While we’re very proud of our customer care and operations teams, we know that that the most important element of our private Vatican tours is the guide. That’s why we’ve spent years building a team of the best Vatican guides out there: art historians, architecture buffs, expert English-speakers and natural storytellers who receive rave-reviews on TripAdvisor and in our own feedback forms.
These walking encyclopedias will take you on an adventure through the best of the Vatican collection, borrowing from art, history and a little bit of local gossip, to give you a glimpse of the bigger picture. The Vatican Museums are the home of the world’s best art collection, but they’re also the home of the Pope, and the centre of Christianity. To only consider the art of the Vatican would be to merely scratch the surface of the world’s smallest, most fascinating state.
As well as delving into the Vatican’s history, from the martyrdom of St. Peter to the formation of the modern nation of the Vatican City (complete with sovereign government, postal system, flag, and, of course, the Swiss Guard), we will explore the major works that the museums have to offer. From some of the best ancient sculptures in the world to Raphael’s School of Athens, the Vatican boasts not only some of the most pivotal works of the Renaissance, but of the classical Roman and Greek eras too, including the stunning Hellenistic Laocon, the renowned classical Apoxyomenos, and the world-famous Apollo Belvedere.
The pièce de résistance of course, is the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo spent eight years of his life on his now-famous frescoes. By the time we arrive at the chapel, you’ll know not only the story behind the paintings, but what they mean and why they’re so renowned, key aspects of fully appreciating Michelangelo’s masterpiece.
We head to St. Peter’s Basilica, allowing you to skip the line that often stretches around the piazza at the height of the season. Built over St. Peter’s tomb, the basilica is one of the world’s most important Christian sites. It’s also one of the world’s most striking architectural spaces, taking the best minds of the Renaissance more than 120 years to complete. And its history is just as jaw-dropping. Inside, we’ll explore Michelangelo’s Pietà, Bernini’s Baldachin, and the chair of St. Peter, among other treasures.
With your own private Vatican tour guide, you will have time to ask all the questions you can think of, linger over the works that interest you, and stop at pieces you may otherwise have passed. Part indulgence, part education, our private Vatican tours are the perfect extra ingredient for an enriching Italian vacation.