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An itinerary desinged to allow you to discover the best of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica.
Sistine Chapel tour: the new art of Michelangelo
As you cross the threshold of the Sistine chapel, hundreds of figures descend to meet you with the full force of their personalities and the beauty of their gestures. On our Vatican group tours the figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands more depicted on the vault of the Sistine Chapeland in the Last Judgement speak of Michelangelo and of the Renaissance: our group tour will clearly unveil the meaning of these frescoes and their extraordinary innovative power.
The Raphael Rooms and the main works of the Vatican Museums
Michelangelo had only just embarked upon his colossal work when Pope Julius II called Raphael to the Papal court to fresco his private apartments. The competition of the century was underway, but ultimately the victor's palm would go to the sublime art they both created. In addition to the unsurpassable harmony of Raphael's work, the paintings of the Raphael Rooms perfectly illustrate the life of the papal court at the time when both great artists were living there (we will experience this in the flesh on our group tour of the Vatican). The new and imposing architecture of the city's many building projects, the fascination with and rediscovery of classical culture, and perhaps above all the sumptuous contemporary banquets accompanied by fine wine are marvellously recreated by Raphael in minute detail.
Over the course of our guided visit we will also have the opportunity to appreciate some of the most important works of the Vatican museums such as the Laocoon and the Apollo Belvedere, timeless masterpieces of Greek art, as well as a careful selection of fundamental works in the Pinecone Courtyard and the Belvedere Courtyard.
From the Sistine Chapel we will directly enter St. Peter's Basilica, without having to wait in line.
St Peter's Basilica: the story of faith
This part of our guided visit will bring us right to the heart of the Christian faith, where we will encounter a number of relics and tokens accumulated over the course of nearly 2,000 years at the site of St Peter's tomb (our Vatican group tour is optimized with this in mind). We will also encounter enchanting artworks such as Michelangelo's Pietà and the masterpieces of Bernini, the great genius of the Italian baroque, amongst which the spectacular St Peter's Square dominates. It is here that the faithful have gathered for centuries for the greatest events of Christianity, from the election of new pontiffs to solemn masses. Together we will relive these events with our guide, illuminated by the wider historical context that we have gained over the course of our visit.
During the Holy Year and Jubilee celebrations, 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.
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!