Private Early Morning Vatican with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Tour

Duration
3hours 30minutes
Inclusions
Tour Guide
Entrance Fees
Headsets
All inclusive price. Completely private tour.
Language
English
Max Group Size
50 people
Transportation
Transportation from your hotel or lodging to the activity check in.
Optional
$
550
03
/ 2 People
Available:
Mon, Dec 28 2020
Time:
7:15 AM
Through E
Response rate: 
94%
Response time:
several hours
Highlights
  • Special access to the Sistine Chapel
  • The Ancient Sculpture Galleries
  • The Hall of Maps
  • The Belvedere Courtyard
Preview Description
Private Tour of Vatican Museums with Early Entrance Before the General Public, with Sistine Chapel
 
Description
There are certain experiences that are guaranteed to change your life. Explore these world famous museums before they open the doors to the public where you can admire the detail and the lifelike figures that appear 3D. Learn about the ideas and passion of Michelangelo, explore the characters he created on the iconic ceiling and in The Last Judgement without battling the crowds on your private Tour. Treat yourself to the luxury of a private guide who will completely customize your visit according to your interests. Get an in-depth understanding of the beauty of the Raphael Rooms, commissioned by Pope Julius II whilst Michelangelo laboured over the Sistine Chapel ceiling in an intense competition of artistic mastery. Explore the masterpieces of the collection of the Vatican Museums, loved by patrons and artists of the Renaissance. Skip the queues and arrive directly at St. Peter’s Basilica where you can appreciate the most important works of the Christian faith. Wonder at the great dome, the touching Pietà by Michelangelo and Bernini’s majestic canopy above St. Peter’s altar.

Early Entrance Museum Tour
Our private tour offers the perfect environment to explore the Sistine Chapel and other works of incomparable beauty of the Vatican Museums and to fully comprehend their meaningwill. Your personal guide will help you visualize the cultural context in which such works arose, immersing you in the climate of the Renaissance, in the passions that accompanied artists and princes, merchants and bankers in the creation of a new world of palaces, domes, and cities. Our Vatican private tour will take you on a discovery of this exciting era of human history when the flowering of the arts was accompanied by the evolution of science, together laying the foundations for much of our modern world.

Tour the Sistine Chapel: Meet a Genius
Whoever sees the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo; whoever delves into his thoughts and sentiments, encounters genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thought. Your guide will accompany you on this Vatican private tour through the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together you will relive the environment of the Florentine Renaissance and the Papal court in Rome in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. The figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgement speak of Michelangelo and of the Renaissance: our private tour will reveal clearly what they say, and how and why these frescoes of the Vatican Museums have redefined not only art, but the way in which we view the world today.

The Vatican Museums: stories of art and history
Some of the the most important works that we will discover, such as timeless Greek masterpieces like the Laocoon, the Belvedere Torso and the Apollo Belvedere, were excavated at the time of Michelangelo and Raphael, who studied and admired them in the same architectural context in which they are preserved today. The artworks that they created are the fruit of their careful study. And so we too will pass through the Pinecone courtyard, the Belvedere courtyard and the tapestry galleries on our Vatican private tour, discovering a selection of masterpieces with a guide capable of recreating the climate of the epoch, helping you to appreciate the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel in their historical context.

From the Sistine Chapel we will traverse directly to St. Peter's Basilica without waiting in line.

St. Peter's Basilica: A Story of Faith
This part of our guided visit will bring us to the heart of the Christian faith, and along the way we will discover an incredible collection of relics and religious tokens that have accumulated here over the course of nearly 2,000 years. At the same time you will have the chance to admire and understand enchanting works of art such as Michelangelo's Pietà, a work whose intimate embrace overflows with such tenderness that it can move even the hardest viewer to tears. The masterpieces of Bernini, the great genius of the Italian Baroque, also dominate St. Peter's, and the spectacular eponymous piazza dazzles with astounding optical effects. It is here that the faithful have gathered for centuries to celebrate the great events of Christianity, from the election of new popes to solemn masses. We will bring you here to read a history that will also become our own, a history lived by the protagonists of our fascinating Vatican tours.

The Basilica of St. Peter's may be subject to unscheduled closings and late openings for religious ceremonies. Because these are often last-minute for security reasons, we may not have time to notify our guests but instead the full tour will be spent exploring other parts of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. We do not provide refunds for unexpected closures of St. Peter's and your guide will still give you a great introduction to the Basilica should you wish to return in your own time during your stay in Rome.
 
Activity Level
The Vatican Museums are vast and we strongly recommend good and comfortable shoes and a bottle of water. If anyone in your party is using a wheelchair, motorised scooter or any other form of walking aid, please advise us immediately upon booking.
 
