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“A bit of behind the scenes with dodging traffic.”
Review of Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens
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Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums Tour
Ranked #12 of 53 things to do in Vatican City
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 24, 2014

The gardens are the backstory of Vatican City. You have to book a tour online in advance. You get a view behind the main tourist areas that is interesting. Downside is that this area is where all the support services operate their deliveries, drop offs, etc. You dodge a lot of traffic while trying to imagine the Pope wandering around to reflect in a quiet moment. I suspect that is impossible. Our tour guide had a thick accent, wild gestures and tall tales to go with it all. She alone made the tour for us.

Thank JGPowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 22, 2014

Why not a 5? We assumed the gardens would be peaceful and serene (like a Pope would want while meditating). Instead our tour was on the day (of the month?) that the 40 to 50 gardeners were out power blowing, wed whacking, mowing and driving around. We did like the views and the gardens but had to keep dodging around the gardeners, their equipment and vehicles. Not sure how you could check on this....just luck of draw but for 74 euros ($120 us) for two I had to downgrade the rating. On the other hand the price does include access to the museum and audioguides.
That aside, our English speaking tour guide, Simona Labadyova, PH.D. was excellent. She had all the facts and figures you could ask for and gave suggestions on what to do after the garden tour.
My wife's only regret was that the Vatican Gardens did not have more flowers. It was a European garden focusing on plant arrangements rather than flowers.

Thank Epags
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2014

It was not quite what I expected, but a great expierience anyway. Our guide Novella had quite a passion for the Vatican Garden, and you could really feel she liked her job. the Vatican Garden Tour is not just a garden Tour, but brought us through the Vatican area to places you ordinary won't see. The Necropolis was - Well a lot of old excavations. Quite fascinating thinking about the timeline, but unless you have a specific interest in excavations, just book the garden tour. Over- all it was worth every euro

Thank Schnell15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2014

These gardens were breathtaking from upstairs while on the tour as well as afterward. There are ramps for wheelchair access to the gardens and while you are there you will enjoy the peace and quiet after a crowded tour. We went in May so it was a sunny and mildly humid day but all in all a great tour and trip

1  Thank MVtraveler2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2014

We visited the Vatican Gardens while staying in Rome. Our tickets were purchased online, and we were really looking forward to the tour, and then museum!
However our day became a total disaster when the guide assigned to our group flatly refused me entry of the gardens. This is what happened.
When we arrived, we identified ourselves, and found the meeting place for our tour. My husband collected the head sets, and told the guide I was somewhat mobility impaired. She mumbled something that lead my husband to think that she was none too pleased to have me with the group. We then proceeded to the top floor, and made our way to the doors leading to the garden. Here there there four or five steps, and I got off the small scooter I use to allow my sons and husband to lift it down the stairs (not a problem as it only weighs 23kg). However the guide stopped us and then spoke to the guard in Italian (we couldn't understand what was said) and she then told us we couldn't take the scooter. We established that we would need to walk for 2 hrs, and I felt this would not be a problem, as I had my walking stick for this exact reason. We asked if we could leave the scooter with the guard while we went on the tour. The guide became very agitated and refused to allow me on the tour. She claimed it was Vatican Law that no one with walking sticks was allowed to enter the gardens. We advised her as to the exact nature of my illness, and assured her that it was not life threatening, nor did it preclude me from walking for the amount of time she told us the tour would take. She insisted that I couldn't go and ripped the head set from me, upsetting my whole family because of her aggressive behaviour.
My family left me behind (at my insistence) and went on the tour.
However it didn't end there. While on the tour they observed people in wheelchairs, on crutches, in baby strollers, and using walking sticks. I also observed an elderly man returning from the tour with a walking stick. When this happened I approached the guard and asked him why I had not been allowed on the tour when all these other people were permitted.
He shrugged and indicated he couldn't speak English. I asked to see his boss. He rang someone and indicated for me to wait, which I did for more than 1 hr.
Finally a second guard came along to relieve him, and I again asked to see his boss. Another wait of 20 minutes, until finally a women did come.
I told her what had happened, and she apologised saying it was not Vatican Law, and that the guide had no authority to make me miss the tour with my family. However her only offer of compensation was a refund, or me returning the next day on my own to visit the gardens.
I didn't accept the offer, and found the whole experience beyond humiliating.
I am aghast at the treatment we received at the Vatican, and caution anyone visiting that the staff are rude, dishonest and lack any compassion for the disabled.
A terrible experience.

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

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