The Vatican announced they’re considering a limit on the number of visitors they will accept in a day. This is due to multiple reports of tourists becoming nauseous, claustrophobic, and fainting due to the overcrowding of visitors. There would be both benefits and disadvantages to having a limit on daily visitors.
One benefit would include having a greater experience during your tour. With smaller lines, visitors would have a shorter wait to go through security to get into the Vatican. At times, it can take both tour groups or self guided tours over an hour to pass through security. Once inside, guests would feel less crowded, and able to take their time learning and exploring the many artifacts and collections inside.
A disadvantage that could affect visitors are increased prices and limited availability to visit. Guests would have to potentially book tickets months in advance. Many travelers could argue that booking tickets in advance for attractions should be expected when traveling.
Our staff member recently went to the Vatican during peak season and from recommendation, booked with a tour group. Tour groups have advantages inside the Vatican with less wait times, and are able to explain the history. Book Your Vatican Museums Tickets – Italy’s Most Popular Attraction
“You’re supposed to follow your group leader. The leader holds a flag into the air so you can identify where your group is. You are given an ear piece to wear so you can hear your leader. The ear pieces are poor quality that are hard to hear from all the commotion. If you get out of range from your leader, the ear piece will stop working. If you stop to take one photo or look away for a second, you will easily get lost from your group. I personally felt a self guided tour would have been more effective.”
“I wanted to get the iconic Vatican picture of Saint Peter’s Square. I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into. Over 850 steps to the top and half way through it gets tighter, smaller walkways and you’re walking single file behind hundreds of others making the same trek. It’s hot, hard to breath and gets claustrophobic. Once you get to the top, you don’t feel that breeze of fresh air because you’re crowded into an open caged walk way. I witnessed visitors getting sick and a few people crying but it was totally worth it.”
Have you been to the Vatican and would you like to see a limit on the number of daily visitors?