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Mo, Tu, Th, Fr, Sa


7:25 am


Admission included


3.5 hours


Our Vatican bestseller – and for good reason! View the Sistine Chapel before the crowds and explore the rest of the marvels with an official Vatican tour guide. Traveling in a group of 12 guests or fewer, you’re guaranteed an interactive experience on this early morning tour of the Vatican.

Why you'll love this tour

  • With a 1-hour head start on the general public, you’ll have first crack at viewing the Sistine Chapel.

  • All of our Vatican early morning tours include a complimentary pre-tour breakfast in our office.

  • Good things come in small packages; like our groups of 12 guests or fewer – personalized attention guaranteed!

Tour description

Get the perfect start to an unfortgettable day

If you’re looking to treat yourself, you’ve come to the right people! We just love to spoil our guests and the pampering starts even before the tour itself does. While most other tour companies meet alongside heavily trafficked streets or in over-priced cafes, we invite you to a complimentary breakfast in our cozy What a Life office. Mingle with your tour guide and the other tour-goers over perfectly flakey croissants and a hot cup of java before heading to the Vatican (which just so happens to be right next door). When the massive museum gates swing open at 8:00 am and we skip the line, you’ll be the envy of the general public crowd – who won’t be able to enter until an hour later!

Though this type of exclusive access to Rome’s major sights is certainly one of our keys to success; the real secret behind our 2500+ rave reviews is simple – we keep things interactive! Our groups are small by design (12 people or fewer!) so that you can truly connect with you guide and never feel like just another face in the crowd. Feel free to comment, challenge and ask questions – our cicerones are passionate about teaching and relish at every opportunity to share their hard-earned knowledge. Communication always comes first because, ultimately, the best tours are made up of conversations – not just a one-man show!

The Sistine Chapel – as it was meant to be experienced

Once inside the Museums, the tour will get a running start (literally!) as we dash through the hallowed galleries en route to the main event – the Sistine Chapel. While the masses are still waiting outside for the Vatican doors to officially open, you’ll be able to gaze upon Michelangelo’s much-appraised ceiling in awe, sharing the space with only a fraction of the visitors present during regular opening hours. Take your time – and savor each moment – because this is an experience you’ll never want to forget!

Incredibly, some 25,000 people visit this world-famous chapel every day but, unfortunately, most of them are herded through without really understanding what they're looking at. Michelangelo’s enigmatic frescoes are brimming with symbolism, but it can go completely unnoticed if you don’t know what to look for – and that’s where the insider expertise of our guides comes into play! Equal parts “art whisperers” and “historical raconteurs”, they’re keen to decipher the hidden messages and help you get “inside the mind” of the creative genius behind the masterpiece.

Sculptures, maps and tapestries lead the way to St. Peter’s

Leaving the locale of Papal conclaves behind us, we’ll work our way back through the museums; this time savoring the finer details of the multitude of artworks on display. Some of the most famous and influential works of art can be found amongst the Vatican’s gigantic collection – wherever you look, your gaze falls on yet another priceless masterpiece. Of course, we won’t forget to cover the highlights, like the iconic Lacoöon sculpture and the dazzling Raphael Rooms, but we’ll also show you some of those tucked-away gems that only an insider would know about.

With all its majesty and grandeur, the Basilica of St. Peter is the perfect place to conclude our Vatican exploration in style. Every inch of this 240,000 square foot church is absolutely breathtaking, but our tour goes beyond the gold and splendor, revealing a history filled with dark tales of death, deceit and debauchery. You’ll once again be swooned by Michelangelo’s incomparable talent as we feast our eyes on his deeply touching sculpture, the Pietà, and admire the stunning interior of the dome, which dominates the Roman skyline (by law!) to this day. Last but not least, we’ll queue up with the pilgrims to touch the worn bronze foot of St. Peter’s Enthroned – legend has it that doing so might earn you a special blessing!

What you'll experience