Innovative Vatican Tour (with Sistine Chapel): engage with Renaissance Art and what left of it today
Comprehensive Vatican Tour: interactive discovery of the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel & Art Gallery) + St. Peter’s Basilica
Enjoy the Sistine Chapel as Michelangelo did on our comprehensive Vatican Tour: discover how and why he painted the frescoes on the vault - from the scenes about Noah and the Great Flood to the famous ones such as “The Creation of Adam” - and 20 years later the huge Last Judgment.
Admire the "The School of Athens", masterpiece of the Raphael Rooms and let Raphael, another giant of the Renaissance and rival of Michelangelo, lead you into the life of the papal court of the time.
First, walk through the halls, courtyards and luxurious palaces that make up the Vatican Museums, studying and loving with our guide the best classical statues on display, from Laocoön to the Torso Belvedere. Appreciate unmissable masterpieces in the exclusive Vatican art Gallery: from Leonardo da Vinci’s San Gerolamo to the powerful Deposition of Christ by the brilliant Caravaggio.
Finally, head to St Peter’s Basilica to discover its thousand-year history of faith and power and masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s poignant "Pietà", Bernini’s Baldachin on the main altar and the history of the dome, compass of Rome, beloved by the Romans.
5 hrs + lunch break
- Skip-the-line Vatican Tickets (pre-booked by our office)
- Licensed Guides with a degree in Art History, History or equivalent
- Dynamic Passionate Guides, with perfect English and narrative skills
- Itinerary carefully designed by our expert team
Main sites Explored in the Tour
- Sistine Chapel
- Raphael Room's
- Pinecone Courtyard
- Belvedere Courtyard
- Art Gallery of the Vatican Museums
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Peter's Square
Opening hours and tickets
The Vatican Museums are open:
Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, but last entry time is at 4 pm.
Every last Sunday of each month: 9 am to 2 pm, but last entry time is at 12.30 pm. Entry ticket is free, but there are long lines at the entrance.
In 2022 the Vatican Museums will also be closed on the following dates (for religious celebrations)
Gennaio: 1 (New Year's Day), 6 (Epifany)
February: 11 (Candlemas)
March: 19 (St. Joseph)
April: 18 (Easter Monday)
June: 29 (St. Peter and Paul, patron saints of Rome)
August: 15 (Assumption Day)
November: 1 (All Saints Day)
Dicember: 8 (Immaculate Conception), 26 (Saint Stephen's Day)
Famous people's stories
- Michelangelo and the great crisis for the collapse of part of the plaster already frescoed a few months after the start of the enterprise
- Raphael and his sudden death at the age of 37 in the bewilderment of the Romans
- Pope Julius II, patron of genial artists and tireless warfare
- Laocoön, the mythical priest of Apollo of the famous statue on display in the Belvedere Courtyard, Vatican Museums, was struck by snakes for telling the truth?
Learning and Experiencing Goals
Interactive Discovery for Clues and Puzzles (Unlocked upon Booking)
Who is this tour for?
Travelers curious to know what happened in the turning points of history
Art-loving travellers looking to get the human and artistic background of the masterpieces they experience
Travelers who experience travel as a challenge: they immerse themselves in another world to better understand their own one
The independence of the many Italian cities rivaling in beauty with astonishing new Architectures
The replacement of manuscripts with the new printed books makes the knowledge within reach of many
The Renaissance: the last decisive renewal of the mindset and reality history happened until today
The critical approach to the truths of the Bible, the experiment as foundation of the new science, as same as our days
The scandal of beauty, the pleasure of living of men and women of the Renaissance, opposed to the medieval exaltation of pain
Make yours the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Raphael exploring the Vatican Museums on our Vatican tour designed to maximise your experience of Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms.
With our qualified guides you will pass through the halls and courtyards of the Museums, understanding when and why they were built, why the collections of works on display have been so important for the people of the time and how they can be just as exciting for you. With our quilified guides you will enter the world of great classical artworks, discovering the crazy myths of heroes and gods that the statues embody., and you will be launched at the decisive moment of their stories, the most dramatic and no-return one in which their destiny takes a new turn. This is the moment full of tension and potential that has always attracted artists, who have represented it by offering us their personal visions of the world.
Besides many of the masterpieces that you will admire with our guide are the same that five centuries ago Michelangelo and Raphael studied and loved to madness, drawing huge inspiration for their creations respectively in the Sistine Chapel and in the Raphael Rooms. And it will be astonishing to note the direct influences of such works in their creations with the indications of our expert of art history in the discovery of the treasures of the Vatican.
Why the Vatican Museums are really unique? ... and are worth a strategic visit!
Vatican Museums have not only incomparable art collections, they are art themselves: the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms - to mention only the most famous - are inseparable from the walls on which they were painted, fixed forever on the plaster still fresh with the fresco technique, compelling and risky at the same time, because of the speed of execution that requires. Both Michelangelo and Raphael worked in the Vatican Palaces for years in order to make them, often a few blocks away from each other, but as far as we know, carefully avoiding crossing each other. Yet these areas of the Vatican palaces were their homes, their dreams, their destinies for years.
The Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms were worksites of ideas, of intuitions, of ingenuity where, with our guide, you can observe and understand the figures Michelangelo and Raphael created, looking at them from different angles, like them from a thousand angles to infer details and unexpected meanings. Step by step it will become then clear how the two great geniuses of the Renaissance first, but as all other artists in general, have worked hard to make their weightless creations more vibrant and expressive of men in flesh and blood, in short, to make them a condensation of humanity, huge mirrors in which the visitor identifies himself in the gestures and actions of those figures, investigates human nature, questioning himself about happiness and death.
