I want to see the Sistine Chapel with as few people as possible there...

Traveling to Rome at the beginning of August. What’s my best bet? Anyone have experience?

Won’t you be looking up at the ceiling? :smiley: …I would think being one of the first ones in line when they open up for the tourists.

Yeah, I was going to say that one good thing about the Sistine Chapel is that no one can really block your view. That said, some sites suggest that if you go during the Pope’s general audience address on Wednesday morning, it’s less crowded because people are listening to the Pope.

We went on a cruise excursion and paid extra for the smaller, more exclusive tour. We shared the chapel with no more than about 40 people. I heard from those who took the parallel “big bus” tour that it was almost SRO. So maybe there are paid-guide tours that have an inside track on smaller admission times.

Or maybe we were just lucky. I am eternally glad to have seen it all with my own eyes, even though I own some gorgeous art books of the work.

And I saw Il Duomo from the hillls over Florence. Almost literally an “I can die now” moment.

This will not be easy. Your best bet, frankly, is to become a cardinal and wait for the pope to die. If that seems like too much work, then you should get there right when they open during low season. There will be other like-minded people doing the same thing, but since they’re likely art buffs, it won’t be too bad.

I’ve been there twice, and both times it was pretty crowded, but it didn’t really affect my experience all that much. I was able to see everything quite clearly, and discuss it with the people around me (both friend and stranger) including the Last Judgment. I did decide to take a moment to look at the floor, since I thought it probably feels neglected, but beyond being some sort of mosaic, I really couldn’t see it through all the people.

I recall reading that the frescos will not have an unlimited life-mould from the exhalations and perspiration of the adoring crowds are now the main concern. Since the last cleaning was done, it seems that there would be great reluctance to clean them again. So, can we expect to see restricted access in the near future? It would be a shame to see them degraded.

As others have said, it’s not as if the crowds block your view. That isn’t an accident, as the frescoes were intended to be seen when the chapel was packed with members of the papal court during services.

Be aware that the big disadvantage in taking any tour of the Vatican Museums is that they almost always skip large sections of it. It’s not even as they concentrate on the ‘highlights’, as they’ll often skip really important stuff if it isn’t on one of the direct routes to the Sistine Chapel.

What about the company you mentioned a month ago that has “after-hours” tours?