Skip the legendary queues at the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of St. Peter to enter and marvel at the exquisite beauty. Enjoy some of the finest pieces of Renaissance art in existence – Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and his ‘Last Judgement’, as well as Raphael’s glorious frescoes. And you’ll also see stunning classical statues like the famous Laocoon, which inspired the Renaissance artists.
Admire the splendid architecture and interiors of the museum, a visit to the Vatican is an unforgettable encounter with history and art.
Daily except Sunday
On Wednesdays (Papal Audience) the tour does not enter the Basilica.
Approximately 4 hoursStart time
Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando 95.
same as starting point
Meet your guide at Piazza del Risorgimento and head to the Vatican Museums to begin your tour.
You will bypass the long line snaking into the Vatican Museums to gain entry to one of the world’s most incredible art collections. The vast store of artworks includes Vincent Van Gogh’s Pietà, after Delacroix, which is housed in the Collection of Modern Religious Art, to the Augustus of Prima Porta in the Braccio Nuovo. Visit the sumptuous Raphael Rooms among other treasures before arriving at one of the highlights of our tour, the Sistine Chapel.
You will be overwhelmed as you enter the majestic Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Every corner of the chapel is decorated; with mosaics on the floor and intricate frescoes on the wall painted by the early Renaissance artists. Feast your eyes by looking at the luminous paintings on the ceiling and behind the altar painted by Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time. It is a moving experience to see the enormity of the Michelangelo's Creation frescoes on the barrel-vaulted ceiling with the figures exuding strength and elegance. Contrary to the optimism and elegance of the ceiling, Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, which he painted on the back wall a decade later, is darker and pessimistic.
From the Sistine Chapel make your way to St. Peter’s Basilica. Feast your eyes on the largest Church in Christianity – guardian of St. Peter's tomb, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s immense baldachin. As you walk around you can admire the lavish decoration of the Basilica, and the magnificent artwork around some of the papal tombs. Your guide will tell you about the many challenges that confronted the architects in building the great cathedral dome, a dome that was conceived from the outset to be the largest in Christendom.
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour to confirm departure details.
It is the responsibility of all visitors to be at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure.
Entrance into the Basilicas requires a strict dress code. Shoulders and knees must be covered, no low cut or sleeveless tops or shorts for either men or women. Clients who do not adhere to the dress code will not be permitted entry. The tour operator cannot be held responsible for entry denied due to improper dress.
Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. The Vatican only permits very small bags, and specifically prohibits large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks. Any such items must be checked into the free luggage storage area which may result in your having to leave the tour early to retrieve them at the entrance.
Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.
Due to the the Holy Year of Mercy and Jubilee celebrations (25th Feb - 21st Nov, 2016), St. Peter’s Basilica is an active religious centre and is strongly influenced by liturgical ceremonies and needs. We are therefore, not responsible for sudden closure of the Basilica.