Rome Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Early Morning Express Tour
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Rome Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Early Morning Express Tour
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Rome Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica Early Morning Express Tour

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Stop At: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

Before the Tour -

The Early Entrance Vatican Highlights tour meets at 7:30 am for access to the Vatican Museums at 8 am when doors open for "privileged entrance" groups. Before you skip the long general admission line to enter the Vatican Museums your professional, English-speaking guide will explain the history of the Sistine Chapel. Since there is no speaking inside the chapel, you'll get all the info ahead of time to ensure you are ready and well versed when you enter this spectacular space.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Vatican Museums, Viale Vaticano, 00120 Vatican City Italy

The Best Vatican Galleries

Explore one of our favorite collections, the Gallery of the Maps, as well as the Gallery of the Tapestries and Gallery of the Candelabra. Based on topographical maps of Italy painted by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti, the Gallery of Maps is a beautiful and informative experience. Predating a unified Italy by about 300 years, the Gallery of Maps portrays the estimated length and breadth of the peninsula during the late 1500s.

Duration: 40 minutes

Stop At: Sistine Chapel, Citta del Vaticano 1, 00120 Vatican City Italy

The Sistine Chapel’s Ceiling

The sheer scale of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and awe-inspiring quality of the artistic work is a jaw-dropping combination. As you stand beneath the frescoes, it’s impossible not to appreciate how difficult it must have been for Michelangelo to spend years painting this masterpiece while standing upright on wooden scaffolds. As the chapel is inside of the Vatican Museums, entrance is included in your Vatican tour. Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, visitors are not allowed to speak once inside. Our guide cannot explain the frescoes to the group once inside the Sistine Chapel. We will provide you with a map/handout for reference prior to entering.

The Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, so both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to a portion of your Vatican tour. We understand the summers in Rome are hot - a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza di San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

St. Peter's Basilica and the Papal Tombs - (Except on Wednesdays!)

Skip the long lines to enter the jaw-dropping St. Peter's Basilica directly through the Sistine Chapel. Once inside, you’ll admire masterpieces that include the Baldacchino, La Pieta, the statue of St. Peter and more.

Important: If you wish to stay in the Vatican Museums toward the end of your tour, you must forgo the guided visit of St. Peter’s Basilica. If you choose to do this, you’ll lose the chance to skip the line to St Peter’s with our guide, who takes you through a special door in the Sistine Chapel. If you decide to leave the tour early, remember to return your headset to the tour guide. Instead, if you follow our guide to St Peter’s and would like to stay in the basilica longer, or would like to climb St. Peter's Dome on your own, do not leave with your guide to take photos in the piazza once the tour is over. The regular security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: St. Peter's Basilica, Piazza di San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

This tour will also take you underneath the basilica to visit the burial place of many special popes, as well as Queen Christina, a Swedish Queen with a peculiar history.

Duration: 15 minutes

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  • Professional and passionate local guide
  • Small-group tour size to guarantee a great experience
  • Headsets for groups of 6 or more
  • Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums
  • Entry/Admission - Sistine Chapel
  • Guaranteed to skip the lines
Not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesdays
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
  • Please note: large bags, backpacks, luggage, and tripods cannot be brought into the Vatican Museums. There is a coat-check at the museum entrance; however, the end point of the tour is far from the museum entrance and it will take about 20 minutes to walk back to pick up your belongings. Leaving large items at your hotel is highly recommended
  • Please note: in the event there are unexpected closings or an area usually covered on the tour is unavailable, your guide will still provide explanations of that area from the outside. You will also be shown an extra site or gallery to compensate the closed area
  • Service animals allowed
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
Carol E
5 | 2017-10-24

Our guide was exceptional! We've been on many tours with wonderful guides, but this woman was by far the best. Incredible. Easy to find the meeting spot, easy check in. Well planned use of the time. Our guide was so knowledgeable the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and Basilica came alive for us in a way we hadn't imagined possible. Simply amazing.

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