Our Complete Vatican Tour is designed to give you a unique understanding of the history and world-class art collection of the Vatican. It shows you all the classics and throws in a few surprises to take you on a deep, artistic adventure in just over 3 hours.
We start by skipping the (always long) lines to get into the museum and diving right into the galleries holding some of the most famous works of art in the world. Our specially-designed route encompasses all the can’t-miss pieces while also including some of the lesser known works that will really dazzle you. Your expert, english-speaking guide will give you eye-opening insight and context (along with some great stories) as you explore the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere courtyard with ‘Apollo Belvedere’ & the Laocoön group, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the Maps, and the Gallery of the Tapestries.
The piéce-de-resistance is, of course, the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will prep you for your time here by telling you the stories behind the creation of the iconic frescoes as well as what they mean. When you enter, you will then be able to appreciate the full majesty of the room, spotting little details like Michelangelo’s self-portrait and the rather painful revenge he plotted for the Pope’s aide (he wasn’t his biggest fan…)
Finally, we trade the artistic masterpieces of the Vatican Museums for the architectural masterpiece that is St. Peter’s Basilica. Traveling with a licensed guide has its perks, as you’ll learn when you use the special guides-only door leading from the Sistine Chapel directly to the Basilica (and past long general access lines).
Built over St. Peter’s tomb, it took the best minds of the Renaissance more than 120 years to complete St. Peter’s Basilica. It was worth every second though, as you’ll discover during a 1-hour tour with your guide. They’ll lead you to Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà’ (the only work he ever felt the need to sign: Your guide will tell you why) Bernini’s soaring baldacchino altar, and the well-worn feet of St. Peter, which pilgrims rub for good luck.
While many tour operators fit 25 or more people into their Vatican tours we’ll never put you with a group of more than 15. We’re passionate about the Vatican and want to share that passion with you in intimate groups led by the most engaging, and knowledgeable guides in the Vatican.