We were approached by a man, the contact of the tour office, who explained to us about the Vatican tour and the skip the line option. He added that the price included a map and that we’d be ‘in a small group of 20 or less’ starting at 11:15. We never got a map. Then we were taken to an office to pay, and afterwards to another office to pick up the guide. By then it was 12:00. The guide took us to the office again, where more people joined the group. We walked to get to the security check having to wait in line a long time. At some point a lady from the office came with about 15 more people who cut in front of us and joined the group. When my husband complained, the lady said he could go back to the office and get his money back. We were then 50 people in the group. We finally went through security at about 1:30 and had to stand waiting for people to use the restroom and for students to get their discounted tickets. We started the tour around 2:00 pm. Our guide was Marta, and she was good and knowledgeable, but by then many people had left the group wanting to continue on their own. By then we were exhausted, hungry, and overwhelmed by the number of people everywhere. We decided we’d move on to the Sistine Chapel, which is what we really wanted to see. By the time we left and returned the audio device (mine had stopped working about an hour before) it was well after 3:00. I thought we paid €60 for service we didn’t get, and the ‘lady’ from the office was rude by offering the solution to go to the office and get our money back if we didn’t like the group increased.
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