A quick 2-hour tour which covers the essentials!
The Sistine Chapel Private tour is a great tour for those who wish to start their day early and avoid the crowd and heat of the day.
- Sistine Chapel
- Papal Grottoes
- St Peter’s Basilica
Sistine Chapel Private Tour With Early Access and Private Express Tour of St Peter’s Basilica
2 hrs. | Start: 7.20 a.m. | Participants : Max 12| Headsets provided
Meeting Point : Our guide will be standing outside “Caffè Vaticano”, Viale Vaticano 100.
The Vatican Museums will open at 8.00 a.m. and you will be walking past the magnificent galleries to reach the Sistine Chapel. Your experienced tour guide is extremely passionate about art and history and will share details of the beautiful artworks , frescos, sculptors, and artefacts you will come across on this tour. As this is an English-speaking tour, your guide will also be able to offer you a personalised experience as the maximum participants in the tour is limited to 12.
You will meet your guide at 7.20 a.m. and be handed out headsets. Set them up so that you are ready to listen clearly to your guide once you are inside. The Vatican Museums normally open at 9.00 a.m. to the general public, but with this special tour, you will start an hour early.
You will walk through some of the most amazing galleries such as the Gallery of Maps, Tapestry Gallery and the Candelabra Gallery. You will learn more about who commissioned the artwork in each of these galleries and why they have become so famous.
Entering the Sistine Chapel in the early morning is a magical experience. The paintings in this Chapel are centuries old but invoke strong feelings on visitors when they view the masterpieces. Michelangelo played a big in drawing in millions of visitors each year. Commissioned by Pope Julius II, Michelangelo was in his thirties when he started work on the ‘Creation of the World’. It took him four years to complete it and the work largely depicted stories from the Book of Genesis. It was not easy for Michelangelo during that Renaissance art period as he had competition from other talented artists such as Bramante and Raphael who were also in the good books of the Pope.
Two decades later, Michelangelo made his return to the Sistine Chapel and painted ‘Last Judgement.’ It is a very moving piece which shows God’s dilemma in choosing who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. Your guide will point out to you interesting hidden meanings and stories behind the frescos. You will realise the significance of this masterpiece, and its lasting impact on visitors.
Pictures are not allowed to be taken inside the Sistine Chapel. Please abide by the rules. You will have some free time in the Sistine Chapel to explore on your own and take in the breathtaking paintings and frescos.
Your access to St Peter’s Basilica will be through a skip the line door. You will see the beautiful dome of the Basilica and more artwork by artists of that time in both the Baroque and Renaissance style. When Michelangelo was a teenager, he sculpted what was to become one of the most recognisable symbols in the Christian world, the Pieta. It is a sculpture of Mary holding Jesus in her arms after his crucifixion. You will also see the beautiful bronze Baroque ‘Baldacchino’ . Right beneath it lie the Papal Grottoes where you will see the Tomb of St. Peter’s and other ancient Popes.
Experience the Sistine Chapel and visit the Papal Grottoes!
Important Reminder – Sistine Chapel Private Tour With Early Access and Private Express Tour of St Peter’s Basilica
- This tour is not ideal for wheelchair-bound visitors as well as visitors with hearing disabilities. We are more than happy to organise private tours for wheelchair and hearing disabled visitors. Please contact us.
- Please wear comfortable shoes as there is a fair bit of walking.
- There is a dress code to the Vatican which applies to children too. Shoulders and knees must be covered.
- If St Peter’s Basilica is closed for a religious function at short notice as it is a working church, you will be spending more time in the Vatican gallery’s with your private guide.
- The Vatican Museums get rather busy during summer and after a bank holiday.
- If a disabled visitor is able to produce a certificate showing that they are more than 74% disabled, entry to the Vatican museums is free of charge. This free entry is also extended to the to their companion. If you have a disability and are not sure if you’re eligible, please contact us at the time of booking so that we may assist you further.
- This tour is not available on Wednesdays and Sundays.