Private VIP Vatican In a Day Tour: Experience Art and History As Never Before

Duration
5hours
Inclusions
Tour Guide
Entrance Fees
Headsets
Skip-the-lines Access
Language
English, Italian
Transportation
Transportation from your hotel or lodging to the activity check in.
Optional
$
1,108
08
/ 2 People
Available:
Fri, Jun 21 2024
Time:
9:15 AM
Through E
Response rate: 
86%
Response time:
several hours
Highlights
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Vatican Museums
  • Raphael Rooms
Preview Description
A true luxury designed by you, during your 5-hour Vatican Tour, our expert guide will focus on exactly what interests you, offering hidden insights into the works and giving you the chance to ask all the questions you wish.
 
Description
With the VIP experience you will of course skip all the queues and be free to enjoy the beauty and innovation behind Michelangelo’s frescos. Marvel at the countless characters as you gaze up at the epic and world-famous ceiling, lovingly depicted in painstaking detail. Unlock the mysteries behind the works of the Renaissance masters before being taken directly to the Vatican Museums – naturally skipping all the lines, until you reach St. Peter’s basilica. Take an exclusive journey into the history of Christianity and be captivated by the rich repertoire of masterpieces on offer.

Explore one of the world's greatest museums with an expert guide
Our tour of the Vatican is optimized to offer you you a VIP experience of the great masterpieces of the Sistine Chapel, the Pinacoteca, the Vatican Museums and Saint Peter's Basilica. There is only one route that brings you to the Sistine Chapel, passing through courtyards and palaces dense with history and studded with works of art. Don't rush through them like a stranger; enjoy them in all their splendour.

Encounter the Genius of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel
Whoever explores the Sistine Chapel through the eyes of Michelangelo, whoever reads in it his thoughts and sentiments, encounters a genius. Who he was, how he lived and what he thoughs, are some of the themes of our Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel guide tour. Our guides will accompany you into the great building projects of the Italian Renaissance and together we will relive the environment of the Florentine Renaissance and the Papal court in Rome in which Michelangelo created his masterpieces. Our VIP Vatican Tour uncovers the meaning of the figures of Jonah, Adam, Eve, Noah and thousands of others on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and in the Last Judgement, revealing the ideals of Michelangelo and of the Renaissance. Then you will understand how and why these frescoes have changed for ever not only art, but the way in which we look at the world.

Relive the vivid world of the Italian Renaissance in the Raphael Rooms
This was a period of overwhelming enthusiasm and of amazing innovation. The men of the Renaissance didn't merely dream of changing the world - they really revolutionised it. The printing press, the geographic maps with which Columbus reached the Americas, modern science, architecture, art and the sense of beauty (a concept demonized in the Middle Ages), all these were their creations. The frescoes of the Raphael rooms perfectly depict the world of the contemporary courts that governed the course of this new world and where the great geniuses of the age called home. The cultured conversations fueled by the wine of sumptuous banquets, the statues brought to light by a frenzied passion for excavations, new fashions, and above all new ways of thinking and living, are marvellously recreated by Raphael with the perfect touch of his graceful brush. On this Vatican private tour we will have the opportunity to experience this amazing world in the flesh. Indeed there is an entire world to discover here, a world of which we ourselves are the children.

Discover the incredible ancient sculpture collections of the Vatican
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, 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.

Gaze on works by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Raphael in the Pinacoteca
Some of the finest paintings of the Vatican Museums are collected in the Pinacoteca, still ignored by most tours. In this tranquil part of the Vatican museums it is possible to appreciate the explosive force of Leonardo's Saint Jerome and the spectacular realism of Caravaggio's Deposition, an artist of absolute and ungovernable genius. We will also encounter Raphael's Transfiguration, a work that would be his last when, struck by a terrible fever, he died at the height of his fame at the tender age of 37.

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

Learn the story of 2,000 years of faith in St. Peter's Basilica 
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 site of St. Peter's tomb. Our Vatican group tour is optimized to allow you to experience these amazing objects in their original context. 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 private tour itineraries.
 
Activity Level
This advised that this is a walking tour with steps and staircases. Comfortable walking shoes and a bottle of water are strongly recommended. 

Please advise if any travelers have mobility concerns so that we can best accommodate you.
 
