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Venture into the Renaissance at the Vatican: Art, Science, and the Birth of Modernity, Unraveling Unmatched Masterpieces & the Sistine Chapel

Complete Vatican Tour: An Exciting Discovery of the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel & Pinacoteca) and St. Peter's Basilica

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  • Skip the line

Enjoy the Sistine Chapel as Michelangelo did while painting it, 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.

Group tour
Group tour
12 max.

5 hrs + lunch break


  • check Skip-the-line Vatican Tickets (pre-booked by our office)
  • check Licensed Guides with a degree in Art History, History or equivalent
  • check Dynamic Passionate Guides, with perfect English and narrative skills
  • check Itinerary carefully designed by our expert team

TOUR does't include

  • check Drinks, Transportation, or Other
  • check Eventual gratuity for the guide

Main sites Explored in the Tour

  • check Sistine Chapel
  • check Raphael Room's
  • check Pinecone Courtyard
  • check Belvedere Courtyard
  • check Art Gallery of the Vatican Museums
  • check St. Peter's Basilica
  • check Peter's Square

Wonders discovered

Obsessed with ancient sculptures Human identity: for us it comes from the future (mobile) for the Renaissance men from the past (classic art)

Jeremiah, Jonas on the Sistine Chapel? "Michelangelo chose them because they are men before prophets, lonely and suffering. Like him?"

Dettagli impressionanti Muscles and nerves show tension of the struggle. Who is Laocoon? Who and when made the sculpture?

How big are the Vatican Museums? A lot. A sequence of historic palaces packed with art collections. Our smart guide is a must

The Renaissance's Embrace of Humanity Before Michelangelo, Pietàs were sorrowful, dry and opaque wood. Here there is light, beauty, tenderness

Thousands of ancient sculptures Enjoy secret stories, gestures and curiosities of selected sculptures with us

Why four rows of columns? Optical illusion: from 2 points of St Peter’s Square you see only the first row.

A disc to crown the emperors? Is it true that Charlemagne was crowned on the central disk at 800 Christmas?

2024 - Vatican Museums Opening Days and Access Hours 

Monday - Thursday:

  • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Last admission at 5:00 PM
  • Closing at 7:00 PM

Friday - Saturday (from March 1st, 2024):

  • 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Last admission at 6:00 PM
  • Closing at 8:00 PM

Last Sunday of every month (except Easter Sunday, June 29th, December 25th, 26th, and 31st):

  • 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Last admission at 12:30 PM
  • Closing at 2:00 PM

2024 - Vatican Museums Closure Days

  • Sundays, except for the last Sunday of the month.
  • The following dates (days of liturgical celebrations):


  • 1st (New Year's Day)
  • 6th (Epiphany)


  • 31st (Easter)


  • 1st (Easter Monday)


  • 1st (Labor Day)


  • 29th (Saints Peter and Paul)


  • 14th
  • 15th (Ferragosto)


  • 1st (All Saints' Day)


  • 8th (Immaculate Conception)
  • 25th (Christmas Day)
  • 26th (Boxing Day)
  • 31st (New Year's Eve)

  • Michelangelo's turmoil, a genuine depressive crisis, in the early months of painting the Sistine Chapel fresco, following the collapse of much of the already painted plaster, especially since such an event was to be prevented in the future.
  • The sudden death of Raphael, the divine painter, at the age of 37, at the peak of his fame, amid the dismay of Romans and VIP salons
  • Who was Pope Julius II really, who wanted Michelangelo and Raphael working side by side on the Sistine Chapel and Raphael's Rooms, yet simultaneously led the troops of the Papal States into devastating wars?
  • Laocoön, the mythical priest of Apollo depicted in the famous statue displayed in the Belvedere Courtyard of the Vatican Museums, was struck by snalkes for speaking the truth? Or is the story different?

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

Learning Goals

The Renaissance and the revolutionary invention of the book: manuscripts are replaced by new printed books, leading to an unprecedented spread of knowledge in the history of human civilization

The Renaissance and the independence of the Italian city-states: they compete in beauty with incredible new architectures and principles of freedom

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

The critical approach to the truths of the Bible, the experiment at the basis of the new science and the laws of physics

Interactive Discovery for Clues and Puzzles (Unlocked upon Booking)

Make yours the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Raphael, maximise your experience of the 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).

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