3 hrs


10:00 am 1:30 pm

Benefit from skip-the-line-access and your very own Vatican expert to guide you through the exquisite collection of the Vatican Museums. With more than 1,200 rooms, it can feel like a spectacular maze. Save yourself the time and energy of going through it alone and head straight to what you want to see. All your questions answered and all the personal attention you need.

At a Glance Why You'll Love It

  • Meet at our comfortable offices just steps from the museum entrance where you'll be pampered with hotel-like service and heart-warming hospitality.

  • Skip-the-line access means you'll have more time to explore millennia of art and history within the Vatican Museums without waiting in the long general admission lines.

  • Follow an enlightening route through the splendors of the Holy See including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, Gallery of Maps and St. Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo's 'Pietà'.

  • Enjoy the undivided attention of a personal passionate Vatican expert with all the flexibility and attention that only a private tour experience can provide.

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 

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Vatican Private Tour Reviews

What our customers say...

Overall rating
Highlight of Europe!
Our tour with Mario was the highlight of our entire two week trip to Europe.  In fact, we loved Rome.  I wish I had a fraction of Mario's historical knowledge.  He was kind, entertaining and engaging, loved the tour. I'm already planning a trip back to Rome.  We will definitely use What a Life in the future!
Definately Recommend

We had a wonderful tour of the Vatican with Marcello. He was very knowledgeable about Roman history and mythology and gave a beautiful and informative presentation at each hall. We enjoyed our interactions with him and the tour very much!

Also your offices were very clean and friendly. We would definitely make a recommendation to friends and family.

Fabulous tour of the Vatican

Our tour guide Tonia was fantastic!  So knowledgeable about the entire tour, Rome, traditions, customs, history and Catholicism.  Thoroughly enjoyed her time and knowledge and would recommend her to all of our friends taking a tour and would recommend What A Life Tours for your professionalism and promptness and organization.  Thank you so much for a life experience.

Please Note*

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.

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