At a Glance Why You'll Love It
Tour Summary Get in the Know
An Incredible Way to See the Vatican A Private Tour
Welcome to the Vatican Museums, where some of the greatest artists in history made their most significant contributions. Delve into this magnificent gallery of unparalleled art, where corridors enhanced with chiaroscuro frescoes bring flat surfaces to life with character and dimension. Where walls are draped with tapestries of golden thread and optical illusions. Where life-sized sculptures exemplify the complex beauty of the human form. Where the treasures are seemingly timeless and certainly priceless.
Feast your eyes on iconic works by the big names of the Renaissance and Baroque periods including Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, and more. Not only will you have the opportunity to check off some of the world’s top “bucket list” items, with the help of your passionate private guide and their knack for story telling, you’ll leave with a well-rounded perspective of the art and the artists themselves.
From the Gallery of Maps to the Raphael Rooms with an Expert
Make your way to the Raphael Rooms, taking all the time you need. Amazingly, many Vatican tours don't venture into these fabulous galleries to make a beeline for the Sistine Chapel, but we won’t cut any corners. It is our mission to show you “the best of the best” at the Vatican Museums, which means that skipping the Raphael Rooms simply would not do, especialy for his iconic masterpiece 'The School of Athens.
In the early 1500s, Raphael spent the last years of his life adorning these “stanze”, or “rooms”, with frescoes. In fact, a group of his students, who had to finish the projects upon his passing in 1520, assisted him throughout the project. Each of the four rooms has a theme, which the frescoes illustrate. For example, the 'Room of the Fire in the Borgo' boasts vivid imagery of the Borgo, a neighborhood just outside of the Vatican Walls, in flames. This was marked as a special event as it is believed that a pope called for a miracle to stop the fire.
See Michelangelo's Masterpieces The Sistine Chapel & Pietà
It goes without saying that a trip to Rome would not be complete without a thorough gaze upon the Sistine Chapel – and we wouldn’t dare let you miss it! But first, your personal Vatican expert will fill you in on the events, techniques, and details that led to the completion of Michelangelo’s mega-masterpiece. Discover lesser known secrets and not-so-obvious symbolism within the stunning frescoes, examine how the layout of the ceiling was planned, study his brilliant Sistine Chapel altar wall The Last Judgment, and get the inside scoop on how the Renaissance master was actually forced into painting the chapel against his will!
The finale of your Vatican private tour culminates in St. Peter's Basilica. Majestic and inspired, it is the perfect place to come full circle on your in-depth itinerary. Every inch of this 240,000 square foot church is breathtaking, but our tour goes beyond the gold and splendor, revealing the true stories of fervor, innovation, faith and power. Feast your eyes on Michelangelo's Pietà and admire the stunning interior of the dome he designed, as well as Bernini's massive bronze baldachin erected over the Pope's private alter directly above the tomb of St. Peter himself.
What You'll See Along the Way
This charming courtyard is adequately named after its bulky bronze pinecone sculpture. Upon its unearthing near the Pantheon, curious contemporaries went straight to work to discover the origins of the mysterious treasure. They concluded that it had been brought to Rome from Hadrian’s Villa, in Tivoli, which would make it approximately 2,000 years old today. More interestingly, though, the pinecone functioned as a fountain – a wine fountain! Legend has it that Emperor Hadrian, known for his lavishly luxurious lifestyle, apparently had the pinecone rigged to pour white wine on one side and red on the other.
Vatican Private Tour Reviews
What our customers say...
Having this personalized tour brought the museum to life for my three boys, ages 14, 12 and 6. Without the tour, I'm sure they would have gotten bored quickly, but our tour guide, Elaine, kept them riveted for 3.5 hours, which is no small feat.
We are so glad we booked a private tour. Mario, the guide tailored the tour to what we desired. He was extremely knowledgeable, insightful, and quite simply a joy to be with. The four hour tour barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and behold. None the less any longer would have been tiresome dealing with crowds as they got larger throughout the tour. We like the tour so much that we booked an additional tour of the Coliseum.
We met our tour guide at the What a Life tour office and spent over 3 hours in the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Our tour guide, Mauricio was very knowledgeable about the history of the Vatican, the art in the Vatican and also had many anecdotes and little special things that he pointed out. We will remember this tour and the Vatican Museum and Sistine chapel all of our lives. It was one of our most memorable mornings of our one month in Italy. Thanks What a Life!
No waiting, private attention and information and fabulous knowledgeable guide. Mauricio was fabulous. You could tell he lived his job and the area. He had detailed information on the artwork and the history that made our tour very special. Thanks Mauricio!!
Mario was an excellent guide for our tour of the Vatican. He allowed us to spend time in the Sistine chapel to our hearts content and gave us so much information beforehand to make it even more informative. He was open to what we ‘really’ wanted to see and adjusted the tour to what we thought we’d like to see. His knowledge of the Christian religion, intelligence, dramatic spice, and his art history background made this tour unforgettable. Thank you, Mario for the great day!
Increased security measures at the Vatican Museums may cause some lines to form for tours with skip the line entry. Customers will still enter with priority over general admission ticket holders.
A dress code is enforced at some sites on this tour, namely the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Please make sure that both your shoulders and knees are covered.