- 3.5 Hours
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Early entry access tickets
- 3.5 hours with a Ph.D. or MA-level guide
Upon entrance this tour will start off in the Vatican Museums, discussing papal history as you start on the ‘percoso classico’, the path to some of the world’s most famous ancient and Renaissance paintings and sculptures. Along the way you may make a number of stops depending on your interests, including the Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and maybe the Pinacoteca as well, connecting the dots between the history and aesthetic significance of these masterpieces as you stroll. You will benefit from some extra space as you navigate the hallways thanks to your early entrance.
Having been fully briefed by your expert guide when you meet, you will then have the opportunity to enter the Sistine Chapel and admire the intricacy and grandeur of Michelangelo's most admired work.
Your last stop will be St. Peter’s Basilica, where you’ll gaze upon the profound beauty of Michelangelo’s Pietà and survey the church’s celebrated architectural features, before heading out to St. Peter’s Square to finish off with a peek at the Swiss Guards.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
While it is possible to visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in a wheelchair, there is no wheelchair access from the Sistine Chapel to St Peter's Basilica. If you use a wheelchair, please contact us to discuss alternate options.
Does this tour include the Raphael Rooms?
They are one of the most visited parts of the Museums, and often become extremely congested, especially during the summer. Our experts typically like to curate a unique tour route that includes areas less explored, with exceptional work worth seeing with fewer crowds. You can request to visit the Raphael Rooms at the start of your tour and your expert can adapt the tour route to include them, please just note this means you'll likely be unable to see other parts of the Museum due to time restrictions.
Why is this tour special compared to other Vatican tours?
Context is proud to offer clients a very unique and exclusive 8 am first entry into the Vatican Museums’ doors, guaranteed to be reserved only to a handful of other collaborating tour operators. This means that you will be among the first to enter both the Museums' galleries and the Sistine Chapel, before the larger daytime crowds flood in.
Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in Medieval and Modern Art History and Classical Antiquities. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist. For many years, she has combined her philological research with her work as a university instructor, museum educator and professional tourist guide.
Olivia is a Rome licensed guide and an expert art historian who has worked as a main contributor to the award-winning Eyewitness Guide to Rome. She combines this role with her job as a professor, teaching a course at the Lorenzo de Medici School in Rome on Roman civilization. In addition she has contributed to the National Geographic Lost Cities of the Ancient World. Olivia infuses her discussion of Rome with a sense of what it's like to grow up in the city and be Roman.
Originally from England, Richard has lived in Rome for the last fourteen years. He holds a Master's degree in medieval and twentieth-century history from London University and has a broad-minded and synthetic approach to understanding Rome. Richard works quite frequently with institutional travel organizations, such as museums and church organizations, and as a result spends much of his time traveling all over Europe. He brings this cosmopolitan and pan-European experience to bear on his work with us in Rome, constantly making connections to other cities and countries in the course of his lectures and seminars.
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