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Courtyard of the Pigna

Courtyard of the Pigna: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican Breakfast: Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica Tour

1. Vatican Breakfast: Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica Tour

 Have the Vatican to yourself on this exclusive early morning tour that whisks you through closed doors for a buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard, before anyone else enters the museums. Feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and pancakes made by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dine in the Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, and experience tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. With only 13 people per group, take the time and space to appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Your guide will bring works of art to life, pointing out things you would have missed on your own. Continue to the legendary Sistine Chapel. Then, skip the ticket lines to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. See the altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture.

Semi-Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter Guided Tour

2. Semi-Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter Guided Tour

Avoid the rush and spend the morning exploring the Vatican City before the crowds arrive! With exclusive skip-the-ticket-line access, you'll go inside the Sistine Chapel and Upper Galleries of the Vatican Museums with your group. With over 2,000 rooms, it’s impossible to see the entire collection of the Vatican. But your tour will take a carefully planned route to see the highlights of the 9 miles of galleries. Marvel at the Pinecone Courtyard and Hall of Maps, before going into the Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Candelabras. Your guide will bring the art to life, pointing out things you never would have noticed on your own. A highlight of the tour comes when you go to the Sistine Chapel. Guided tours are not permitted within the chapel so, with the aid of photographs, your guide will fill you in on details before. Admire Michelangelo’s boneless self-portrait, in which he expressed to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again! Exit by a special access door that leads straight into St. Peter’s Basilica. See the incredible altar and Michelangelo’s beautiful La Pietà, before ending outside on St. Peter’s Square.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Reserved Entrance

3. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Reserved Entrance

Take in the highlights of the Vatican Museums, from the Sistine Chapel to lesser-known gems of the collection. Visit the Hall of Maps, Pinecone Courtyard, Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Candelabra, and Raphael Rooms. Choose to add an open-top bus tour of the Vatican Gardens or an Italian breakfast. Redeem your voucher at the activity provider's office. Be taken by their staff to the Vatican Museums to get your official reserved ticket. Enjoy exploring at your own pace. Admire the immense art collection amassed by the Catholic Church, including Roman sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces. Visit the Sistine Chapel. Admire the details you have heard about, including Michelangelo’s boneless self-portrait, in which he expresses to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again. See what it takes to create a fresco and appreciate the work up close. Depending on the option chosen, then take a panoramic open-top bus around the Vatican Gardens. Listen to the multi-lingual audioguide to learn their secrets. Marvel at the elegant fountains and the sculptures as you tour the gardens.

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

4. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd does and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to one of the Vatican's tranquil courtyards and sit down to enjoy a large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms in the museums. To complete your experience, you'll head into St. Peter's Basilica via a special access tunnel straight from the Vatican Museums. There's no better place to cap off your morning than at this sacred space.

Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

5. Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

Experience all the wonders and history the Vatican has to offer on this guided tour. Step inside the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with skip-the-line entry. Once inside, your expert guide will show you the best of the Pinecone Courtyard and Gallery of Tapestries. Marvel at Michelangelo’s most famous masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, and learn all about its history from your guide. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is larger than the Statue of Liberty. Gaze up into its massive dome and see its iconic sculptures, mosaics, and hidden details. When you finish, you are free to remain inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Experience more of this amazing church at your leisure or return outside to St. Peter’s Square to admire Bernini’s clever optical illusion and the basilica’s heavenly facade.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Ticket

6. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Ticket

Embark on a journey through art history with a visit to the Vatican Museums, a must-see if you're visiting Rome. Marvel at the impressive artworks on display in the Chiaramonti Museum, the Pio-Clementino Museum and even the Sistine Chapel. Avoid waiting in long lines with a skip-the-line ticket. Discover the most famous masterpieces of the Vatican, from the Bramante Staircase and the Pinecone Courtyard, to the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Maps, Raphael’s Rooms, and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Save time and remain stress-free with this skip-the-line ticket. See with your own eyes world-renowned artworks by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Bellini. By skipping the line, you will have more time to appreciate the countless paintings and frescoes by these old masters. Create your very own itinerary and move through the Vatican Museums as you wish and in your own time, without the stress of a tour group or a guide. Spend as much time as you like with each work of art, whether it be "The Last Judgment", "The Creation of Adam", or "The School of Adam".

