Home > Vatican Tours > VIP Access Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour

VIP Access Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour

with St. Peter's Basilica Tour

VIP Access Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 4 reviews.
5 1
Group size: Max 6 Language: English Duration: 2 Hours Start Time: 8:00 AM

Discover the inner processes of the 16th century Vatican Mosaic Studio as you observe the best artists in the field, assembling the works piece by piece. Then head to St. Peter’s Basilica itself to admire the massive mosaics (amongst other masterpieces) with your Vatican expert.2020 travellers' choice

At a Glance Why You’ll Love It

vatican mosaic studio tour
Gain exclusive “backstage” access to the Mosaic studio, visited by so few on this unique Vatican guided tour.
See first-hand how the mosaics are made with a Vatican representative in a small group tour.
Skip the lines to St. Peter’s Basilica, where you’ll enjoy a 1-hour in-depth tour of its world-renowned treasures.

Tour Summary Get in the Know

Exclusive Vatican Adventure Off the Beaten Track

Even at a destination as popular as the Vatican, we strive to offer our guests unforgettable, exclusive experiences beyond the beaten track. As one of only a few selected tour companies, What a Life Tours have got special access to take our guests behind the scenes, to a venue where few tourists go – the Vatican Mosaic Studio. You’ll be given special badges to pass the Swiss Guards and make your way to observe the best artisans of the mosaic world (in action!) and explore the 16th-century workshop together with a Vatican representative.

Of course, we’ll want to put your new knowledge to good use! To admire the most masterful of the mosaics in person, you will end your Vatican visit with a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. Stroll right past the lines and straight to some of the most prized art masterpieces in the world. With 110,000 square feet to examine, you’ll truly be amazed at the sheer mass and quality of it all. Get the best facts and insight on all of the essential highlights, including Bernini’s bronze Baldachin and Michelangelo’s Pietá, with one of the Vatican’s own expert guides.

Get a “Backstage Pass” to the Vatican Mosaic Studio

Initially set up by Pope Gregorio XIII in 1576, the Vatican Mosaic Studio gathered the finest in the field to maintain the massive stone-laden walls in St. Peter’s Basilica (that’s right, those gigantic masterworks aren’t paintings, they are mosaics!). Over the years the studio has expanded beyond restorations and repairs and – nowadays – micromosaics are pieced together daily. We’ll have the pleasure of following along and learning how the stunning works are made, from start to finish. Restorers in white lab coats concentrate intensely, cutting and carving colorful stones, arranging elaborate images, and sticking them together with an interesting plaster recipe that has been used for generations: oil and wine.

The downsized mosaics produced in the workshop are available to be ordered and shipped to art lovers around the globe. One modest neighbor, Pope Francis himself (yes, he actually lives just next door!), has become quite a regular of theirs, known for gifting these intricate mini-editions to his most esteemed Vatican guests – including the former U.S. President, Barack Obama! Though fitting décor for The White House, these original Vatican mosaics would be the perfect piece for anyone’s mantle, as well as an extraordinary souvenir.

An in-depth look at St. Peter’s Basilica

We’ll end the Vatican adventure with a comprehensive St. Peter’s Basilica tour. Our route brings us to this world-famous shrine through a private back entrance – so we can avoid the lines completely! This is excellent news as we aim to spend the whole of the hour filling you in on the rich art and history held within the towering walls. Analyze the incredible mosaics (with all of your newfound knowledge) in the most stunning ambiance – laid between enormous marble columns, surrounded by gilded ornaments, and illuminated by a combination of classic chandeliers and natural light streaming in through the 290 windows of the basilica. There’s no better way to see them!

You’ll also have a chance to see other must-sees – including Bernini’s bronze Baldachin altar and the incredible basilica dome designed by Michelangelo. While we’ll have to admire his dome from the ground up (452 feet up!), we will get up close and personal with the artist’s most moving marble sculpture, the Pietá – an absolutely iconic stone depiction of Mary cradling Jesus’ lifeless body in her arms. With our savvy cicerone at your side, you’ll get all of the most interesting facts and gossip about the many artists who contributed to this holy sanctuary.

What you’ll See Along the Way

St. Peter's Basilica Tour
The Pietà Tour
The Vatican Mosaic Studio
St. Peter’s Square
St. Peter’s Basilica
Michelangelo's Pietà
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Tour Highlights

  • The Vatican Mosaic Studio
  • St. Peter’s Square
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • La Pietà of Michaelangelo


  • Expert English-speaking tour guide
  • Private access to Vatican City
  • A small group of 6 or fewer
  • Exclusive pass to the Vatican’s Mosaic Studio
  • Opportunity to purchase exquisite one of a kind Mosaics

Please Note*

A valid ID or Passport is required to be sent by email to info@whatalifetours.com for your reservation.

VIP Access Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour

What Our Customers Say…

VIP Access Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour ★★★★★ 5 based on 4 reviews.
5 1

Best Tour Guide in Rome!

In all of Rome, there cannot be a better tour guide than Marcello. He is so knowledgeable and personable, it’s just amazing. We had a great time with him and he provided an outstanding level of humor and professionalism. I cannot recommend him enough.
- Jerome Gilbert

Mosaic School Tour

Lucia was excellent! My friends wanted to visit, but wanted it quick. I had already visited the Mosaic School. I appreciated her answering all our questions, and making the tour very personal. Lucia had a great breadth of knowledge and still made it relatable.
- Pamela S.

Vatican Mosaic Tour

Thank you for providing a FANTASTICO tour with the mosaic tour. It was an experience which provided endless goosebumps. Our guide was so thoughtful and informative. We would recommend this to anyone with 5 stars. AN OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
- Cosmopolitan A.

Special Access Mosaic School

Carlotta was a wealth of information and entertaining at the same time. She is a rare find in the tourist industry! Committed to a depth of knowledge that most don’t have or know how to share well. We felt lucky to have her as our guide!
- Jane

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