At a Glance Why You'll Love It
Tour Summary Get in the Know
Dig deep into the treasures of the Vatican Museums with a 5-star Rome expert
Meet up bright and early at our cozy What a Life Tours office, located just steps away from the Vatican doors, to get acquainted and enjoy a complimentary Italian breakfast with us! Help yourself to a selection of sweet pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, hot beverages, and juice while we fuel up for a full day of Rome-themed adventures – starting with the Vatican Museums! Your tour operator will lead you to the Vatican doors before opening hours and provide you with a brief introduction from the outside of its walls – this way, your small group of 12 guests or fewer can waltz in, straight past the lines, as soon as the doors swing open!
Get the best stories and anecdotes from your charismatic guide as he or she quizzes you and encourages interaction on the tour. Our team is comprised of the most experienced and highly rated guides in Rome, so we can confidently guarantee an enlightening experience for you and your loved ones! Discover hidden details and insider secrets as you make your way through the vast collection of the museums in the Gallery of the Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and Gallery of the Candelabra. Take a breath of fresh air in the Courtyard of Statues and Pinecone Courtyard. Marvel at ancient gems in the Greek Cross Hall and the Round Room. And, of course, take some time to admire the top Vatican highlights, such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and the Raphael Rooms.
Experience the best of the Vatican in the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, and St Peter’s Basilica
Stand in awe of the finest examples of High Renaissance art in the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms. Make your way through the four fully frescoed rooms of Raphael Sanzio, examining the intricately painted walls from every angle. Then turn your head upwards to admire Michelangelo’s 16th century Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes, considered to be the pinnacle of all western art, and ponder its symbolic themes. Let your cicerone transport you back in time to paint a bigger picture, where you can discover the relations and rivalries between these contemporaries who realized these, their greatest works, simultaneously. Find out how Michelangelo was forced against his will to complete his ceiling frescos by a persistent pope, and hear stories of Raphael sneaking into the Sistine Chapel and copying his technique.
A Vatican visit simply would not be complete without a thorough look at Rome’s shining gem, St Peter’s Basilica. Experience beauty and grandiosity that it difficult to put into words between the towering marble walls that support St Peter’s iconic dome. Light beams in through windows illuminating enormous walls of mosaic and golden trim that line the church. Marvel at Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture of “La Pietà” and find out why he broke into the church and carved his name across Mary’s sash. Stand at the high altar and get an up close look at Bernini’s stunning bronze Baldachin before making your way to admire his largest contribution to Rome: St Peter’s Square. Stand in the footsteps of saints, martyrs, and pontiffs while you take in the beauty of the colonnades, sculptures, and fountains that adorn the plaza. Then, take a break for lunch and meet back with us at the Colosseum!
Go all the way back to Ancient Rome in the Colosseum and Roman Forum
Once you’ve rested and refueled, we’ll regroup at the Colosseum to continue our full day adventure! Let the Ancient Roman amphitheater dazzle and amaze you with its enormous size, rich history, and truly majestic presence as you walk in the footsteps of emperors, senators, and gladiators. Stand in the tiers where more than 55,000 spectators once fled to watch the famous “circuses” and gladiatorial combats while your official guide debunks myths from legends. Get insider knowledge about the Flavian Dynasty and the reason they chose to build the Colosseum on this very spot. Discuss the underground hypogeum, with its advanced trap doors and pulley systems, and the ancient “retractable roof” that once covered the crowds on hot summer days – some of the most remarkable examples of Ancient Roman ingenuity.
End the day amongst the remains of the ancient city center as you venture beyond the Arch of Constantine and through the gates to the Roman Forum. Roam the vast area of the Palatine Hill that was once covered by the Palace of Emperor Domitian, with remnants of heated mosaic floors and courtyards to admire. Stand before the remarkably preserved Arches of Titus and Septimius Severus and the imposing Basilica of Maxentius and Temple of Antoninus and Faustina. Translate the Latin inscription at the Temple of Julius Caesar and find out how the Vestal Virgins lived and tended to the Temple of Vesta. After a full day of enlightenment and exploration, this forum, the very cradle in which Rome began, marks the perfect place for the finale of our epic Roman journey.
What You'll See Along the Way
We promised you VIP Early entrance, and we won’t be late for it! This is why we’ll spend some time outside filling you in on the background of the Vatican Museums – so we can enter as soon as the doors swing open! During the introduction, you’ll get to know your expert tour guide and find out what you’re in for beyond the Vatican walls. Discuss the origins of the museums and the Vatican itself while covering the most intriguing bits of history, as well. Get ready for an enlightening journey!
This tour is organized in two parts with a 2-hour break during which customers will have to reach the afternoon meeting point at the Colosseum metro from the St. Peter's Square.
Increased security measures at the Vatican Museums and Colosseum 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.
Due to venue restrictions at the Vatican Museums and Colosseum we are only able to accept persons requiring wheelchairs on our private Vatican tours.
Vatican & Colosseum Combo Reviews
What Our Customers Say...
Both Angela (Vatican and Sistine Chapel) and Mario (Colosseum) were amazingly interesting, knowledgeable and professional. A big thank you for not leaving us behind for the early more beat the crowds tour when we got lost and arrived late. Everybody from the company was exceptional. Thanks for a great couple of days in Rome!
My mom and I went on the Sistine ChapelVaican Ciry Tour in the morning with Elaine, and The Colliseum Tour with Mario in the afternoon (same day). We were greeted by a warm and welcoming staff upon arrival to their office where they served a lovely coffee, yogurt and cappuccino breakfast before our first tour. Both Elaine and Mario surpassed our expectations for tour guides. Each had wonderful personalities, and had a vast knowledge of the history of each area we toured. They answered questions with incredible detail. Each had a wonderful sense of humor and made our tours interesting and fun! It is very clear that both Elaine and Mario truly love what they do, and it shows through their vigor and excitement they share with their guests! Thanks Elaine and Mario!
Awesome experience with What a Life Tours. We were promptly greeted by our driver at our hotel and were escorted to the What a Life Tour offices for a light breakfast. Our Vatican tour guide, Mario, was awesome. His knowledge of the different sections of the museum was remarkable. He gave a great overview of what to expect and how to behave in the Sistine Chapel and St.Peter's Basilica. In the afternoon we toured with Vanessa on the Colosseum Underground tour that included walking through the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill area. Like Mario, Vanessa was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and courteous of our group, ensuring we understood what we were seeing. I would recommend doing these on separate days, as we didn't have enough time to explore St. Peter's and the surrounding piazza.
First off the tour was amazing, informative and well thought out. Your guide Marcello Moghbel was a rockstar!!!! I was a bit leery of doing a semi-private tour due to the cost but boy am I glad we did. We were on our honeymoon and my wife tends to lose interest in history but Marcello kept both of us entertained and full of knowledge, that I know we wouldn't have got by doing it ourselves.
The location of the office to the Vatican was a quick walk and placed perfectly to arrive early at the entrance. Marcello gave us so much history that we both were unaware of but most importantly made it fun, interesting and entertaining. After our Vatican tour, we had a private car waiting to pick us up and zip us to the Colosseum. This portion was amazing and super well organized! So many things Marcello taught on the history of the Colosseum and Rome itself.
I would also like to make a special thank to Marcello for helping with a photo of my grandfather in WWII, that he took on part of the ruins of the Colosseum. My family has been trying to pinpoint this exact location and Marcello almost got it instantly. He studied the picture meticulously and finally discovered the point my grandfather was sitting on when he took the picture. Thank you again Marcello.