The Vatican City is a perfect example of a one-size-fits-all travel destination. It is a place that attracts daily a large number of tourists with different interests. Some come to discover how humanity has transitioned from the Middle Ages to Modernity through what became known as the Renaissance, some come for the very dynamic and theatrical Baroque art and architecture, some come to see the official site of the Catholic religion, and some are simply curious to discover the place with the highest art density in the world while enjoying the Mediterranean sun. As the official Vatican Museums tour provider we will help you visit the Vatican’s main attractions, the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica faster and in the presence of a guide who not only knows these places inside and out but who also has expertise in the art and architecture of the Vatican.
Whether you like to get things done in the morning, or whether you prefer to have a slow morning after a night of fun, good food, and aromatic wines you can still visit the Vatican without having to wait in the ticket lines. Flexibility is something we pride ourselves with and we have created this tour that offers two times slots for you to choose from. Both options come with the exact same perks. You will still breeze past the crowds both in the morning and in the afternoon. Not waiting in the long ticket lines that form outside the Museums is paramount if you want to make the most out of your holiday time, and we all know that we do not get as much travelling time as we would want to. With this tour, you will not wait in the queues at any of these 3 attractions and you will maximise the time that you have to explore beautiful Italy.
The Vatican holds in its museums a collection of more than 7 kilometres of art galleries. When visiting a place that holds such a vast collection of art it is important to visit it with a guide as first-time tourers can waste time on trying to figure out where is what or can even get lost. The itinerary of this tour is specifically crafted to include the main parts of the Museums while keeping the gallery diverse for a more encompassing experience. Your guide will take you to the Gallery of the Candelabra. In case you are wondering, this place takes its name from the superb candelabras that together with the marble columns divide this gallery into six fabulously designed rooms. From there you will explore an exhibition protected by sunlight for preservation. The Gallery of Tapestries displays the fabulous tapestries inspired by consequential Catholic stories that have been carefully made by Raffaello Sanzio. The Gallery of Maps will also be part of the itinerary. Here you will discover how cartography experienced its own Renaissance.
No tour of the Vatican is complete without a visit to the Chapel whose decoration became one of humanity’s most valuable treasures. The Sistine Chapel has attracted art lovers from around the world for over five centuries, ever since Michelangelo finalised the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The ceiling is divided into 9 panels that are beautifully coloured in shades ochre, umber green, Sangiovanni white, and ultramarine blue. When you enter the chapel the visual impact can indeed be very powerful and every inch holds so much artistic value that it can be difficult to know where to look first. Michelangelo’s frescoes display powerful biblical stories. The Creation of Adam is perhaps the most famous fresco as it portrays the Genesis creation narrative in which God gives life to Adam, the first man. In order to prepare you for the beauty of the Chapel’s interior that has to be admired in silence, your guide will provide an introduction of the history behind the frescoes and that will also help your orientation once inside.
In close vicinity to the museums, there’s a shrine of Christianity and art, St Peter’s Basilica. After visiting the Vatican Museums, you will enter the Church through a special corridor that will get you in straight away without wasting time in the lines.* This place is holy not only for Catholics but also for any art lover because of its fantastic architecture and décor that have involved the brightest artistic minds of the time. Here you can find the famous sculpture Pietà by Michelangelo. This sculpture illustrates an extremely powerful image of mother Mary holding into her arms the lifeless body of Jesus. This famous Renaissance piece is only a couple of metres away from one of the most famous Baroque pieces of décor. Bernini’s Baldachin is an immense bronze canopy that sits above the burial site of St. Peter, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and an important figure in Christianity. With such fabulous yet complex details, it is very important to visit St. Peter’s Basilica with a knowledgeable guide. Our team of Vatican guides is well-educated in the history of these structures and can provide details even on the smallest features of this grandiose building.
You can join this tour, as part of a group of no more than 12 people. Being part of a small-group when touring the Vatican can be a fun yet more personal experience since the size of the group is small. Your assigned guide will accommodate everyone on the tour and answer everyone’s questions. Our guides are highly experienced at keeping such groups engaged and entertained and they will provide top insider knowledge on the monuments. This option is more budget-friendly while not giving away the benefits of having a guide to accompany you as you discover the Vatican. On top of that, it has proved to be a great option for tourists who do not mind the presence of other like-minded and culture-hungry travellers who are all enthusiastic about discovering the Vatican.
Newlyweds, families, first-time tourers, or couples and friends who prefer more privacy or are simply looking for more authentic travel experiences, may often think that having a guide to yourself is better than sharing one. With this premium option, you decide who joins you on this tour. Needless to say that you will benefit from the undivided attention of your guide and that you can also benefit from flexibility of itinerary. With this choice you will experience the Vatican in a very time-efficient and seamless way, where you can spend more time on the galleries that appeal to you the most and less time in others, you will see the Vatican at your own pace. You can also choose this option and upgrade it to include pick-up from your accommodation. This option promises a much more comfortable, efficient, and authentic experience!
* Please note:
This tour runs from Monday to Saturday and it includes St Peter’s Basilica every day except on Wednesdays. The Basilica is an active Church and on Wednesdays it is closed until 1 PM due to the weekly Papal audience. If your tour lands on a Wednesday, you will spend more time discovering the hidden gems of the Vatican Museums. Rest assured that your guide will give you an introduction of the Basilica and the art inside so you know what to look for if you wish to visit later. Moreover, when visiting St. Peter’s Basilica and/or the Vatican Museums, you are kindly asked to respect the city’s dress code, which implies having your knees and shoulders covered.