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.
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!
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.
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.
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.