Although the exact course of the tour depends on our guide’s specialty, our interests, and what galleries might be open that day, we often begin our time together with the chronologically arranged picture gallery known as the Pinacoteca. This is a great place to start because the paintings and other artworks included here provide an excellent overview of art history from the late medieval to high Renaissance periods. From here, we’ll traverse the halls of the Vatican palaces, visiting the most important rooms of the museums, until we reach the Sistine Chapel. As we walk, we’ll discuss the cultural and artistic climate in which Michelangelo worked painting the ceiling and later the Last Judgment, preparing ourselves for the exquisite artistic craftsmanship we’ll get to see now.
To assist you in planning your trip to the Vatican, we have created an informative resources page - How to Tour the Vatican.
Please keep in mind that the Vatican is generally more crowded on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. It is best to book this tour on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, in the early afternoon when the morning crowds are more likely to have thinned out.
Further Explorations of The Vatican
What is a small group tour?
Does this walk "skip the line"?
Giovanna is an art historian and Rome native. She has a Master's degree in art history from the Sapienza University of Rome with a specialization in Modern and Medieval art. She works as an editorial consultant for a number of cultural organizations in Rome including the Superintendency of Archaeology of Rome. Giovanna is fluent in Italian (mother tongue), English, and French, and has a unique interest in Mannerism.
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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