Places Visited
 (1)
  • The works were collected by the church throughout the centuries and the collections include some of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces and sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece.
The Vatican Museums exhibit artworks from the Roman Catholic Church's Impressive collections. The works were collected by the church throughout the centuries and the collections include ... moresome of the most famous Renaissance masterpieces and sculptures from ancient Rome and Greece. The popes were great patrons of art and among the first sovereigns who opened their private art collections to the public.

Several sculptures collected by Pope Julius the second were the first items in what was to become the Vatican Museums collection. The Vatican Museums, as seen today are comprised of several pontifical galleries and museums that were assembled by various popes. Several masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Nicolas Poussin the renown Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo, the Raphael rooms, and the impressive collection of maps are all part of the vast collection. They are the main attractions of the Vatican Museums and are considered treasures of immense value. There are also galleries displaying modern Christian religious art. Watch our 3-D virtual tours on www.vatican.com to see with your own eyes some of the Vatican's most astounding treasures including the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican museums also have changing exhibitions, special programs with lectures on Thursdays and many different kinds of guided tours, some specially suited for children. In the educational tours for children, the children get to have a close look at some artworks and even create small "masterpieces" of their own. In addition The Vatican Museums have tours for the deaf and the blind upon request and pre- booking. If you are in need of these tours you will also get two free tickets for entry.

In order to skip the long entrance queues if you're visiting the Vatican Museums without a guide, it's best to pre-book your Vatican Museum tickets online. When booking online you will need to choose the time of entry. If you haven't booked online it's best to try and come in the afternoon, after 12:00. Take into account that you'll need at least three hours just to see the main attractions. The Vatican museums are the biggest museum complex in the world. Upon entry take into account that you may need to wait about 20 minutes to get through the security check as all visitors need to pass through metal detectors at the security check point. The entrance to the Vatican Museums is on Viale Vaticano.

Opening hours for the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel ticket offices are Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 4 pm. The Museums close at 6 pm. You must exit the rooms half an hour before closing time. The Vatican museums are closed on Sundays apart for the last Sunday of every month when there is free entrance to the museums from 9 am to 12.30 pm. On these Sundays the Vatican museums close at 2 pm.

Ticket Tarrifs: The price for a ticket to the Vatican Museums is 16 Euros and reduced price is 8 Euros. The added price for booking your Vatican museum tickets online is 4 Euros.
Public traansportaion to the Vatican Museums

By Metro: line A to Ottaviano-San Pietro Musei Vaticani station
by bus: number 49, stops right in front of the Museums Entrance.492, 990, Via Leone IV / Via degli Scipioni. 32, 81, 982, Piazza del Risorgimento, end of the line.
by tram: 19 to Piazza del Risorgimento.
Type:
Attraction, Cultural, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom, Drinking water
 (2)
  • 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, or "Stanze di Raffaello," are a suite of four interconnected rooms located in the Vatican Museums. Renowned for their stunning frescoes painted by the master artist ... moreRaphael and his workshop, these rooms stand as a testament to the High Renaissance's artistic and cultural achievements. Commissioned by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century, the frescoes in these rooms played a pivotal role in establishing Raphael as one of the preeminent painters of his time, alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Rooms

Room of the Segnatura (Stanza della Segnatura): This is the first room to be completed by Raphael, and it houses some of his most famous works, including "The School of Athens," "The Parnassus," and "The Disputation of the Holy Sacrament." These frescoes embody the ideals of Renaissance humanism, integrating classical philosophy, theology, and poetry. "The School of Athens," in particular, stands out for its portrayal of ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, depicted in an architectural setting inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica.

Room of Heliodorus (Stanza di Eliodoro): The frescoes in this room, commissioned to convey the power and authority of the Church, depict divine intervention and protection. Key works include "The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple," "The Miracle at Bolsena," and "The Liberation of St. Peter." The dynamic compositions and dramatic use of light and shadow in these frescoes showcase Raphael's mastery in creating vivid, emotionally compelling narratives.

Room of the Fire in the Borgo (Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo): This room illustrates significant historical and legendary events. The titular fresco, "The Fire in the Borgo," dramatizes the miraculous extinguishing of a fire in the Vatican quarter, symbolizing the protection of the papacy. Other notable works include "The Coronation of Charlemagne" and "The Battle of Ostia," which highlight the Church's triumphs and divine favor throughout history.

