VIP in the country next door
The Vatican Museums are one of the must-see places on this planet, and if you are not properly planning your visit, they can be quite a challenge. During my first two stays in Rome, my attempts to also visit this spectacular treasure house just failed, because of the enormous lines at the entrance, as I did not want to spent half-a-day to get in (in fact at some days the population in Vatican State increases by 50 percent due to the sheer number of visitors of the museum). In the meantime, things have improved and you can now book your ticket online and skip a potential wait. I did this two years ago and spent a full day in the museum. Sometimes less is more, and now Walks of Italy offers a VIP tour to the Vatican Museums that offers to skip the line and to get a semi-private guided tour to highlights of the museum and areas that are normally closed to the public, such as the Bramante staircase (Renaissance philosophy set in stone), the Cabinet of the Masks (with mosaics from emperor Hadrians’s villa in Tivoli) and the Niccoline Chapel (the mother of the Sistine Chapel inspired by the Sancta Sanctorum). Together with a group of fellow bloggers, I was invited to participate in this tour, thanks to my friend Browsing Rome. Read her excellent report on the tour here as well as another blogger’s fun and entertaining view at Spacedlaw. Another way to get VIP treatment in the Vatican Museums is by becoming a Patron of the Arts for a yearly membership fee that offers you and your family a private guided tour and special invites.