Places Visited
  • The construction of Cortile del Belvedere was the initiative of Pope Julius II and Bramante who wanted to connect an ancient pontifical palace on the right side of St. Peter’s
Cortile del Belvedere The construction of Cortile del Belvedere was the initiative of Pope Julius II and Bramante who wanted to connect an ancient pontifical palace on the right side ... moreof St. Peter’s, and the palace which was built for Innocent VIII by Pollaiolo on the little hill known as del Belvedere. Pope Julius was a great collector of statues when he was still a cardinal. After he was elected as pope he carried all his collection to the Vatican. The Belvedere was one of the places that contained the pope’s several sculpture collections and started making the place more attractive and popular.

As a result of the demand to connect the two palaces, Bramante designed two long corridors which created a big courtyard. Pope Julius II was a great fan of architectural works and wanted to build something impressive which would enhance the grandeur of both palaces. Just as expected, Bramante designed a spectacular court yard which connected the Vatican Palace and the Villa Belvedere. He designed a series of terraces which were connected by stairs and had narrow wings on its sides.

Bramante was very innovative when designing the Cortile del Belvedere. The courtyard contained six narrow terraces which were crisscrossed by a central staircase that led to the wide middle terrace. The long wings on the sides of the terraces of Cortile del Belvedere are what now house the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library.

The Cortile del Belvedere provided an easy and comfortable means of passing from a garden terrace to the palace court. Bramante originally designed the uppermost terrace as a garden ground but as a result of the small size of the house, he came up with another idea. He made another decorative erection of a garden structure within the colossal semicircular niche, with a loggia on top of it. This provided a spectacular view over the landscape and the entire city.

The Cortile del Belvedere courtyard was used for several occasions due to its spectacular design and atmosphere. In 1565, Pope Pius IV held here a festival event in honour of the wedding of his nephew.

The construction of Cortile del Belvedere led to several developments of outstanding structures in the Vatican City. As a matter of fact, the courtyard led to the establishment of the Vatican Library, Gallery of inscriptions, the Museum of Christian Art, the Gallery of Urban VIII, the Sistine Hall, the Pauline Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps, among others. These are some of the structures rich in the Roman Catholic Church history continue to attract many visitors from all over the world. Until today, Cortile del Belvedere still remains one of the greatest architectural works in the Vatican. The courtyard provides a spectacular view of the entire Vatican City and it houses numerous sculptures and collections.
Type:
Attraction, Historic
 (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
 (1)
The Notorious Roman Emperor Caligula(37-41AD) built a circus at the area of the current Vatican. St Peter the apostle was buried in anecropolis to the north of the circus. ... more

Traditionally it issaid that The See of Rome was founded by Saint Peter who firstheld the position of the Bishop of Rome (Pope).Between the years 324 and 326 AD, theEmperor Constantine built a basilica on top of St. Peter's grave. It was replacedby the present St. Peter's Basilica between the 16th and 17th centuries. And was designed and decorated by Renaissance andbaroque geniuses such as Raphael, Bramante, Bernini Michelangelo, and Maderna. St.Peter's basilica is the largest religious building in the world. 

St. Peter's Basilica, Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano or Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Italian, is a Church located in Vatican City that dates back to the Renaissance age. Michelangelo, Bernini and Bramante were the main architects of the magnificent basilica and it is one of the most famous architectural works of the Renaissance era. The building of the current church (replaced the old 4th century Church over St. Peter's tomb) began on 18 April 1506 and was completed on 18 November 1626.

According to Roman Catholic tradition St. Peter's Basilica is the burial site of Saint Peter, one Christs' 12 apostles. Additionally in Roman Catholic tradition, St. Peter was also the first Bishop of Rome and thus was the first in the papal (pope) lineage.

Saint Peter's Basilica is located within the Vatican and thus it serves the Popes for ceremonies. Throughout the year a number of services are conducted by the pope and they attract audiences of 20,000 to over 90,000 people who come to the Vatican Basilica (St. Peter's) or St. Peter's Square. In addition to serving the papcy, St. Peter's is one of the four churches of Rome that hold the rank of Major Basilica.

Saint Peter's tomb is located directly below the altar of the St. Peter's Basilica and soem hitorical evidence supports this. Many Popes have been buried at St. Peter's for this reason and this is also why there has been a church at this location in Rome since the times of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (4th century)

The basilica has great architectural structures that tooks everal years to design and build. One of the major contributors to the amazing structure of St. Peter’s Basilica is the Master Michelangelo. The following are some ofthe spectacular architectural features of the basilica: the Bramante’s dome, Maderno’s façade, St Peter’s statues, narthex and portals, and Maderno’ nave. St. Peter also has a lovely Piazza, fountains, altars, towers. It also known for the statues in the piers of the dome ( among them are the statues of Saint Helena, St.Longinus, St. Andrew and St. Veronica).

