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Reviewed November 9, 2012

We had just spent several hours being blown away by the architecture and art of the Vatican Museum. One masterpiece after another with time to appreciate each at our leisure, despite the crowds of guided tours pushing through. Then we turn the corner and are suddenly surrounded by one of the world's greatest art treasures. 40 years ago, when one of us had been there, there were crowds, yes, but they were quiet. And there was light. The frescoes on ceiling and walls leaped out with color and motion. This time the crowd did not respond to the numerous hisses to quiet. But worse, the only light was that dimly coming through the high windows. Michaelangelo was hidden in shadow. The Vatican can take some lessons from Disney on crowd control and art display.

Thank 2bears93442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

The Sistine Chapel was one of my "must see" places on the Rome list, but I have to say it was a bit disappointing. The main reaosn being that the whole of the Vatican Museum is an amzing display of artwork & history from floor to ceiling. We took the long route around the Vatican to end with the Sistine as a finale. But by the time you get to the Sistine, it actually felt just like another room as I'd been so blown away by the rest of the museum. It was also somewhat ruined by the large number of people, clearly ignoring all signs to not talk or take photos, and the constant shout of guards "no photo", "shhh" - but nothing they could actually do to stop hundreds of people ignoring this. I think this was deffinately a case of having built this particular venue up to be mind-blowing, and left me a bit disappointed.

Thank SLL84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

The Sistine Chapel and in particular Michelangelo's world famous ceiling holds a place in art history that is undeniable, and ignoring for the time being the "issues", this is entirely justified: It's an incredible setting for a truly astonishing peice of art. The colours, form, composition, detail were every bit as good as I expected.

But, and it's a huge, huge "but" - the experience is almost destroyed (and very soon the paintings themselves may actually be detroyed) by allowing so many people to churn through and by only allowing access after the rest of the Museum.

We were actually very lucky to visit in an evening opening so the Chapel wasn't anything like as crowded as I'm lead to believe it is during a normal tourist day, but even so there were far too many people in there and this really disturbs one's ability to appreciate the art.

The other big problem is that, situated where it is; at the end of a huge hike around the Vatican Museum, which itself is stuffed to the gills with amazing sights, chances are that by the time you get here you will be overloaded. When we first entered the Chapel I was really quite deflated and had a "oh, another nice ceiling" moment. I found it quite a challenge, given the surroundings (ie number of people) to get my brain back into a mode where I could actualy appreciate the enormity of what Michelangelo acheived and take more of it in. Slowly I became more attuned and regarded it as not "just another nice ceiling" and it's magnificence eventually made an impression; this is something very special!

The Vatican has to do someting to make these obvious problems better. If this is restricting access, and/or splitting it off from the rest of the Museum then so be it. To contunue to treat it as a short term cash cow to be milked for all it's worth is obscene.

Thank Neil P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

One of these places one just have to visit if you are in Rome.
History up close and personal, so much to see set aside a whole morning for the Vatican City

Thank Gill555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

The ceilings and walls are truly breathtaking but it was spoiled by the noise and number of tourists. Many not respecting the fact that they were actually in a holy place. Despite being told not to take photos loads of people were so flashes were going off all over the place without any thought for the damage this will do to Michelangelo's masterpieces. We were there the day before the 500th anniversary of the paint drying and it's been announced that the Vatican may have to limit numbers visiting the Sistine Chapel. This didn't come as a surprise after what we experienced. It's a beautiful place but too touristy!!

Thank JKn0x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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