Explore the Vatican before it opens to the general public, allowing a chance to see some of the key works, before the crowds really start to arrive.
The Vatican Museums offers one of the most spectacular art collections in the world. This national treasure was accumulated over centuries by the Popes and, today, it stands as a testimony to the pivotal role the Catholic Church played in Italian art. With this highlight tour, your guide will delve into the history of fascinating compilation, explain how the Museums came to be and show you the piece that started it all.
See the Raphael Rooms, painted by the young Raphael Sanzio and his pupils over a 16-year period. The “Stanze”, as they are often called, were painted by the artists using a mural technique called fresco, in which pigment is essentially tattooed directly into wet plaster. While painstakingly difficult, the results are breathtaking, producing incredible detail, crisp colors and poignant themes that fill the walls of these impressive rooms.
The “piece de resistance” of the entire tour is, without a doubt, the Sistine Chapel. While it still functions as a religious space today and plays an important role during the conclave, the Chapel is most widely known for its art. Every inch of this space is filled with adroitness, from the often-overlooked intricate mosaic floor to the choir box, organ and the false draperies that cover its lower walls. Frescos by early Renaissance masters fill the sidewalls, not to mention the ceiling and back wall, which are both Michelangelo’s creations.
The Basilica that stands today, however, is the second construction, which was created during the Renaissance by the Popes. Learn how long it took to complete, how many people it can hold, and just how big it really is. Discover one of Michelangelo’s earlier pieces, Bernini and Borromini’s high altar and the tallest man-made structure in Rome. You are more than welcome to remain inside and wander at your own pace until closing time.
The itineraries you will visit include:
You have to come at least 15 minutes in advance, in order not to miss your tour.
A dress code is required to enter: no shorts or sleeveless tops allowed, knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
The headsets are the property of the Vatican. We are obligated to exclusively rent from them so we don't have any quality control over them. Therefore, if your headset doesn't have quality sound, please let us know and we will take care of providing a replacement
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Unfortunately this tour is not wheelchair accessible
The meeting point for your tour is at Via Germanico 16, 00192, Rome. The closest Metro stop is “Ottaviano”, Line A.
Please be on time: If you don’t show up or arrive late for the tour, you will not be refunded.