At a Glance Why You'll Love It
Tour Summary Get in the Know
The Best of the Vatican In Under 3 Hours
Dive into the Vatican’s must-see attractions with the highlights you absolutely can't leave Rome without. Luckily, they're all on a straight shot to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, but you'll still be in awe of the immense treasure trove you'll find along the way. This tour has been specifically designed to get you inside as quickly as possible with skip-the-line entry and move through the collection without hitting the bottlenecks. You'll have a passionate Vatican expert with you all the way for a true insider's perspective, and in groups of only 12 guests or fewer both you and the priceless works of art will get the attention you deserve.
This is hands down the perfect tour for families traveling with small children or teens, people who "don't do" museum tours, or those who have limited time and want to see the Eternal City in less than an eternity. Whatever the case may be, you'll walk away with a deep understanding of the rich history and vibrant masterpieces housed inside the Vatican's walls.
Shortcut to the Sistine Chapel The Direct Route
Return to a time when Michelangelo and Raphael were rivalling Renaissance geniuses, and examine timeless art and the progressive ideas that changed the face of western civilization. You'll be led on an enlightening discovery of what happened, exactly where the events took place. As you wander the vastness of courtyards and open-air sculpture galleries, you'll no doubt be struck by the dazzling Gallery of Maps and Pinecone Courtyard, brimming with frescoes, sculptures, tapestries and more. Your guide will create a rich experience, summoning historic personalities and leaking the backstories on the artworks.
The buildup can only lead to the Sistine Chapel, and you're sure to sigh upon entering. Michelangelo's ceiling frescos are one of the most incredible creative achievements ever, and to think he considered himself a sculptor. You'll see the crown jewels of this four-walled masterpiece, The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, summing up the biblical history of humankind in vivid, living color. Michelangelo dedicated 9 years of his life to the tasks, and when you see his hidden self-portrait you'll know how he felt afterwards. Your guide will have provided context on this and more as you take precious time to explore.
Splendors of St. Peter's Without the Lines
This tour winds down with a bang inside St. Peter’s Basilica, where you'll witness the incomparable grandeur of its mosaics, golden ceilings, gigantic statues, and the spectacular dome. Optical illusions will be unveiled and history will unfold as we escort you to Bernini's bronze Baldachin and the chair of St. Peter himself. Last but not least, we will stop by the Pietà, one of the cornerstone masterpieces of the Renaissance. Learn what led Michelangelo to defile one of his most prized sculptures and the reason he modeled the Virgin Mary to appear the same age as her son.
While some may say that you’d need a lifetime to fully explore the Vatican, we know that our guests don’t have that kind of time on their hands. With skip-the-line access to all sights visited and an insider expert leading the way, you'll leave your Vatican adventure feeling enlightened and still have time to see the rest of the Eternal City.
What You'll See Along the Way
Every visit to the Vatican Museums begins in the Pinecone Courtyard; one of the most beautiful patios of the entire Apostolic Palace. Needless to say, the courtyard takes its name from the colossal pinecone sculpture perched at its northern end. The statue, which is completely cast in bronze and stands almost 13 feet tall, is said to have belonged to a temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis in ancient times. Later on, it would come to adorn both the Pantheon and the Old St. Peter’s Basilica before it finally ended up in its current home, where it has been standing proudly for over 400 years.
Vatican Best-of-the-Best Reviews
What our customers say...
We debated whether or not to use a guide during our stay in Rome and Florence. On a recommendation of a new acquaintance we booked a tour with What A Life Tours. Elaine educated and entertained us through the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. She was a fount of information; besides the basic need-to-know information, she had many fun, interesting stories about these places and the people associated with them. Elaine was wonderful! Wouldn’t hesitate to book another of her tours!
Jad was an absolutely amazing tour guide! So knowledgeable and made the tour beyond interesting!! Beautiful sight! I would recommend not coming during Easter Week however due to the crowds. Jad was amazing in navigating past the crowds however and getting us positioned correctly to see the best the Vatican had to offer!
The tour was excellent. Our guide, Carlotta, navigated the crowds smoothly, stopped at all the right places and provided lots of information and tidbits. There were four of us in the tour so we did not need audio equipment and could easily hear Carlotta. It was like touring with a knowledgeable friend. Highly recommended!
What an amazing place; even the foyer is impressive. Our guide was very knowledgeable and showed us many interesting parts of the Vatican before getting to the Sistine Chapel. The tour ended with the impressive St Peter's Basilica. A fantastic way to start our Italian holiday!
This was our first time to tour the Vatican and we found it really fascinating. We felt that Marcello really brought out the highlights for us and made it much easier to understand the importance of what we were seeing. We really appreciated the small tour group size and that we were able to skip the line. Without a guide, I think we would have gotten lost and not really understood a lot of what we saw. The Sistine Chapel was absolutely breathtaking! I think a tour of the Vatican is a must for any first timers visit to Rome!