Appropriately addressed by our guide you will be able to meet the gaze of some of the characters in the frescoes, waiting for centuries to renew the miracle of an agreement beyond time, with the viewer who looks at them. Through them, you will experience contact with their brilliant creators, who in their works have revealed their deepest feelings: it will be kind of shaking hands with Michelangelo or looking into his eyes.
Our tour shows you an unexpected Vatican: the pleasure of living
The men of the Renaissance were as fortunate as daring, but they lived a period of incomparable innovation and extraordinary creativity despite the passing of the plague and the many local wars. Many Italian cities - including Florence and Venice - were incredibly rich, bankers and merchants built luxurious houses for themselves, wore fashionable dresses made of precious fabrics, and their courts gathered artists, architects and writers who, attracted by the exuberance, were transforming the cities and art forever. In little more than a century that goes from the birth of Leonardo da Vinci to the death of Michelangelo, printing was invented with the publication in 1455 of the first books as we know them today. Trade routes are opened to reach the Indies and China thanks to the scientific creation of accurate geographical maps without which Christopher Columbus would never have embarked on his journey ending up not finding what he expected but discovering America. In our tour we will immerse you in the life of the Renaissance, in the splendour that reached the Vatican courts, making you experience in first person the unbridled passion for ancient works, for dinners with flowing vintage wine, for loves that are not always canonical, and furious quarrels between Pope Julius II and Michelangelo. In this way, immersed in the things and dreams of artists, popes and bankers of the Renaissance, you’ll be able to understand the immense masterpieces housed in the Vatican Museums, works that are anything but intellectual, that were made to speak to the heart.
Enjoy selected masterpieces along the mandatory route to the Sistine Chapel
The Museums consist of a succession of historic buildings and courtyards within Vatican City that were opened to the public less than a century ago. The shorter itinerary that leads to the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms is a must, winding through luxurious palaces and courtyards that are architecturally amazing and full of history. The collections are immense with an extraordinarily high number of real masterpieces. It would be easy to get lost and pass unaware a few meters from unmissable masterpieces, survivors and witnesses of buried worlds. With our qualified guide, you'll discover a selection of works of art to get to the Sistine Chapel with trained and agile eyes and mind, ready for a sublime experience. Much of the classical works of Ancient Rome that you will see with our guide are those that Michelangelo and Raphael loved, studied, and whose beauty they challenged. Transform your visit to the Vatican Museums into a conscious treasure of images and ideas that we have absorbed over the centuries, but of which we are often completely unaware.
Discover the art and personality of Michelangelo on our Sistine Chapel tour
Immerse yourself with our tour in the expressive power of the prophets Jonah and Ezekiel, in the beauty of the Creation of Adam and in other stories of the Bible, painted by Michelangelo in the vault of the Sistine Chapel at a height of 20 meters. Learn with our knowledgeable guide how and with what creativity and resilience Michelangelo worked tirelessly for 4 years at the Sistine Chapel, mastering the fresco technique and enlarging his figures up to 4 meters high to capture our eyes and touch our hearts.
Admire the great statues of Greek art (from Laocoon and His Sons to Apollo Belvedere) and discover their amazing stories
In our tour, designed to optimize your experience of the Vatican Museums, enjoy the expressions of famous statues, symbols of Greek culture, whose children we are, from the drama of the priest Laocoon entangled, together with his two sons, by snakes for revealing the truth, to the ideal beauty of the Apollo of Belvedere.
Tour the Raphael Rooms and absorb the experience
Take part in the festival of ideas and passion of the School of Athens, the most famous fresco in the Raphael Rooms, where the great Greek philosophers are waiting for you. Our expert will tell you who they are and why many of them are looking like Raphael's contemporary artists, dressed in rich Florentine garments of the XVI century.
Discover the great works of the Pinacoteca (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Caravaggio)
Don't miss the experience of the Pinacoteca of the Vatican Museums - ignored by the tourist itineraries - with the only one painting in Rome by Leonardo da Vinci, because of the intense and suffering expression of his Saint Jerome, to know how to grasp it, is like a four-way chat eyes with Leonardo, a genius both in art and in science. The two stories of Raphael's unfinished Transfiguration, in which Christ, revealing his divine nature, rises weightlessly are made to surprise the beholder (and therefore you too). They made the bystanders cry at the celebration, which took place in the Pantheon, of the funeral of Raphael, who died unexpectedly and in a few days at 37 years of age. Also in the Pinacoteca awaits you the Deposition of Christ by Caravaggio, Mary and the other figures, strong and clear, like everything that the brilliant artist did in his life, take you to the lacerating moment in which I place the body of Christ in the tomb
Tour St. Peter’s Basilica: 2000 years of art to celebrate the faith
Reach St. Peter's Basilica directly from the Sistine Chapel with a special passage reserved for official guides without a queue to retrace the crucial events of its millennial history of faith and power witnessed by great works of art. Discover through the precise and suggestive narration of one of our guides where St. Peter was buried, when and why that place became the heart of the church wanted by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century., How many projects and artists participated more than a thousand years later in the construction of the new Basilica with an undertaking that lasted 120 years. Special attention will be dedicated on the tour inside St. Peter's Basilica to Michelangelo's Pietà for the emotional density, for the infinite meanings and the deep intimacy that binds Mary to the dead Christ that she holds in her arms and legs, inviting us to reflect on the mystery of death (and life).
Check availability and get information about prices for this tour
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