Duration: 2.5 hours (approx.)
The best way to experience the Vatican is in a semi-private group such as our Vatican Experience, conducted at a leisurely pace with a small group so you can move at your own speed and ask your guide any questions that may occur to you.
This tour takes you through the halls of the Vatican Museums, making up most of the Vatican City with an astonishing one thousand rooms, and eight miles of corridors! Our guide knows this place like the back of their hand and will lead you through the labyrinth and past the head-spinning plethora of wonders.
The Vatican Museums are up there alongside the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and the British Museum, with four millennia of wonders to behold – some ancient Egyptian, some religious, some Greek, some Roman, some Renaissance – original Da Vincis, Giottos, and Raphaels – and even modern art, embodied by Matisse, Dali, and Picasso.
And after moving from priceless classic to priceless classic, we finally come face to face with the crowning glory of human creativity, the world-famous Sistine Chapel, known for its sprawling fresco painted by Michelangelo, high up on top of scaffolding, on his back, by candlelight, in the 1500s – when he was best known as a sculptor! A fitting setting for the traditional ceremony that selects the next Pope.
This seminal work changed the course of Western art – which may sound a tad dramatic, but trust us: the first time you see it, you’ll believe it. The rules dictate silence upon entry to the chapel, which isn’t usually a problem because its sheer beauty leaves many people completely speechless. Michelangelo returned decades later to put his extraordinary blue Judgement Day fresco on the end wall, another sight that will leave you reeling.
Unlike many mass tourism experiences of the Vatican that treat you like cattle, this tour has the human touch. It includes exclusive skip-the-line tickets (only available through select Vatican Partners), enabling you to breeze through and get straight into the history.
It covers about 1.5 miles (2 km) in total and is conducted at a leisurely pace that is suitable for all, with comfortable benches along the way. The tour duration is around 2.5 hours.
Please remember to cover shoulders and knees in line with the Vatican dress code.
When we recommend specific tours, we use our considerable expertise about visiting Rome to select nothing but the absolute best tours and providers for you.
We do not work with companies such as Viator, GetYourGuide, or TripAdvisor, as they all charge a huge commission to independent operators, severely denting livelihoods in a sector that has already suffered significantly during the pandemic.
Instead, we go direct: all of the tour operators that we promote in our Tours section are personally known to and endorsed by us, based on our years working in the Rome travel business. By booking tours with these providers, more of the fee goes to the people who deserve it, and much less to the middlemen.
The small print: Rome Vacation Tips endorses our tour providers, but any transaction carried out between you the client and a tour operator is a relationship between you and the specific operator. Any issues or queries about a specific tour should be addressed directly to the operator with whom you booked using the contact details they have provided.
Photo credit: AFP
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