The specifications of the St. Peter’s basilica are approximately: length: 730 feet (220 m); width: 500 feet (150 m); maximum height: 452 feet (138 m); outer dome diameter: 137.7 feet (42 m); inner dome diameter: 136.1 feet (41.5 m). These dimensions are indeed an indication of how huge the basilica is. With its spectacular furnishes, architecture, tombs and collections of art, St. Peter’s Basilica is and will always be one of the largest churches in the world and oneof the holiest Catholic sites.
Type:
Attraction, 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:
1 person
Per
Type
Price
Info
2 PeoplePrivate Tour
$
550
03
Please use 'Additional Guests' to add more
Add-ons
Name
Price
Additional Guests
$
118
28
One-way Transfer
$
47
31
Schedule
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
Custom policy
  • Cancellations made 15 days before will be refunded 75% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
7 reviews   0 comments
Rating
Was the tour accurately described on the webiste? In other words did it meet your expectations?
(5.0 of 5)
We had a Private Early Morning Sistine Chapel with Vatican Tour with Maria Libera di Vecchio and loved it. Maria was fantastic. We have a 10 year old and 7 year old and a 4.5 hour tour is a lot to ask of them, We didn't specifically pick a "kids tour" but Maria was fantastic with them, keeping them engaged and interested while also giving the adults a complete tour. Maria really knew her history, ... more both art and church, and we loved what we learned from her. And she was great at steering us toward interesting and important things - you could spend days in the Vatican museum, and she really guided us to the highlights. I would recommend this tour with Maria to anyone.
Rating
1
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The tour, our guide Federica, and Through Eternity were absolutely fabulous!! Unfortunately our flight over was cancelled and Joseph was wonderful! He worked very hard to accommodate us by finding a suitable alternative so we could still do our tour. He called us back 3 times to review ideas and ensure we were happy with the options he presented us. We cannot recommend this company enough! Thank you ... more for such a memorable experience!
Rating
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Maria was waiting for us at the Vaticano Cafe promptly at 7:30 AM. We grabbed a few items and jumped into a short line for groups. The doors opened at 8 so she spent the time giving us great info of what our 3-4 hours would look like and it gave us a chance to enjoy our croissants and coffee. My husband and I took a similar tour with Through Eternity 8 years ago and we have wanted our now adult children ... more to have the same wonderful experience. Maria told us we would wait until about 9:15 to view the Sistine Chapel to give the initial crowds a chance to disperse and she was right. There was plenty of room to move around and view this magnificent beauty! We lost a special Uncle earlier in the week whose funeral was going to be held on the day we did this tour. Maria suggested we speak to the priest to the left of the altar. Not only did this resonate with our Catholic faith but it helped make missing his funeral not so bad. His kind words, blessing and prayers made this a special moment for our family. Maria's knowledge on art history and history in general amazed us. She conversed very well with all of us and challenged the kids to answer her questions. Thank you again for providing us with a wonderful guide and a special experience for all 5 of us. As a side note, it's fun to watch/read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons prior to your Rome experience. Though I don't agree with some of it's content, it is interesting to compare it with what you see and learn on this tour.
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This tour is a must, and our guide Robert provided us with a wonderful experience! He was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, and he taught us a great deal! I would highly recommend this tour and Robert!
Rating
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Eugenia was a great tour guide - provided overviews while waiting in que to enter and navigated through museum and chapel expertly during a busy tour day. Explained differences with lighting and set up due to 29 jun holiday the next day. Energetic. Recommend
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Maria was a fantastic tour guide who really communicated her passion about the amazing art and architecture and educated us in an enjoyable and enriching way. The time flew by, and we seemed to stay a step ahead of the crowds, which is an excellent outcome in the Vatican Museums. My expectations were exceeded, and I would highly recommend Maria and the tour format.
Rating
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Our guide, Gracelyn was absolutely outstanding. Provided interesting insight while still in line before the Vatican doors opened. The depth and breadth of her knowledge of the Vatican and St Peters,the sculptors, artists and history amazed us. so very personable on top of it. I would HIGHLY recommend this talented individual. Through Eternity is the only company I will be recommending to anyone I ... more know coming to Rome. They even arranged for pick up from our hotel at my request and that process and handoff from driver to GraceLyn was seamless...what a good feeling !!
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