Room of Constantine (Stanza di Costantino): Completed after Raphael's death by his students, including Giulio Romano, this room features scenes from the life of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor. The frescoes, such as "The Vision of the Cross" and "The Battle of Constantine against Maxentius," celebrate Constantine's conversion to Christianity and his subsequent victory, which were pivotal in establishing Christianity as the Roman Empire's dominant religion.
Artistic and Cultural Significance

The Raphael Rooms are not only masterpieces of Renaissance art but also serve as an exploration of the interplay between classical antiquity and contemporary Christian themes. Raphael's ability to harmonize these elements reflects the intellectual spirit of the Renaissance, where the revival of ancient knowledge was seamlessly blended with the prevailing religious and cultural context.
Moreover, the rooms highlight Raphael's evolution as an artist. From the harmonious compositions and balanced figures in the Room of the Segnatura to the more dynamic and dramatic scenes in the Room of Heliodorus, visitors can trace his stylistic development. The subsequent completion of the Room of Constantine by his pupils also underscores the enduring influence of Raphael's artistic vision.

Conclusion
The Raphael Rooms in the Vatican Museums remain a vital cultural treasure, drawing visitors from around the world. They offer a unique window into the mind of a Renaissance genius and provide a richly detailed narrative of the period's theological, philosophical, and artistic preoccupations. Through their beauty and historical significance, the Raphael Rooms continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts, scholars, and pilgrims alike.
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
  • Erected in honor of the Prince of Apostles
The Latin inscription above the entrance states: "Paul V Borghese, Roman, Pontiff, in the year 1612, the seventh of his pontificate, erected in honour of the Prince of Apostles".... more

The entrance to Saint Peter's Basilica has spitirual significance as it is written: 

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me, will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture”. 

(John 10:9)

Above the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica is the central balcony where the election of the new pope is announced - the famous Latin saying: "Habemus Papum" which means "We have a Pope". It is also where the Pope gives the Urbi et Orbi blessing, and for this reason the balcony is also called the "Loggia of the Blessings",
Type:
Attraction, Church, Historic, Museum
Features:
Bathroom
Rates
Minimum Guests:
1 person
Per
Type
Price
Info
2 PeoplePrivate Tour
$
1,108
08
Please use "Additional Guests" to add more
Add-ons
Name
Price
Addional Guests
$
88
86
Schedule
Check In Location
Check In Details
Your guide will meet you in front of the Caffe Vaticano, Viale Vaticano, 100. They will have a Through Eternity sign or flag.
 
Payment & Cancellation
Cancellation Policy
Custom policy
  • Cancellations made 30 days before will be fully refunded except for a service fee of 3%.
  • Cancellations made 15 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
  • Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.
4 reviews   0 comments
Rating
Was the tour accurately described on the webiste? In other words did it meet your expectations?
(4.5 of 5)
>
Top notch tour
Splurging for the Private Vatican tour was an absolutely fantastic decision. Maria was our very knowledgeable guide. With a degree in art history, she elevated the experience beyond my expectations. We will definitely recommend her and this tour to friends traveling to Rome.
Rating
0
0
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Experienced the Vatican Renaissance
I enjoyed and was awed by the Renaissance I was able to experience at the Vatican. The guide was very knowledgeable but a misstatement on my part led to a situation whereby she had to prove me wrong. I thought I was rushed by the guide. The crowds just made it worse. It was hard to stop to study a piece because of the pressure from the herd to keep moving. I paid $600+ for a 5+ hour tour which disappointed ... more me for the reasons stated above.
Rating
1
1
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Most Excellent Tour
Re toured with our private guide for two days in a row. Barbara was exceptional in her knowledge and a delight to enjoy Rome in a very special way. She insured that we had little to no wait for both the Colosseum and the Forum, as well as the Vatican, Sistine chapel and Basilica. It was top 5 star service!
Rating
2
2
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A wonderful day I’ll always remember!
Gracelyn was amazing and have a fantastic in depth tour! I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone who wants to learn as much as possible about the history.
Rating
6
0