Enjoy a tour of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica led by by a trained theologian or art historian. The Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms, and Pieta by Michelangelo are just some of the many art treasures you will admire.
What to Expect
Group size is limited to no more than six people so you benefit from a deeper approach to the Vatican collections as you explore Papal history and the role of art throughout the history of the Catholic Church.
Armed with reserved entry tickets that guarantee a quick entry into the museum, begin with the Vatican art collection, one of the world's great repositories of art. Although each walk evolves differently depending on your guide’s area of expertise and the interests of the group, you will generally start with a thorough overview of Papal history and the construction of the Papal Palace (now home to the Museums). Veer off to the chronologically-arranged picture gallery known as the Pinacoteca, which forms the perfect backdrop for some information about the history of painting from the late medieval to high Renaissance periods.
From here you will traverse the halls of the Vatican palaces, visiting the most important rooms of the museums including the ancient statuary collection of Julius II and the Papal apartments decorated by Raphael. By the time you reach the Sistine Chapel, you will be informed enough to appreciate the cultural and artistic climate in which Michelangelo worked painting the ceiling and later the Last Judgment.
Approximately thirty to forty minutes of this walk covers St. Peter's Basilica, a vast church and the symbolic center of Catholicism. Your guide will navigate this vast space, visiting the major works by Michelangelo (the dome, La Pieta) and Bernini (the canopy), fixing the church and its artworks in a social and historical context. Finally, emerge into St. Peter's square, designed by Bernini.
- Expert guide
- Vatican ticket (must be purchased at check-out for private tour, included in standard tour)
Know Before You Go
Private Tour Option:
Please note that a Vatican Museum entrance must be purchased at check out for every passenger on this tour. If you do not purchase the museum entrance you will not be able to participate in this tour and no refund will be provided.
This tour can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded.
Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, please call to alert the supplier.
No-shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within two business days need to be made directly with the local offices by calling them directly (or at the emergency number provided).