9. Rome: Sistine Chapel, Vatican & St. Peters Private Tour
On this special Vatican tour, you’ll discover the treasures of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. In the company of one of your expert guides, marvel at masterpieces by Michelangelo and Raphael and explore one of the greatest art collections in the world. Many visitors are rushed through the Sistine Chapel, but on your Sistine Chapel tour, you’ll have time to gaze up at the ceiling and admire the artwork while your guide explains the secrets of Michelangelo’s intricately detailed frescoes.
Close to the Sistine Chapel is the suite of private papal apartments known as the Raphael Rooms. These exquisitely decorated rooms contain some of the finest examples of Raphael’s work, including the “School of Athens” - a group portrait of the most famous ancient philosophers. On your visit to the Raphael Rooms, your guide will explain why a young painter from Urbino was chosen for such a prestigious commission, earning admiration and envy. These rooms also provide a fascinating insight into the life of the papal court, as well as the Renaissance fascination with the classical world. Often overlooked by visitors who are in a hurry to get to the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms deserve a more relaxed, contemplative visit; your guide will ensure that you have plenty of time to appreciate Raphael’s works at leisure.
Your private visit to the Vatican Museums is a unique opportunity to explore one of the most remarkable art collections in the world. Accompanied by an expert art historian, you’ll learn all about these ancient masterpieces, gaining a greater appreciation of Roman art and understanding why these artworks are so important in the wider context of art history. A walk through the famous Gallery of Maps, Pinecone Courtyard and, Belvedere Courtyard is an unforgettable experience - an opportunity to be completely immersed in more than 2,000-years of art. Although it’s impossible to see the entire extent of the Vatican’s enormous collection, on your Vatican Museums private tour you’ll be able to optimize your time, seeing a selection of unmissable highlights along with some hidden treasures.
After exiting the Sistine Chapel, you’ll be able to enter St Peter’s Basilica directly, without having to wait in line. During your visit to St Peter’s Basilica, your guide will tell you the fascinating story of the basilica within the context of Christian history, from its origins as a burial ground to its current state of splendor and international importance.