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An itinerary designed for you to visit the Vatican and discover the best of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica.
On this skip the line Vatican tour you’ll discover the treasures of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. In the company of one of our expert guides, marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Raphael.
Enjoy the beauty of the Sistine Chapel
Gaze up at the ceiling and admire the frescoes while your guide explains the secrets of Michelangelo’s intricately detailed frescoes on our Stistine Chapel tour. s.
The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel contains hundreds of figures, including Adam and Eve, Noah, Jonah, saints, prophets, sibyls, and the decorative nude figures known as “ignudi”. The sheer size of the fresco can make it overwhelming. Where to begin? But the helpful explanations of your personal guide will reveal the meaning of Michelangelo’s masterwork, explaining the significance of different biblical scenes.
Years later Michelangelo returned to the Sistine Chapel to decorate the altar wall of the Last Judgement - a powerful work. As you study the painting alongside your guide, you’ll discover why it was initially so controversial, as well as gaining an even deeper appreciation of Michelangelo’s unique genius.
Discover the frescoes of the Raphael Rooms
Close to the Sistine Chapel is the suite of private papal apartments known as the Raphael Rooms. These exquisitely decorated rooms contain some of the finest examples of Raphael’s work, including the “School of Athens” - a group portrait of the most famous ancient philosophers.
On your visit to the Raphael Rooms, your guide will explain why a young painter from Urbino was chosen for such a prestigious commission, earning admiration and envy. Often overlooked by visitors who are in a hurry to get to the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms deserve a more relaxed, contemplative visit; your guide will ensure that you have plenty of time to admire Raphael’s works at leisure.
Explore the amazing collections of the Vatican Museums
Your visit to the Vatican Museums is a great opportunity to discover its remarkable. The displays of ancient art are particularly impressive, including the legendary Laocoon and Apollo Belvedere. These classical artworks had a profound impact on the artists of the Renaissance, influencing the work of Michelangelo and Raphael. Accompanied by an expert art historian, you’ll learn all about these ancient masterpieces, gaining a greater appreciation of Roman art.
A walk through the famous Gallery of Maps, Pinecone Courtyard and Belvedere Courtyard is an unforgettable experience. Although it’s impossible to see the entire extent of the Vatican’s enormous collection, your Vatican Museums group tour you’ll optimize your time, showing a selection of unmissable highlights.
St Peter’s Basilica tour: millennia of art, history and faith
After exiting the Sistine Chapel, you’ll be able to enter St Peter’s Basilica directly, without having to wait in line.
An visit to St Peter’s Basilica - the very heart of the Christian faith, is always impressive. Built on the site of St Peter’s tomb, the basilica has been enriched over the centuries by the hands of countless artists and architects. As you admire masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Pieta’ and walk around Bernini’s spectacular baldachin, you’ll understand how the basilica can be awe-inspiring even for those without faith. During your St Peter’s Basilica group tour, your guide will tell you the fascinating story of the basilica within the context of Christian history, from its origins as a burial ground to its current state of splendour and international importance. To learn more about the rise of Christianity in Rome, why not delve into the Catacombs deep beneath the modern city and find out where this story began 2,000 years ago on our Underground Rome tour?
The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. We do not provide refunds for last-minute closures of St. Peter's Basilica while your guide will still give you a introduction to the Basilica, should you wish to return in your own time during your visit of Rome.
Near the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Full details, including a map and photo, will be issued on booking.
The Vatican Museums are very large and contain numerous steps and stairways. Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water
Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for Rome's inspiring cultural heritage. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!