Rome: Vatican Gardens Bus Tour and Vatican Museums Visit

7. Rome: Vatican Gardens Bus Tour and Vatican Museums Visit

Explore the green heart of the world’s smallest state on a guided minibus trip to the Vatican Gardens. Admire the lush cultivated areas and discover every single corner. Finish off your experience with a visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Meet your guide and uncover the secrets of this rich verdant space that occupies one-third of the Vatican city's 44 hectares. Hear about how the gardens have been enriched by the initiatives of various Pontiffs and experience a unique encounter with nature, art, and the Christian faith. Find out about the artists, architects, and creators who took care to create this harmonious location. If you're looking for the complete Vatican experience, this tour is perfect for you, with Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel visits to explore all of Vatican City's beauty. See the Hall of Maps, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the incredible Raphael Rooms. Enjoy the definitive highlight of your visit, the Sistine Chapel. Take some time to admire the details, including Michelangelo’s interesting self-portrait.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-The-Line Tickets

8. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-The-Line Tickets

Design your own itinerary with a full-day skip-the-ticket-line ticket, map, and a brief orientation, so you can enjoy the highlights of the Vatican museums’ famous collections at your own pace. Start by exploring areas most tour groups never see, like the paintings in the Pinacoteca gallery and the Etruscan museum, or spend more time admiring the scenery in famous areas like the Pinecone Courtyard and Gallery of Maps.  No trip to the Vatican is complete without visiting its shining star: the Sistine Chapel. Your ticket includes entry to the chapel and your orientation provides information on what to look for when you visit this incredible treasure.

Rome: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

9. Rome: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

Enjoy a comprehensive tour of the Vatican City and see some of the highlights from the papal collection in the miles of galleries that form the Vatican Museums. Marvel at masterpieces of art from across the centuries on an itinerary focused on the most important areas of the museum. Go to the Cortile della Pigna (Pine Cone Courtyard) to see the fountain of a pine cone that once stood next to the Temple of Isis. Marvel at the octagonal courtyard of the Cortile Ottagono. Next, go to the Gallery of the Candelabra to see some 2nd-century candelabra from Otricoli. Continue to the Gallery of Tapestries to admire Flemish tapestries by some of Raphael’s students. Discover historic maps of the world in the Gallery of Maps, before visiting one of the most beautiful Renaissance rooms in the world. Enter the apartments that Raphael painted for Julius II, before going to the private chambers of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI. Enter the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo's masterpiece frescoes and ceiling painting of the “Last Judgment.” Then, go inside the Basilica of St. Peter to experience the grandeur and spirituality of one of the world’s most important cathedrals. Discover a treasure trove of art contained within, such as the “Pietà” by Michelangelo and “St. Peter's Baldachin” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

10. Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Skip-the-Line Tour

Start your tour by skipping the (always long) ticket lines to get into the museum and diving right into the galleries holding some of the most famous works of art in the world. This specially-designed route encompasses all the can’t-miss pieces while also including some of the lesser-known works that will really dazzle you. Your expert, English-speaking guide will give you eye-opening insight and context (along with some great stories) as you explore the Raphael Rooms, the Belvedere courtyard with ‘Apollo Belvedere’ & the Laocoön group, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of the Maps, and the Gallery of the Tapestries. The piéce-de-resistance is, of course, the Sistine Chapel. Your guide will prep you for your time here by telling you the stories behind the creation of the iconic frescoes as well as what they mean. When you enter, you will then be able to appreciate the full majesty of the room, spotting little details like Michelangelo’s self-portrait and the rather painful revenge he plotted for the Pope’s aide (he wasn’t his biggest fan…) From the Sistine Chapel, you'll follow your guide through a special, groups-only door taking you right into St. Peter's Basilica—skipping the long line outside. Once in St. Peter's, your guide will point out the precious art and treasures inside and share the story behind the church's 120-year construction. The Vatican is more than just a museum. It's home to the Pope and Catholicism and is one of the world's smallest yet powerful states. On this intimate tour, your guide will ensure that you get an overview of it all—from papal scandal to Renaissance masters and the day-to-day operation of Vatican City. Sites Visited: Vatican Museums Sistine Chapel Raphael Rooms Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons Pinecone Courtyard Gallery of the Candelabra Gallery of the Maps Gallery of the Tapestries St. Peter's Basilica

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What people are saying about Courtyard of the Pigna

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 11,015 reviews

The Vatican Museum is a must see when in Rome. This is NOT a tour—these are only entry tickets that allow you inside the museum and after that, you are on your own. If you are expecting a tour—this is not it. The museum is a wonder, completely beautiful. Many stairs and many steps because this thing is so huge. You could spend days looking at everything! The museum is crowded, smashed together and shuffling through. I recommend getting the before opening hours tour with breakfast if you want a smaller crowd and a better viewing experience. (We did this also through Get Your Guide).

WOW WOW!!! So much beautiful art and history! I enjoyed taking the tour myself! I spent over 5 hours. But definitely rent audio guide head set (most languages transalation) for extra 8 eruos! Nobody mentioned this to me. But we'll worth it You purchase them inside when your tour starts . I booked this the night I arrived in Rome and this was the only one available! I also booked the Colluseum tour but Definitely get a tour guide too much to learn!!! This is my first time in Rome and I definitely will continue to use this business buon viaggio!!

Easy location to find tour. Guide was great. Got right into all sights before the crowds. Tour did not include St. Peter’s Basilica as advertised.

Absolutely worth it! Would not miss it. Our guide was wonderful and extremely knowledgeable. Federica made the tour a truly memorable experience.

Sabrina was a fantastic and knowledgeable tour guide and clearly had a passion for what she was doing. Highly recommend!!