Courtyard of the Pigna

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Courtyard of the Pigna: Tours & Tickets

Courtyard of the Pigna: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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 Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter a full hour 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 the Pinecone Courtyard for 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 of the museums.

Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

2. Vatican Museums Early Entry Tour with Buffet Breakfast

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, 1.5 hours before anyone else enters the museums! While the general public waits in line outside, you’ll feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and even pancakes, flipped by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dining in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, experience a level of tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Then follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. Still closed to the general public, the Museums are quieter now than throughout the rest of the day. With only 10 people per group, you’ll have time and space to really appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, Gallery of the Candelabra and incredible Raphael Rooms. 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.

Rome: Vatican Gardens Bus Tour and Vatican Museums Visit

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

Explore the green heart of the world’s smallest state on this open minibus tour of the Vatican Gardens. Admire lush hectors of cultivated green-space. Have the option to tour the Vatican gardens with or without tickets to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Meet your guide and get assistance boarding the minibus. Uncover the secrets of this rich verdant space that occupies one third of the Vatican city's 44 hectors. Learn about these gardens which date back to the 13th century. Hear about how the gardens were enriched by initiatives of various Pontiffs, as you experience this unique encounter between nature, art, and the Christian faith. Find out about the artists, architects, and creators who took care to create this harmonious location. Take in the highlights of the Vatican Museums, from the Sistine Chapel to lesser-known gems of the collection. Visit the Hall of Maps, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra and the incredible Raphael Rooms. A definite highlight of your visit is the Sistine Chapel. Take some time to 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! As incredible as his work is, you’ll appreciate it even more up close and after you’ve seen what it takes to create a fresco. Redeem your voucher at the Touristation office then the staff will accompany you into the Museums to get your official reserved ticket.

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: Reserved Entrance

4. 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, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra and the incredible Raphael Rooms. A definite highlight of your visit is the Sistine Chapel. Take some time to 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! As incredible as his work is, you’ll appreciate it even more up close and after you’ve seen what it takes to create a fresco. Redeem your voucher at the Touristation office then the staff will accompany you into the Museums to get your official reserved ticket.

Rome: Vatican City and Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

5. 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: Sistine Chapel, Vatican & St. Peters Private Tour

6. 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.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Vatican Museums Ticket

7. Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Vatican Museums Ticket

Discover Rome at your own pace with a combined 24 or 48-hour ticket for the official hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, and a skip-the-line entrance ticket to the Vatican Museums in the Vatican City. Have fast-track entry to the Vatican Museums which means more time exploring the world’s most extensive collection of art, and less time waiting in the famously long lines. Once inside, wander the galleries at your own pace, and see masterpieces of art by celebrated artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and more. Marvel at the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, and see ancient cartography in the Hall of Maps. Go to the Pinecone Courtyard and the Gallery of Candelabras. From the open-top bus, you will enjoy privileged views of the Eternal City’s main sights, including the Spanish Steps, Colosseum, and Imperial Forum. Why not throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain or sip an authentic Italian coffee in Piazza Navona – the choice is yours. Hop on or off at any of the stops listed below: • Via Marsala • Santa Maria Maggiore • Colosseo • Circo Massimo • Piazza Venezia • Vaticano • Fontana di Trevi • Piazza Barberini

Vatican: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Small Group Tour

8. Vatican: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Small Group Tour

Skip the lines and visit the Vatican Museums on a small group tour with an expert guide. Learn in-depth knowledge about the Sistine Chapel and see it for yourself without the crowds. Visit the the Pinecone Courtyard, the Hall of the Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Pinacoteca, the Round Room, Belvedere Courtyard, Room of the Muses and Candelabra Gallery. Your guide will provide information about the Sistine Chapel before entering, as it is forbidden to talk once inside. Marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo's most important masterwork without the crowds, as you’ll be visiting at the end of the day. Enjoy this full experience in intimate groups of 10 people tops led by a five star guide.

Rome: Vatican Early Entrance Private Tour

9. Rome: Vatican Early Entrance Private Tour

Enjoy a private tour of the Vatican. Thanks to a new partnership in 2022, you can now be among the first to enter into the Museums, with access reserved for only a handful of other tour operators. Take advantage of exclusive access and viewing of the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel 30 minutes before other tours and 1 hour before the general public. Explore the highlights of the papal palace, from the Greek statues of the Lacoon to the Tapestries and the exquisite Raphael Rooms. Tailor your visit to include the aspects of the collections you want to see, whether in the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, or St. Peter’s Basilica. Your personal guide will not only enlighten you with the Vatican’s fascinating history, but share bits of papal gossip and little-known stories about the popes and artists represented.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

10. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Guided Tour

Explore the museums of Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel on your trip to Rome with a guide and skip-the-line entry. Learn about the Vatican's treasures from your guide as you stroll through its massive collections. Let your guide share stories about the Vatican's 4000-year history as you make your way through the halls. See the famous Gallery of Tapestries and view the beautifully detailed maps in the Gallery of Maps. Gaze in awe at the ancient sculptures and extravagant candelabras in the Gallery of Candelabras. See some of the treasures that once adorned imperial villas. Gain access to the Cabinet of Masks, normally closed to the public. Bathe in the sunshine in Bramante's Pinecone Courtyard and snap a picture by the bronze Pigna statue. Admire the dazzling artwork covering the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Stare up at Michelangelo's famous Creation of Adam. Finish your tour with a visit to the grand St. Peter's Basilica. Venture inside and immerse yourself in the splendor. Have the opportunity to see another of Michelangelo's famous works: La Pieta.

Other Sightseeing Options in Courtyard of the Pigna

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What people are saying about Courtyard of the Pigna

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 9,878 reviews

Alessandra guided us on the tour of the Vatican museums telling us the details and highlights of this collection of works of art. Very competent and energetic person. Alessandro guided us to the Colosseum and Imperial Forums, telling us the best of all the history and gems of Ancient Rome which, very often, is known only in a superficial way. Fantastic and recommended tour. Both guides were knowledgeable and helpful.

We had a good time and enjoyed the vatican. Unfortunately I booked a tour in Italian(double check before you book)but our guide Christian was very helpful and we got an audio tour instead which was better for us as we could go around at our own speed to view the vatican

Christian was super knowledgeable and passionate. He knew lots of suprise facts and involved us all. Organisation was very efficient and very clear .

Great knowledge. Helpful having a guide lead us around the museum as it is huge. Fabio was wonderful

This was a good tour. Very informative. Georgia was very knowledgeable and sweet.