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Join us on an exclusive group tour of the Sistine Chapel before it opens to the general public. Discover the Vatican's masterpieces with an expert guide that will bring the themes of the tour to life.
Tour the Sistine Chapel before it opens: enjoy as did popes and princes
On this unique tour you will find yourself in the perfect environment to admire the Sistine Chapel and other works of incomparable beauty and to fully comprehend their meaning. Our small group tour will help you visualize the cultural context in which such works arose, immersing you in the climate of the Renaissance, in the passions that accompanied artists and princes, merchants and bankers in the creation of a new world of palaces, domes, and cities. On our exclusive Vatican tour you will discover this happy season of human history when the flowering of the arts was accompanied by the evolution of science, together laying the foundations for much of our modern world.
Sistine Chapel Tour: meet a genius
Whoever sees the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads in it his thoughts and sentiments, encounters a genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thought - these are the main themes of our guided tour. Our guides will accompany you on this Vatican group tour into the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together we will relive the environment of the Florentine Renaissance and the Papal court in Rome in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. The figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgement speak of Michelangelo and of the Renaissance: our guided visit will reveal clearly what they say, and how and why these frescoes have redefined not only art, but the way in which we look at the world.
The Raphael Rooms: enter into the courts of the Italian Renaissance
This was a period of overwhelming enthusiasm and of amazing innovation. The men of the Renaissance didn't merely dream of changing the world - they really revolutionised it. The printing press, the geographic maps with which Columbus reached the Americas, modern science, architecture, art and the sense of beauty (a concept demonized in the Middle Ages), all these were their creations. The frescoes of the Raphael rooms perfectly depict the world of the contemporary courts that governed the course of this new world and where the great geniuses of the age called home. The cultured conversations fueled by the wine of sumptuous banquets, the statues brought to light by a frenzied passion for excavations, new fashions, and above all new ways of thinking and living, are marvellously recreated by Raphael with the perfect touch of his graceful brush. This is an experience that we will have the opportunity to relive in the flesh on our Vatican group tours. Indeed, there is an entire world to discover here, a world of which we ourselves are the children.
Vatican Museums Tour: stories of art and history
Some of the the most important works that we will discover, such as timeless Greek masterpieces like the Laocoon, the Belvedere Torso and the Apollo Belvedere, were excavated at the time of Michelangelo and Raphael, who studied and admired them in the same architectural context in which they are preserved today. The artworks that they created are the fruit of their careful study. And so we too will pass through the Pinecone courtyard, the Belvedere courtyard and the tapestry galleries on our Vatican group tour, discovering a selection of masterpieces with a guide capable of recreating the climate of the epoch, helping you to appreciate the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel in their historical context.
From the Sistine Chapel we will directly enter St. Peter's Basilica without waiting in line
St. Peter's Basilica: The Story of Fatih
This part of our guided Vatican group tour will bring us to the heart of the Christian faith, and along the way we will discover an incredible collection of relics and religious tokens that have accumulated here over the course of nearly 2,000 years at the site of St. Peter's tomb. At the same time you will have the chance to admire and understand enchanting works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietà, a work whose intimate embrace overflows with such tenderness that it can move even the hardest viewer to tears. The masterpieces of Bernini, the great genius of the Italian Baroque, also dominate St. Peter's, and the spectacular eponymous piazza dazzles with astounding optical effects. It is here that the faithful have gathered for centuries to celebrate the great events of Christianity, from the election of new popes to solemn masses. We will bring you here to read a history that will also become our own, a history lived by the protagonists of our fascinating Vatican group tours.
The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. Because these are often last-minute for security reasons, we may not have time to notify our guests but instead the full tour will be spent exploring other parts of the museums and Sistine Chapel. We do not provide refunds for unexpected closures of St. Peter's and your guide will still give you a introduction to the Basilica, should you wish to return in your own time during your stay in Rome.
Read more about the Sistine Chapel on our blog Nudity and controversy in the Sistine Chapel
Read more about the Pinacoteca in the Vatican Museums on our blog: 5 highlights of the Pinacoteca in the Vatican Museums