Imagine being one of a select few to tour the Sistine Chapel before the Vatican Museums open to the public. On this private tour an opportunity to experience the Sistine Chapel as seen by popes & princes.
Early Entrance Sistine Chapel Tour before it opens: enjoy as did popes and princes
Our private tour offers the perfect environment to explore the Sistine Chapel and other works of incomparable beauty of the Vatican Museums and to fully comprehend their meaningwill. Your personal guide 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. Our exclusive Vatican private tour will take you to 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.
Tour the Sistine Chapel: meet a genius
Whoever sees the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads in it his thoughts and sentiments, encounters genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thought. Your guides will accompany you on this Vatican private tour into the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together you 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 private tour will reveal clearly what they say, and how and why these frescoes of the Vatican Museums 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 private Vatican tours. There is an entire world to discover here, a world of which we ourselves are the children.
The Vatican Museums: 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 private 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 visit 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 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 Vatican 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.