|St. Peter's Basilica from Vatican Museum|
|Can you see why this is the Goddess of Fertility?|
From the Ron in Rome blog:
5 - Yes, you can go from the Vatican Museums directly to St. Peter’s Basilica. Okay, you can and you can’t! Once you walk through the Museums 1+ mile, you come to the end of the line… the Sistine Chapel. After you’ve spent your time in the Chapel you can leave through two doors. As you walk, with the Last Judgment BEHIND you , the door on the LEFT takes you back through the Museum and BACK to the entrance you came in on Viale Vaticano. And back to Cipro or Ottaviano Metro Stations. You would be walking back through the Library section of the Vatican Museums.
But if you want to go to the Basilica (and save yourself about 30-40 minutes of walking), take the RIGHT door. Now, honestly… you’re breaking the rules. The RIGHT door is reserved for “guided tour groups.” As of late, there has been a guard on the door and, by the rules, only tour groups are allowed to depart through this door. The guided tour group companies – that pay the Vatican fees – are unhappy that everyone (including you!) will try to use this door. So, in the past, while there has been a half-hearted attempt to prevent abuse of this door, the climate has changed as of late. Frankly, I’ve been in the Vatican Museums 100+ times and been turned away twice. So in the past, the odds WERE in your favor. Half the time the guard is no where NEAR the door. And other times, they could care less. But now, there seems to be more pressure bu the tour groups and thus more presence and enforcement by the guards.
Here’s why it’s such a GREAT deal to cut through these doors. This Sistine Chapel EXIT door is less than 200 yards from St. Peter’s Basilica entrance. 200 yards! If you cannot go this way, you have to go ALL THE WAY BACK THROUGH THE MUSEUMS (about 3/4 mile), exit the Museums on Viale Vaticano , and then walk AROUND the walls of the city… add another 2/3 mile… then you have to WAIT IN LINE in St. Peter’s Square and go through X-Ray security again. So 200 yards vs. almost 1.5 miles and a security line… You will save about 40-45 minutes if you go through the RIGHT door. There’s no doubt why EVERYONE wants to cut through these doors if they are headed to St. Peter’s Basilica (see the map below)! - Ron in Rome
If you follow Ron in Rome's advice and these tips, I think you'll enjoy your visit to the Vatican as much as we did!