PRIVATE VATICAN NIGHT TOUR

Duration
2hours 30minutes
Inclusions
Tour Guide, Entrance Fees, Headsets
Language
English
Max Group Size
25 people
Transportation
Transportation from your hotel or lodging to the activity check in.
No
$
401
60
/ 2 People
Available:
Weekly on Friday
Time:
7:00 PM
Through E
Response rate: 
94%
Response time:
several hours
Highlights
  • The Last Supper Tapestry
  • The ancient sculptures of the Octagonal Courtyard
  • The Sistine Chapel
  • The Raphael Rooms
  • The Hall of Maps
  • Frescoed Ceiling of Sala delle Muse
  • Ceiling Detail - Stanza della Segnatura
Preview Description
Experience the magic of the Vatican Museums at night on our private tour, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms and more!
 
Description
Explore the Vatican Museums at night on an atmospheric private tour

The Vatican Museums - generally acknowledged to be one of the best collections of art in the world - are usually closed to the public at night. On our Vatican Night Tour you’ll have the opportunity to discover Greek statues, The Sistin Chapel and Renaissance masterpieces after dark, visiting the Vatican Museums with an expert guide.

When night falls the atmosphere of the Vatican Museums is transformed. On your Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel tour, you’ll marvel at the timeless beauty of these grand galleries. You’ll walk through vast, frescoed chambers and hallways lined with some of the most famous statues from antiquity, enjoying the enchanted atmosphere which can only be experienced in the calm of the evening.

The splendour of the Vatican never ceases to amaze, but your visit will be further enriched by the explanations of your personal guide. Our Vatican tour is a journey through centuries of art, history and culture, where you’ll see works by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini, and discover what inspired these great artists. As well as learning about their lives and passions, you’ll also gain a more in-depth understanding of the times in which they lived. To truly appreciate the masterpieces of the Renaissance, we need to know something of the politics and religion of the time. Our night tour of the Vatican in the company of a knowledgeable guide is the perfect opportunity to learn, gaining a new perspective on some of the most famous artworks of all time, while savouring the breathtaking beauty of the galleries.

Our Vatican Museums night tour is carefully planned to optimize your time, showing you highlights such as the Sistine Chapel & Raphael Rooms as well as some of the hidden treasures of the Belvedere Courtyard, The Gallery of the Maps and the Gallery of the Tapestries.

Discover the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican is renowned throughout the world for its astonishing collection of Greek and Roman art. A Renaissance enthusiasm for classical artwork led to the rediscovery and display of great works such as the Laocoon - a moving depiction of the struggle of a doomed family - and the aesthetic perfection of the Apollo Belvedere. Discover the stories and the secrets of these magnificent sculptures on your private Vatican tour, exploring the Courtyard of the Pinecone, the Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Candelabra, and many other famous parts of the Vatican Museums.

Follow in the footsteps of Renaissance artists, our Vatican night tour deals with all of these subjects important for the generations of great writers and thinkers who have been inspired by the masterpieces of antiquity. These sculptures had a profound impact on the art and philosophy of the Renaissance, and would have been discussed by artists, courtesans, philosophers and cardinals, forming part of the new visions of the Renaissance.

On your intimate tour of the Vatican at night you will also admire the sarcophagi of Helen and Costanza, the mother and daughter of the emperor Constantine. These red porphyry sarcophagi offer an intriguing glimpse of the dawn of Christian art. Further splendour awaits you in the Hall of Maps and the Gallery of Tapestries, which offer a key to understanding European history.

An undisputed highlight of the tour is undoubtedly a walk through the Raphael Rooms. Stunning frescoes by Raphael decorate the walls and ceilings of the most luxurious rooms in the papal apartments, including the famous School of Athens. This impressive fresco not only demonstrates Raphael’s supreme talent, but also offers a fascinating insight into the art and philosophy of the Renaissance. Your personal guide will point out portraits of some of the leading artists of the day, including Raphael’s own self-portrait.

Your journey through the Raphael Rooms takes you to the Sistine Chapel tour. Seeing Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring frescoes with your own eyes is an unforgettable experience, and the experience will be enriched even further by the explanations of your guide. Learn about the remarkable life and work of Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, while studying the rich detail of the most famous ceiling in the world. On your private tour of the Sistine Chapel you’ll have the opportunity to admire the paintings up close, and hear the story behind the Last Judgement. This vast painting on the altar wall was surprisingly controversial when it was first revealed, for reasons you’ll discover on your private tour. With the help of your knowlegeble guide, you’ll separate fact from fiction and learn the truth about Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

Understand the historical context of the Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums form part of the papal palaces, occupying a vast number of rooms in the grand buildings next to St Peter’s Basilica. Many of the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums are displayed according to the wishes of the popes, who helped to create this extraordinary collection of art.

