|Subject: Short Time in Rome|
Hello Diana and Ziners,
I agree with your idea to take cruise transportation to and from Rome. Since I have been there nine times, I would add another possible idea. If the Sistine Chapel is your goal, you can stroll there without too much trouble. When you enter the main door of the Vatican Museums and clear security, you will begin to find signs pointing the way to the Chapel. Follow these only. You will see some very amazing sights, but will not have too much time to linger if you want to also accomplish the Colosseum and Forum.
You can also purchase a guide book at the beginning of the museums. The guide books have or at least used to have several itineraries to follow depending on the time you have. The shortest one took you to the Sistine Chapel in a timely manner.
Once you have gazed your fill of the Sistine's wonders, take the exit that will lead you down to St. Peter's. This is the one many tours use. Once you are at the back of the Chapel, turn your back to the Last Judgement. On your right if an exit door that takes you down to the side of the church. Since you have already cleared security, you will be able to enter the church without doing this again. After you have seen the church, go to the outer edge of the Piazza where you will find the taxi rank. It will not cost too much to have a taxi take you to the Colosseum, and it will definitely save time. Search out the elevator in the Colosseum (new in 2000). This will save you time and a climb.
If you are interested in a private tour, I have a possible suggestion. Contact Scala Reale http://www.scalareale.org They do small group tours. I have taken many of those. Normally their group tours are longer than you have time for. However, I know they also set up private tours. I can't give you any hint on cost since I have only done the group tours, but all the guides I have been with have been excellent. The guides are architects, artists, art historians, etc. and all native English speakers. I have never been disappointed in one of their tours, and I look forward to taking new ones and several others over again next time I go to Rome.
Enjoy your research and your trip. Joan in Illinois