No-Wait Tour of Vatican Museums, Raphael Rooms, St. Peter’s Basilica and The Sistine Chapel
- Duration: 3 Hours (approx.)
About the Tour:
Great for art lovers, this comprehensive itinerary gives you special Skip-the-Line access to the art treasures of the Vatican. Your small group (with a maximum of 20 people) will spy precious antiquities in the Vatican Museums; you’ll also take in the jaw-dropping extravagance of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the most famous frescoes in the world inside Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Guiding you will be an English-speaking art expert, whose knowledge illuminates the history behind these incomparable artworks.
What We Love About This Tour:
- Taking in the artistic wonders of the Vatican Museums—including sumptuous ancient tapestries, maps, and sculptures
- Gazing at Michelangelo’s masterworks: the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
- Marveling at St. Peter’s Basilica, with its spectacular dome, altar, chapels, and sculptures—including Michelangelo’s sublime Pietà
- Bypassing hours-long entry queues to spend more time on art appreciation
“Our guide was so happy and informative; I really felt like she brought the art to life and put the information in a way that we could understand. It was very easy to see her passion for the Vatican and the artwork—which has now been passed on.”
-Sarah, April 2016
Stop 1: The Vatican Museums
After meeting your guide near the entrance to the Vatican Museums—and skipping right past the long entry lines—you’ll walk through cavernous galleries filled with ancient sculptures, ornate tapestries, the beautifully preserved Gallery of Maps, and Etruscan antiquities. You’ll also visit Raphael’s Rooms, a quartet of sumptuous spaces whose walls and ceilings were completely covered in paintings by the 16th-century master.
Stop 2: The Sistine Chapel
The most famous frescoes in the world will greet you when you enter the jewel box that is the Sistine Chapel. Here, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning Michelangelo masterpieces that have adorned a million picture postcards—including the nine central panels of the chapel ceiling, each depicting a tale from Genesis (the most famous being The Creation of Adam).
Stop 3: St. Peter’s Basilica
Your tour’s final destination, St. Peter’s Basilica, is both one of the world’s largest churches, and one of its most sacred Catholic sites. The grand church building, with its soaring, statuary-topped travertine walls and parabolic dome, sits atop the very spot where St. Peter was buried. You’ll see the church’s baldacchino (a twining bronze canopy that shelters the papal altar); its chapels and elaborately painted, multi-domed ceiling; and, perhaps most stirring of all, Michelangelo’s remarkable Pietà—a sculptural depiction of the Virgin Mary cradling her dying son.
- All entry fees
- Special Skip-the-Line access
- Headsets that insure you always hear your guide
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
Important to Know:
- Please be sure to arrive at the tour departure point 15 minutes before the starting time. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated, and missed tours or tickets will not be refunded.
- Unfortunately, wheelchairs and strollers cannot be accommodated on this tour.
- Please note that photography is prohibited inside The Sistine Chapel. Non-flash photography is permitted on all other parts of the tour.
- Please note that St. Peter's Basilica may experience last-minute closures for religious ceremonies. If this occurs, your group will instead be treated to an extended tour of the Vatican Museums. Tour refunds or discounts will not be provided.
- A small purse or camera bag only (no backpacks or large shoulder bags). Security checks at some sites restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside.
- Clothing that covers your knees and shoulders. Entry into St. Peter’s Basilica requires adherence to these dress codes.