The story of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica begins with the return of the popes to Rome. After a period of absence that lasted for more than a century, the papal presence returned with Martin V in 1420. Rome had undergone a dramatic decline, with the city’s population decreasing to below 20,000 inhabitants (compared with approximately one million in the 1st century AD). The former splendour of the Eternal City was all but forgotten and ready for a rediscovery of its majestic past as you will learn with your personal and carefully selected guide on our Vatican tour.

The Renovatio Urbis (the renovation of the city) was initiated by the Church and some of the most powerful men in Rome. It was one of many changes transforming Europe during the Renaissance, an unprecedented period of history that involved significant developments in all fields of knowledge. This was the era of the invention of the printing press, the creation of the maps that allowed Columbus to reach America, and the development of the techniques that enabled Brunelleschi and Bernini to construct the famous domes of Florence and Rome. The Renaissance was a time of creativity and discovery that would change the world forever, and on your Vatican private tour you’ll gain a richer understanding of this remarkable era.
 
Places Visited
Pinacoteca The new Vatican Pinacoteca (Art Gallery) was inaugurated on 27 October 1932 in the building especially constructed by the architect Luca Beltrami for Pius XI. It was built ... morein the nineteenth century Square Garden, isolated and completely surrounded by avenues, in a place considered suitable for assuring the best lighting conditions for both the correct preservation of the works and their optimum aesthetic enhancement. Thus the age-old question of the exhibition of the paintings, which were constantly moved around the Apostolic Palaces due to the lack of a setting that matched their importance, was solved. A first collection of only 118 precious paintings was created by Pope Pius VI around 1790. It was of short duration due to the fact that, following the Treaty of Tolentino (1797) some of the greatest masterpieces were transferred to Paris. The idea of an art gallery, understood in the modern sense as an exhibition open to the public, was only born in 1817 after the fall of Napoleon and the consequent return to the Church State of a large part of the works belonging to it, according to the directions of the Congress of Vienna. The collection continued to grow over the years through donations and purchases until it reached the current nucleus of 460 paintings, distributed among the eighteen rooms on the basis of chronology and school, from the so-called Primitives (12th - 13th century) to the 19th century. The collection contains some masterpieces of the greatest artists of the history of Italian painting, from Giotto to Beato Angelico, from Melozzo da Forlì to Perugino and to Raphael, from Leonardo to Tiziano, to Veronese, to Caravaggio and to Crespi.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water
  • The Raphael rooms (Stanze di Raphael) are four rooms which were used as the residence of the popes between 1507 and 1585.
The Raphael rooms (Vatican museums) The Raphael rooms (Stanze di Raphael) are four rooms which were used as the residence of the popes between 1507 and 1585. The first pope to use ... morethe Raphael rooms as his residence was Pope Julius II. Pope Gregory XIII was the last Pope to use these rooms as his residence. Today, the Raphael rooms are part of the Vatican museum.

The Raphael rooms form part of the apartment located on the second floor of the Pontifical Palace that was first chosen by Pope Julius II della Rovere as his own residence and was later used by his successors for the same purpose. The decoration of the rooms was done by Raphael and his pupils between 1508 and 1524. Although Raphael died in 1520, his pupils continued with the project until its completion in 1524.

The Raphael rooms are: Room of Constantine, Room of Heliodorus, Room of the Segnatura and Room of the Fire in the Borgo.

Room of Constantine: this is the largest room of the four Raphael rooms. It is the room which is dedicated to the victory of Christianity over paganism. The frescoes contained in this room represent the struggles from the life of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Some of the features in the Room of Constantine include: the Vision of the Cross, the Baptism of Constantine, the Battle of Milvian Bridge and the Donation of Constantine.

Room of Heliodorus: this is the private chamber that symbolizes the heavenly protection provided by Christ to the Church. The room contains four paintings, namely: the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple, the Mass at Bolsena, the Meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila, and the Deliverance of Saint Peter from Prison.

Room of the Segnatura: it was the study room of Pope Julius II. The room symbolizes bringing into harmony the spirits of Antiquity and Christianity. Here is where most of the papal documents were signed and sealed among these were: The Disputation of the Holy Sacrament, the School of Athens, the Parnassus, the Cardinal Virtues, among others.

Room of the Fire in the Borgo: it shows Pope Leo IV making the sign of the cross to put out a raging fire in the Borgo. During the reign of Pope Leo X, this room was used as a music room. Most of the frescos in the room portray events that took place from the lives of Pope Leo III and Pope Leo IV. Some of the paintings in this room include: the Oath of Leo III, the Coronation of Charlemagne, Fire in the Borgo and the Battle of Ostia.

