This opening at 7 pm on Fridays only, it is only available for pre bookings and cannot be accessed by arriving at The Vatican and queueing. There are many advantages to this tour. Firstly, as it is reserved bookings only, the volume of people is far lower than in the daytime. There is no need to take a very early morning tour to get a similar experience. The Vatican has a special atmosphere at night, a lot more relaxed and sedate and it is much cooler than in the day. This is a very affordable way to see The Vatican Museums at a time when most cannot. As another bonus, we are also able to see one or two areas not on an everyday tour. You will meet your expert guide and friendly group, up to 20 people or less, 7.15 pm at the Vatican and, with our reserved skip-the-line tickets, we will have immediate entry.
As we enter, we will be straight into the tour as we quickly pass security. Passing into the museum complex, we traverse the only modern part of the buildings which take us up high by escalator to where we can have a close up view of Michelangelo’s Dome of St Peter’s Basilica. Here we see it at eye level and can truly appreciate its size and architectural majesty. We move through the galleries at a relaxed pace, as night time in The Vatican we do not need to rush to beat the crowds. Passing through the Candelabra Gallery we will see a selection of mainly statues of the Hellenistic Period of Ancient Greece. As with many areas of The Vatican, it is sometimes difficult to know where to focus. Do you look at each piece of ancient art? Do you also study the structure and glorious decoration of the space you are occupying? Then doing this, how do you have time to admire and digest the spectacular inlaid marble floor? A wonderful dilemma! We will spend time in the Tapestry Gallery, where your brain and vision will struggle to work together as craftsmen of the past make you question what you know you are seeing but do not know how. One of our many highlights of this evening will be The Octagonal Courtyard, where we will exit for a time into the open air. Named because of its eight sided shape and holding a cooling fountain in its centre, its sides are eight bays holding some of the most incredible sculptures. The first ever statue to go on public display by a reigning Pope is now situated here. This statue was to start what we now know as The Vatican Museums a little over five hundred years ago in 1506. This tragic statue is Laocoön and His Sons. Depicted with life-size magnificent detail fighting with serpents that were killing them. The facial horror and structure itself tells more than words could of the agony being endured. This statue had been discovered in a garden and was recommended for purchase by Michelangelo.
Another major area we will take time to truly embrace will be The Raphael Rooms. A suite of four chambers which were to be the private chambers of Pope Julius II. By coincidence, while the still youthful Raphael was creating The School of Athens and more, the now old Michelangelo was creating his own greatest legacy The Sistine Chapel Ceiling Frescos. Together the Sistine and Raphael were to become regarded as Italy’s High Renaissance. Our final stop will be in The Sistine Chapel. Here you will have some time to contemplate the most amazing series of art that the world has ever witnessed.
On this wonderfully relaxed evening tour in The Vatican Museums we have the pleasure of being able to spend a little more time in the most amazing areas of The Vatican, areas that we love and want to pass on to you with passion. This tour is very popular and we recommend that you reserve your tour early as we look forward to seeing you.
- Please bring an ID document for children as proof of age for the reduced price tickets.
- Knees and shoulders must be covered. Failing to follow the Vatican’s dress code, entry may be refused to the Sistine Chapel. We also suggest you wear comfortable shoes, as a moderate amount of walking is involved in this tour.
- This tour operates in all weather conditions.
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible.