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Vatican Museums with Access To Cabinet of the Masks Private Tour

1 day
TYPOLOGIES

Vatican Private Tours

DIFFICULTY

Easy

MIN. AGE

GROUP SIZE

Max 8

LANGUAGE

English

DURATION

3.5 hrs

START TIME

7:30 am

Six million people visit The Vatican Museums every year. This is a very special place and it is visited by people from every corner of the world belonging to every religion. For a very limited amount of people, we can make the visit a more special event as we are very privileged to have access to The Cabinet of the Masks - making this one of our most sought-after tours of the Vatican.

This beautiful room is so named for its incredible floor transported from Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli. The floor is a near 2000 year old intricate mosaic of a mask. This room is not open to the public and we will be escorted by a guard during the visit. We will have instant entry when we arrive at The Vatican of course, circumventing the huge public lines. This is a very special private tour and, by providing you with one of our exceptional private guides, your visit will be a lifelong memory!

Meet your guide at the Vatican at 7.30am. Start learning straight away about the history of this incredible place and its formation, over 1500 years of heritage. Entering at 8am, an hour before the general public, you will see The Vatican a lot more peacefully than most.

Move through the major galleries, witnessing the wonderful collections amassed over hundreds of years. In reality, the museum started with one item being put on display in 1506. This was a marble statue discovered in a garden of a vineyard near to Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome: Laocoön and His Sons. This was assessed by Michelangelo and Pope Julius II purchased it from the vineyard owner. One month later, it was to go on public display. Before long, we will liaise with a Vatican guard who will give us alone entry to The Cabinet of The Masks. Situated in the small Palace of Pope Innocent VIII, architect Alessandro Dori was commissioned in 1771 to change one of the rooms in the tower for museum use. In 1780 Michelangelo Simonetti restructured the hall. Artists Cristoforo Unterperger and Domenico de Angelis did the beautiful stucco decoration and artwork. The whole room has a very female theme with a series of statues of Aphrodite, a perfect reproduction of the Three Graces and a Nympha. This is a truly incredible room and to see it in such a private and peaceful way is a great honor. We will soon be at the Sistine Chapel, the biggest magnet of every visitor to Rome. If you are to see it for your first time, be prepared. Nothing you have seen in photographs or other media comes close to being there. The impact on you will stay with you forever. The frescos on the ceiling were created by Michelangelo over 4 years and now due to awareness of their importance, hopefully they will be around for many centuries. Interestingly for many years they were unable to be viewed. Due to smoke from the Conclaves and many thousands of candles used over centuries, the ceiling had become black. This was to take a huge restoration project, 14 years to clean using cotton buds as the cleaning tool. As you enter the chapel, if you look at the ceiling above the entry door, you will see a black square which is how the ceiling was before restoration. You will have some time to contemplate this masterpiece in silence and contemplate its perfect beauty.

We will exit through a privileged passage directly to St Peter’s Basilica, where one of the first things we will be able to enjoy is another Michelangelo creation. The spectacular Pieta is located extreme right to the entry. One of the rare works to be signed by Michelangelo, The Pieta is an incredibly say sculpture of Mary holding her deceased son Jesus, who is depicted as the size of a child.

Leaving the Basilica we exit onto the huge St Peter’s Square: the largest piazza in Italy. In some ways it has a simplistic beauty, but looking deeper it is a work of architectural perfection by the master of Baroque. Atop the colonnades stand statues of many of the early saints. While the massive central obelisk stands majestically and freely on 4 brass lions.

An incredible morning in an incredible place. This is a wonderful tour for discerning travellers who want that little bit more. We offer this along with one of Rome’s most proficient expert guides to give you the experience you seek. This tour is strictly limited so please reserve your place early.

Please Note

  • Please bring an ID document for children as proof of age for the reduced price tickets.
  • In case the Basilica of St. Peter is closed for religious functions, you will spend longer time in the Vatican galleries with your private guide. The Basilica is a Church and as such the Vatican can decide to use it for religious functions without notice.
  • This tour operates in all weather conditions.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible but may be customized to meet this requirement upon special request.
  • Please note that, for disabled visitors with certified invalidity of more than 74%, the Vatican Museums offers free entry that is extended to a companion for visitors who are not self sufficient. To benefit from this, make sure you mention it at the time of booking so that our staff may handle your request.

Meeting point

We invite you to meet your guide in Via Vespasiano 28, 00192, Rome, to enjoy a complimentary coffee as you prepare for the security check of the Vatican Museums.

Available days

Mo, Tu, Th, Fr, Sa

Dress code

Knees and Shoulders must be covered. Failing to follow the Vatican’s dress code, entry may be refused to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Church. We also suggest you wear comfortable shoes, as a moderate amount of walking is involved in this tour.

Includes

3.5 hours private professional guide

Vatican skip-the-line tickets

Exclusive access to the restricted area of the Cabinet of the Masks

Services NOT included

Food and Drinks

Travel Insurance

Gratuities

Meeting point

FAQ

Can we book this tour for another starting time?

Unfortunately this tour runs only in the morning with the starting time at 7:30. This is to allow customers to enter the Vatican Museums before the opening time to the general public.

Is the Dome of St. Peter included in this tour?

No, the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica is not included in this tour. However, you can customize this experience and add the Dome or visit it on your own once the tour ends.

Are tickets included in this tour?

Yes, skip-the-line tickets are included in this experience

Is there a required dress code for this tour?

Yes, a proper attire is required for this experience due to the fact that you will be visiting sacred sites. We recommend covering shoulders and knees.