If there is one place in the world that holds a powerful amalgam of artistic, historical, religious, and political value that is within the open borders of the Vatican City. Besides being home to the Pope and the official site of the Catholic Church, the so-called Holy See, hosts some of humanity’s biggest artistic accomplishments. The Vatican’s architectural and artistic masterpieces attract daily a large influx of tourists. As the official Vatican Museums tour provider we offer guided tours that will get you in not only faster but also earlier. With our early morning tour, you will experience the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica at the most peaceful time. You will explore the secrets of the largest and busiest complex of museums in the world with no crowds.
Due to the high number of enthusiastic tourists, the museums can get very busy at times and this can jeopardise your experience. This special time slot that we provide ensures a greatly enhanced experience as it is available to only a few lucky tourists. You will practically feel like you have the museums all to yourself which will allow you to pay detailed attention to the masterpieces. Equally important when visiting the museums is having a precise itinerary. This is because the museum’s corridors are very labyrinthine and host over 7 kilometres of art. To avoid wasting your time wandering through the corridors not knowing where is what, it is advised to be in the company of an expert and our guides know these museums like the inside of their pockets! They also hold encyclopaedic knowledge of the artefacts and will provide you with little-known facts about their creators and much more!
We have carefully crafted a special itinerary that will take you to see the main parts of the museums. With this tailored tour, you will visit the famous Gallery of the Candelabra. This place takes its name from the majestic candelabras that divide this gallery into six sections. The sculptures are all arranged following symmetrical criteria compatible with the architecture of the six fabulously designed rooms. This place contains artworks found throughout the country, from the time of the Roman Empire to modern-day. From there you will explore the Gallery of Tapestries displaying the work of Raffaello Sanzio. This exhibition is completely protected from sunlight in order to best preserve the tapestries. Each of these massive tapestries displays different powerful Catholic stories and myths. You will also explore the Gallery of Maps where you can gain an understanding of what the world was thought to look like centuries ago, at a time when cartography was undergoing its own renaissance.
The Sistine Chapel is renowned for being decorated with what many perceive as the most spectacular masterpiece in human history, Michelangelo’s frescoes that cover the ceiling. The Sistine Chapel ceiling helped Rome overtake Florence as the supreme cultural capital of Italy. Thanks to the special time-slot provided by this tour, you will be able to walk around and admire the frescoes in complete silence. The experience will be much more insightful when the place is not crowded. The chapel is covered in beautiful and noble colours in the famous shades of ochre, umber green, Sangiovanni white, and ultramarine blue. The central part of the ceiling is divided into 9 panels portraying stories from the Book of Genesis such as the awe-inspiring Division of Light from Darkness, Creation of the Stars, of the Waters, of Adam, of Eve and finally the Creation of the Original Sin. Michelangelo’s genius has to be admired in silence but your assigned guide will give you a description of what you are about to experience before entering the chapel and will handle your questions once out.
This tour encompasses all the attractions of the Vatican, including a visit to St Peter’s Basilica,* a unique example of Renaissance architecture and Baroque art and a symbol of huge significance to Christianity. You will enter the Basilica through a special-access corridor, skipping the long general-access lines. The creation and décor of the Basilica involved the most brilliant engineering and artistic minds of the time. Tourists of all faiths visit the Basilica to discover and admire the creations of the geniuses of Michelangelo and Bernini. You will discover Michelangelo’s Pietà, an extremely moving sculpture depicting the lifeless body of Jesus in the arms of his mother Mary. Under the same roof, there is Bernini’s Baldachin, a massive sculpted bronze canopy that sits above St. Peter’s tomb. The Baldachin is not only jaw-dropping, but it is a prime example of the style that flourished around Europe at the beginning of the 17th century, Baroque. At the end of the tour, you can explore more at your own pace.
You can join this early entrance guided 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!
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. Instead, 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.