. Plus that incredibly “bad-ass” sandwich was long gone and we were starving.

Romeing Tours Review Overall

Overall it was a really interesting and informative tour and I particularly loved the humorous slant. We definitely learnt a bucket load of new information which we wouldn’t have learnt through an audio guide.

The only negative to keep in mind is that the tour is really long. While it actually flew by it was draining and as like our tour it can be longer than anticipated. So don’t make any plans for a few hours after the tour in case it runs over.

We definitely recommend the Romeing the Vatican Tour to everyone not just backpackers and we actually wished we had time to take part in their other tours which include a walking tour all over Rome and a Romeing in the Dark tour.

Travel Tip: Everyone needs to wear appropriate clothing inside the Vatican which they are very strict about. That means both shoulders and knees covered.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a free tour of Vatican City by Romeing Tours, although as always our Romeing Tours review and thoughts are our own and are never influenced by others.

About the Author ()

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (31)

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  1. Ayngelina says:

    I never went to the Vatican because I didn’t want to wait in line.

  2. Keane says:

    Awesome! What was the name of the sandwich shop? There was a place near the piazza that I tried three times to go to, but it was always closed!

    • That sucks it was always closed! They operate some funny hours sometimes. The sandwich shop was called Duecento Gradi and near the corner of Via Vespasiano and Bastioni di Michelangelo. Definitely worth a visit :)

  3. Laurence says:

    I’ve always enjoyed visiting Rome and the Vatican City. I’ve never taken a guide though, and it sounds like a really worthwhile investment – particularly at that price!

  4. An engaging, funny, sandwich-filled 6 hour tour of Vatican City for 20 euros? Awesome!

  5. Turtle says:

    Sounds like a great way to do it. I think you always get so much more out of the experience if you have a guide who can give you the context of what you’re seeing.

  6. It’s been many years since I’ve been to the Vatican. When I was there, it was late May so the lines weren’t horrible. However, I would have liked a history lesson of the area but the guided tour of the museum took too long. I think I was just tired that day. Glad the tour was interesting and entertaining. That’s way to combat the heat and crowds.

    • We despised all the other tour groups as they constantly got in our way haha. They probably thought the same about us! Nothing like being exhausted while travelling to quickly change your perception of a place you visit.

  7. This sounds really great, I definitely want to do at least one tour of Rome – so much to learn. The sandwich looks great. Hopefully the tour company can figure out some sort of queue jumping agreement though, because that would make the tour incredibly attractive!

    • Hands down best sandwich in Rome. And if they sorted out the queue then they would be sorted! The guide reckoned that was one of the worst waits though and it was only 20 mins.

  8. Sounds like a great tour and a really decent price. I enjoyed visiting the Vatican independently but would have loved a tour to learn more

  9. I was there in 2009 and felt it was an over-touristified joke. Seeing some of the art was nice, and it was certainly a piece of history, but the €10 bottles of water and the packed-liked-sardines-into-a-can for 6 hours combined with the heat and the jostling and the tourists = I enjoyed the rest of Rome *far* more than I did the Vatican.

    That being said…seeing the ancient works of art and paintings did make the tour worth it for me, but it was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You couldn’t pay me enough to want to go through those 6 hours of hellish sweating and heat and various body odors from thousands of sweating tourists ever again.

  10. The only time I’ve ever been to Vatican City, I was performing there for Pope John Paul II. Ergo, no tour for me. But it sounds like guys had fun!

  11. Ali says:

    Sounds like a good tour. The last time I was there was 1999, so I’m definitely due for a return visit. I think I’ll avoid the height of summer heat though!

  12. Wow, that price is SO CHEAP for a six hour tour! And it sounds funny and engaging, which shouldn’t be unique for walking tours but somehow still is… We need to head back to Italy so we can check this out.

  13. Sounds like an awesome day and a great tour!

  14. This is kind of off topic but I can’t stop thinking about the sandwich! It’s been ages since I’ve had something that looks that good :)

  15. Thanks guys for coming along on the tour and we are glad you enjoyed it. Come back anytime. Just a quick note, we hardly ever stand in line over the course of the year, and you guys unfortunately had to join on a particularly busy day.

    • It was unfortunate timing but that’s the way it is sometimes. Hopefully we will join you in another week or so on another tour when we are back in Rome for 2 days. And thanks again guys!

  16. After Bret’s very personal experience of singing for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican as part of the Atlanta Boy Choir, I don’t think we’ll ever go back. That’s too perfect of a memory to mess with!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: Przewalski’s Horse, the Wild Horses of MongoliaMy Profile

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