CUSTOMER CARE TEAMCONTACT US
€ 89BOOK YOUR TOUR
The Vatican Museums at the golden hour: five kilometers of divine beauty
While the city is still asleep, that’s the moment when the Vatican Museums are really at their best: we carefully calculated the times for this tour so that you get to visit each section of the Vatican when it’s least crowded.
With 5 kilometers of galleries, 40.000 square meters of surface and more than 100.000 pieces on display, the Vatican Museums are the 5th largest in the whole world: even more surprising if you think that the Vatican is the world’s smallest country.
Our tour will start with the amazing archaeological collection of the Pio Clementino Museum, where you will be amazed by the perfect beauty of hundreds of 2,000 year old statues, decorating hallways and courtyard and, paved with stunning, colourful marble. You will also learn about the artists of the Renaissance who used to come to the Museums to study art and discover how ancient statues such as the Belvedere Torso or the Apollo inspired Michelangelo for his paintings in the Sistine Chapel.
You will be impressed by the Tapestry Collection, showcasing many incredible 500 year old tapestries, meticulously embroidered with silver and gold threads. The craftsman were so capable, despite the limited technology of the time, that they were able to give the illusion of 3D and even movement.
Then, as you make your way through the famous Gallery of the Geographical Maps, which owes its name to the beautiful fresco paintings representing the regions of Italy, it will feel just like walking through an enormous map from the 1500s.
The Rooms of Raphael: visit the apartment of Pope Julius II
There are only a few places in the world where you can really breathe in the atmosphere of the Renaissance: and for certain, nowhere like the apartment of Pope Julius II. Despite his relatively short pontificate (1503-1513), Pope Julius II is one of the absolute protagonists of the Renaissance. We actually owe to his personal initiative, most of the things that made the Vatican so famous all over the world: he is in fact the Pope who first hired the Swiss Guards, the one who commissioned the construction of the present day St. Peter’s Basilica and who founded the Vatican Museums themselves and hired Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Nicknamed “papa terribile” for his fierce temperament, Pope Julius II had an incredible taste for art and his apartment is simply magnificent. Rightly considered a jewel of the Renaissance, the rooms were painted by none other than Raphael, with the help of his apprentices.
Recently restored, the colors are amazingly fresh and vibrant as if they had been painted yesterday, despite being 500 years old.
In the most famous painting, the School of Athens, you will see the artists of the time of the Pope such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and many others, playing the role of the most famous philosophers from the ancient Greece. Will you be able to spot Raphael’s hidden portrait?
The Sistine Chapel: discover Michelangelo’s masterpiece before general opening
Wednesday morning is probably the best time to visit the Sistine Chapel: as one of the world’s most famous and iconic monuments, the Chapel is visited every day by thousands of eager travelers from all over the world. But on Wednesday morning, the Chapel is quieter as we enter before the general opening, as only accredited tour companies can do. After your guide’s engaging explanation, you will come to fuller understanding Michelangelo’s artistic genius. See the Book of Genesis and the Last Judgement through Michelangelo’s eyes and learn about his peculiar spirituality and the controversies triggered by his unconventional style. Be inspired by the fascinating story of how the world’s most famous artist overcame his initial lack of experience and his pessimism, and he was finally able to create this unparalleled masterpiece.
Wednesday Special: the Pinacoteca. Meet Raphael, Caravaggio and Leonardo.
Only on Wednesday, our Early Morning Vatican tour includes an amazing section of the Vatican Museums: the Pinacoteca. Inaugurated by Pope Pius XI in 1932, the Pinacoteca is really a treat for art lovers as it houses roughly 500 incredible paintings. Your expert historian will take you on a journey through centuries of art: this wing of the Museums is really special as the paintings on display are meticulously organized in chronological order, from the most ancient to the most recent. As you walk through these rooms filled with beautiful religious art, you will witness step by step the evolution of the art: discover the simple yet precious medieval altar pieces, painted on gold leaf. Learn about the invention of perspective in Giotto’s paintings and be spellbound by the power of the colours in Raphael’s paintings: meet Leonardo and his anatomical studies and marvel at Caravaggio’s figures emerging from the darkness thanks to his dramatic use of chiaroscuro.
Discover all of this and so much more on our Wednesday Special Early Vatican tour.
Near the entrance to the Vatican museums. You will receive full details, including a map and photograph of the meeting point, after completing your booking.
The Vatican Museums are vast and contain numerous steps and stairways. We recommend comfortable shoes and a bottle 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!