The Raphael rooms are decorated with paintings that make them look magnificent. The rooms are located a few steps away from the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Cathedral. The next time you visit Rome, pay a visit to these rooms and you will be astonished by the paintings within them. The Raphael rooms are one of the most visited parts of the Vatican museums and they have a grand history which is significant for the Roman Catholic Church.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom
 (1)
Named after Pope Sixtus IV, the Sistine Chapel is perhaps the most famous chapel in the world. It is renowned both for its function as the Papal Conclave and for its incredible artwork.... more

The ceiling and western wall of the Sistine Chapel are adorned with some of the most astonishing paintings in the world created by the famous artist – Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508 and he completed his work in 1512. The middle section depicts nine stories from the Book of Genesis, including the renowned ‘Creation of Adam’ where the hand of God is seen reaching to Adam to instill him with life.

In 1535 Michelangelo was commissioned once again to paint the western wall over the altar. He completed this spectacular painting of the‘Last Judgment’ in 1541. The painting depicts the end-of-days and second coming of Christ when according to Christian faith all souls will be judged by Jesus,the Saints and God and sent to heaven or hell.

Despite being one of the most celebrated works of art in history, Michelangelo was originally hesitant to paint the ceiling of the chapel for he considered himself as more of a sculptor than a painter.

The original ‘Last Judgment’ painting included fully nude human figures, but these were later covered by another artist due to the demands of some Papal members who claimed that the nudity was obscene and improper.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo who depicted nine stories from the book of Genesis including the famous 'Creation of Adam'.

The first three stories are:
1. The Separation of Light from Darkness: Genesis 1:1-5;
2. The Creation of the sun, moon and planets: Genesis 1:11-19;
3. The Separation of Land from Sea: Genesis 1,9-10)

Following these paintings of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the Vatican are the mid-section patintings:
1. The Creation of Adam & Eve (Genesis 1:26- 2:25), with the figures of man and woman in their nakedness.
2. The Banishment from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-24).

The last three frescoes of Michelangelo include:
1. The Sacrifice of Noah: (Genesis 8:15-20)
2. The Flood (Genesis 6:5-8,20)
3. The Drunkenness of Noah (Genesis 9:20-27)
* All these show the fall and rebirth of humanity

The ceiling and western wall of the Sistine Chapel are adorned with some of the most celebrated paintings in the world created by the famous artist – Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the ceiling in 1508 and he completed his work in 1512.

Despite being one of the most adored works of art in history, Michelangelo was originally hesitant to paint the ceiling of the chapel for he saw himself as more of a sculptor than a painter. The original ‘Last Judgment’ painting included fully nude human figures, but these were later covered by another artist due to the demands of some Papal members who claimed that the nudity was obscene and improper.

The middle section of the ceiling depicts 9 stories fromthe Book of Genesis, including the iconic ‘Creation of Adam’ where the hand ofGod is seen reaching to Adam to give him life. In 1535 Michelangelo was commissioned once again to paint thewestern wall over the altar.

Michelangelo completed this spectacular painting of the‘Last Judgment’ in 1541. The painting depicts the end-of-days and second comingof Christ when according to Christian faith all souls will be judged by Jesus,the Saints and God and sent to heaven or hell.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
The Gallery of Maps is called the Galleria delle carte geografiche in Italian.  Situated in the Vatican on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard, the gallery contains a series of ... morepainted topographical maps of Italy. These maps were based on drawings by Ignazio Danti a Dominican Italian friar, mathematician, astronomer, cosmographer and geographer which was born as Pellegrino Rainaldi Danti in Perugia in 1536.

The galley was commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1580 . Pope Gregory XIII ordered it made as well as many other works of art. The Pope commissioned these works of art in order to decorate the Vatican. The completion of the work on the gallery took Danti three years (1580–1583). Today the gallery consists of 40 panels which go along the 120 m gallery. 

The panels map the entirety of the Italian peninsula including Sardinia and Corsica. The maps are in fact frescoes. Each fresco features a different region. Special detail was given to the region's most prominent city. With the Apennines serving as the dividing line, one side features the area surrounded by the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas and the other shows the area near the Adriatic Sea.

The maps are both beautiful and informative as they reveal the way that the renaissance Italians saw themselves and their surroundings in pre- national Italy. Italy was not one nation in the time of the renaissance when the maps were made. The maps also provide insight to the art of cartography ( making of maps) of these times.The gallery is a fascinating place to visit whether you take a special interest in maps or not.

In the gallery of maps the vaulted ceiling is also decorated. These decorations were done by a group of Mannerist artists including Girolamo Muziano and Cesare Nebbia.
Type:
Attraction, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom
Rates
Minimum Guests:
2 people
Per
Type
Price
2 PeoplePrivate Tour
$
401
60
Add-ons
Name
Price
Additional guest
$
77
01
Schedule
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
Custom policy
  • Cancellations made 30 days before will be fully refunded except for a service fee of 3%.
  • Cancellations made 8 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
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