Where do I even begin? This tours billing is VERY misleading. The air conditioned bus tour is all of five minutes from a meeting point behind the castello di sant'angelo to the Vatican. The rest is a full on 8 hour walking tour. That is not what my family and several other guests signed up for. And the primary reason for 3 stars. Don’t mislead people!!!
What you see… you get great views inside the Colesseum, and that part takes about an hour (give or take). There IS an elevator, so if you have bad knees, back, hips, etc, take it. My teen girls are super fit, but we’re already tired after going up the stairs.
From there you will walk to several sites… Trevi, Parthenon (which you will go in… 30 minutes), Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, etc. at Quattro Fumi we broke for an hour lunch.
After lunch we continued down small streets, crossed the river and boarded the bus for the Vatican. The Vatican is disgustingly over crowded, over run by rude tour guides and disrespectful visitors. Want to check things out in the museum? Forget about it. They move you through like cattle. Maybe different if you can go in on a single ticket, but you’re still fighting a massive amount of tour groups.
Also, it’s not air conditioned or if it is, so many people talking and moving negates all effect. So if you don’t do well in heat, don’t go in.
When you do finallly get to the Sistine Chapel, I hope you can see past the rude visitors who completely ignore the guards. It’s a place of peace, and visitors should be silent, no pictures allowed, and be covered (bare shoulders, no short shorts). I saw women removing their cover once past the entry, it was so loud, and overwhelming. My family said a prayer and quickly left.
Our tour guide was a very lovely and extremely knowledgeable man named Jaber. Until the end of the tour, as you are approaching the Chapel, however, he decided to tell us every single nuance of each room. Our group was constantly passed up by several HUNDRED people in each room while he did this. Would have been fine, but the Chapel closes at 5. We would have missed it had I not asked the guard if we could leave our group. We handed back our audio devices to others in our group, and bolted out. The guard was very nice and even moved us ahead of several other groups so we could quickly get into the Chapel.
Do NOT forget to bring a small backpack or bag with some water and light snacks… the first half of the day is grueling. Also use the bathroom before you leave lunch. You will also need water for the Vatican tour, and there is a bathroom once you get in… men have the short line, ladies expect a long wait. Oh, and my Fitbit tracked 16k/7.5 miles for the day. WALKING… In the heat… on a supposed air conditioned bus tour.