Our top selling group tour of the Vatican is structured to take an absolute maximum of 24 people and usually has an average of sixteen. You will have a friendly expert guide and our guests will have headsets to enable you to always hear clearly all the pertinent explanations and stories of how the Vatican has evolved over the centuries. We enter without delay with our reserved and timed admission voucher and before the museums are packed with daytime crowds. In the summer busy and hot months, this protects us from the midday heat as we will be completing before the sun reaches its zenith. Timed to perfection to allow you a relaxing lunch in the shade after your tour ends, this will be the start of a perfect day in Rome for you and your travel companions.
Walk with us on an unhurried discovery tour of “Vatican Highlights”, take care to study Flemish tapestries that once hung in The Sistine Chapel and challenge your view of visionary perception. As you enter the Gallery of Chandeliers you will debate which way to let you eyes roam. A hall full of so many focal points. One of the most incredible Marble floors you will ever witness is surrounded by an incredible array of sculpture and fine art objects, all enclosed in a finely decorated room whose walls and ceiling also demand your attention. This is all leading towards some of the greatest artworks in the history of mankind. We will eventually arrive at The Raphael Rooms. A suite of rooms that were to be the apartment of Julius II. Having commissioned a young Raphael to adorn the surfaces of these rooms, he was never to see them completed and it is also the case for Raphael as the Sala di Costantino was painted with its frescos after his death. It is the same with very many Papal projects that the Pope who issues the order would often not see its completion. Perfect example would be St Peter’s Basilica, which was to take 126 years to construct. Pope Julius II was in two of Raphael’s creations however. He is seen being carried by Swiss Guards in The Expulsion of Heliodorus from The Temple. This is to empathise his objection to secular agencies interfering with the Vatican territories in an Italy of long ago. It should be remembered that Italy did not exist and that The Pope was one of the most influential men in the world in the 16th-18th century. Raphael was to create some of his greatest work in The Vatican.
As we enter The Sistine Chapel, our eyes are instantly assaulted by beauty and perfection. Michelangelo had a unique skill, able to create in the most difficult setting the human form in intricate detail relaying Genesis in the form of Fresco. Many years later Michelangelo was to return and create possibly his greatest single work, definitely his most renowned: The Last Judgement. The first striking feature is the use of light. The clarity and brightness of this fresco gives the impression of backlight. This massive altar wall piece has admirers sometimes standing for hours to take all the detail, you will see why. When in The Sistine Chapel, you will have time to contemplate in silence your surroundings before we exit.
We then will go directly to St Peter’s Basilica, where again is the influence of Michelangelo. He was one of the many architects to work on the structure. Other notable names are Brabante and a major contributor was Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Your expert guide will give you the highlights of the Basilica. You will appreciate Michelangelo’s Pieta. Sculpted in almost his youth, he was 23. It is near perfection and it is not rare to see tears in guests eyes as they contemplate the heart-breaking subject.
As we are coming to the end of our tour we will be in Bernini’s St Peter’s Square. Another architectural masterpiece by the Baroque genius. After explaining the importance and significance of the piazza, your guide will have one or two local secrets of the piazza to show you.
All this and it is only lunch time. By now you will have had a wonderful morning. We hope you will now be a Vatican expert. This we are sure is the best value way to take in The Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. We take care to use the best guides in Rome to ensure that your whole experience is a pleasure and that your valuable time is filled with only good memories. This is one of our most popular tours and we look forward to the day we will welcome you and your friends.
- 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.