VIP Vatican Morning Small Group Tour

12 people

3 hours



Come witness the fabulous art and architecture that you can find in the smallest sovereign state of the world: the Vatican City. The 110 acres that comprise the Vatican City are home to some of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Nowhere else in the world would you find such a display of Renaissance artwork, all crowded into one little space. It will be impossible to fully take in all the beautiful paintings and sculptures you will find here, but getting even a taste of this assemblage of masterworks will be well worth the visit. This is precisely why you should take a guided tour of the Vatican. An expert guide will have a special itinerary prepared for you so you get to see the masterpieces hidden in this labyrinthine complex. On top of that, this is a semi- private morning tour, meaning that you will join no more than 12 people on your journey to discover the Vatican Museums. Semi-private tours are perfectly suitable for the tourists who want to fully benefit from the knowledge and dedication of a skilful guide but that want to keep it entertaining at the same time. You will start your tour at 10 AM, which is a perfect time for morning people who enjoyed a nice traditional dinner at one of Rome’s authentic restaurants the night before, but that still want to maximise the time they have in the city. Together with your guide and small group, you will explore the Vatican Museums, with its Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.

The world’s most valuable collection of art: experienced comfortably It comes as no surprise that the Vatican Museums would attract art lovers from all over the world. The Museums attract thousands of tourists on a daily basis, large crowds, and queues. When it comes to visiting this heavy tourist spot, it is definitely worth paying slightly more, for a considerably more comfortable experience. With this tour, you will skip the long ticket lines and venture straight inside the walls that separate the Renaissance treasures from the outside world. By booking this tour, you choose to spend more time in the company of Michelangelo and Raphael rather than in the queues. Once inside, your dedicated guide will show you the best of the museums, places such as the Candelabra Gallery. This place has earned its name from the enormous marble candelabra which, together with the marble columns, subdivide the gallery into six impressive rooms where you can find world’s best statues, busts, and masks. You will also visit places such as the Gallery of Tapestries or the Gallery of Maps. The former is a room whose windows are covered to protect 27 tapestries from sunlight damage. The latter is a place where you will find breath-taking and massive 430-year-old maps of Italy. Our guides are not only fantastic story-tellers but they are also very well educated in the history of these artworks, so benefit from the fact that you are on a semi-private tour and ask for answers to all your curiosities.

Appreciate the beauty of the Sistine Chapel The highpoint of this tour will, of course, be the visit to the Sistine Chapel, where you can find the most famous ceiling in the world. Ever since Michelangelo completed the ceiling, which happened more than half a century ago, the Sistine Chapel had drawn art lovers from all around the planet. The frescoes that make up the ceiling are of incomprehensible importance for both the Christian religion and Renaissance art. They are representations of the Bible, with each panel depicting a very symbolic biblical scene. The creation of Adam is one of the most iconic fresco. Taken from the Book of Genesis it illustrates God giving life to Adam, the first man. This painting is an important part of a complex iconographic scheme and is chronologically the fourth in the series of paintings portraying scenes from Genesis. Although the chapel has to be admired in silence, the variety of frescoes can make it difficult to understand the actual meaning of the schemes and the expertise of a guide would be highly needed. This is precisely why, before entering the chapel you will find out from your guide all the secrets behind this masterpiece. Your guide will give a meaningful description of what you are about to see, and once out of the chapel your guide will handle all your questions.
The mother church of the Catholic faith: St Peter’s Basilica The last attraction of this semi-private tour will be St Peter’s Basilica, which stands today as the most important church of the Catholic faith. This place is not only of huge religious significance, but it is also of great importance from the artistic point of view. Two of the artworks that one can find in the Basilica include Michelangelo’s incredibly moving Pietà and Bernini’s jaw-dropping baldachin. The Pietà is a sculpture depicting the lifeless body of Jesus, in the arms of his mother Mary. Bernini’s baldachin, on the other hand is a large sculpted bronze Baroque canopy that sits directly under the church’s massive dome, above St. Peter’s tomb, covering the Altar of the Basilica. On top of that, the Church is also an architectural marvel and just outside of it there is the most recognizable plaza in the Western world: St. Peter’s Square which you can explore at your own pace since you will have the afternoon free!

What to know: While visiting the Vatican, all tourists are asked to abide by the city’s dress code. This implies that everyone needs to have their shoulders and knees covered. We appreciate that the Mediterranean summer temperatures can get quite hot. We recommend having a bottle of water with you at all times and to bring a light scarf to cover yourself when it is required. All visitors must pass through airport-style security and hats, food, and metal tools are not permitted in the Museums. Moreover, St Peter’s Basilica is not only the world’s largest Catholic church, but it is also an active church, which implies that access can be restricted due to liturgical ceremonies. If your tour takes place on a Wednesday, please bear in mind that the church will not be open until 1 PM due to the weekly Papal audience. Rest assured that should that be the case, your guide will show you more of the Renaissance treasures of the Vatican Museums.