Why you'll love this tour
Personalize your tour to perfection
Some things are worth waking up early for, even on your vacation – and this tour is definitely one of them! Our VIP-style experience invites you to admire Michelangelo’s crowning achievement before the crowds arrive as well as the opportunity to fine-tune your private Vatican visit completely to your liking. Focusing on you, your sights of interest and the topics that you wish to explore, we’ll forget about one-size-fits-all and, instead, custom-design a one-of-a-kind experience for your party only. If you choose our private chauffeur pick-up option from your hotel, you won’t even have to worry about finding us – we'll come to you!
Our official Vatican tour guides are fun to be around and encyclopedically knowledgeable about all things Vatican, but most importantly, they love what they do – and it shows! The thousands of glowing TripAdvisor reviews we’ve received over the years are a telling testimony of just how great our team of 21st century Cicerones is at transmitting their infectious passion for history to our guests. The narration can be kept light and easy, if you wish, or your talented tour conductor can readily dive deep into any subject that catches your fancy (you’re the one who calls the shots!).
Marvel at the mastery of Michelangelo – crowd-free
Get a taste of true Italian hospitality as our friendly “What a Life” office staff serves you with buttery croissants straight from the oven (call us biased but we think they are the best in town!) and a hot cup of freshly brewed cappuccino, Americano or espresso. Unlike most other tour companies in Rome, our cozy headquarters are conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the entrance of the Vatican Museums, giving you the opportunity to get to know your local insider expert in a peaceful setting before embarking on your enlightening venture together.
At one of Italy’s busiest attractions, our before-the-crowds access makes a world of difference. While the general public crowds queue up for the Museums’ official admission time, we’ll get an invaluable one-hour head start on the masses with exclusive 8:00 am entry. Naturally, we’ll whisk you straight off to the very centerpiece of the Papal Palaces – the stunning Sistine Chapel – to ensure that you are amongst the first visitors there. Without the usual hordes of tourists, you’ll find it easy to study all the ingenious little details of Michelangelo’s frescoes and truly relish the masterpiece as its creator intended – in blissful peace and quiet.
Connect the dots between art and history
Ancient artwork from the old Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, Medieval tapestries, Baroque ceilings, mosaic marvels and esteemed paintings from the Renaissance era – it’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around the immensity of the collection that popes have accumulated in the Vatican Museums over the centuries. While we’ll certainly cover the most essential must-sees (the Raphael Rooms, the Maps Gallery and many more!), the beauty of a private tour is that you don’t have to follow the masses. Your guide will take you on delightful detours and point out curious little details (that most casual by-passers overlook) along the way!
We’ll dedicate the last leg of the tour completely to the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, giving this Renaissance wonder the time it deserves. Spanning the size of three football fields in the central nave alone and brimming with architectural, sculptural and artistic feats, there’s a lot to be discovered in this majestic treasure house. Gaze upon Michelangelo’s sculptural masterpiece, the Pietà, which he carved at the young age of 24, admire Bernini’s four-post, solid-bronze canopy over the main alter and feast your eyes on the imposing dome of the basilica, which stands at 446 feet (tall enough to comfortably fit the Statue of Liberty underneath)!
What you'll experience
Breakfast is, in fact, the most important meal of the day. How can one expect to get all of their adventuring done without it? Well, we certainly don’t expect you to! That’s why we go above and beyond other tour companies by offering a scrumptious Italian breakfast to our valued guests – on us! Perch up in our office while getting to know your cicerone over a tasty “cornetto” (Italian croissant) and fresh caffeinated brew. We’ve even got special treats for the kids – including fresh fruit, juice and warm hot chocolate.