Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open
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Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open
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Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Small-Group Tour Before Museums Open

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About this activity
This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: City Wonders, 00100 Rome Italy

Meet your small tour group limited to 20 people and your guide in central Rome.

Pass By: Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Vatican City Italy

The clavigero (key keeper) carries nearly 3,000 keys to the Vatican Museums, and every morning opens the monumental Vatican doors. He uses a key to get into each section of the museum, turning on the lights to each room for the day.
On this special VIP tour, head inside the rooms and galleries before the museum is even opened to the public with the clavigero as he finds the right key that opens each area. You’ll avoid the crazy chaos of the crowds as you follow your guide through a carefully planned route.

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

Next, continue on to the world-famous Sistine Chapel to catch sight of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Enter the chapel and have the rare chance to admire it with only a few other people. Your guide also goes inside with you for a guided visit—which has never been heard of until now.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Stanze di Raffaello, Viale Vaticano, Vatican City Italy

Visit the most famous galleries and rooms, such as the Raphael Rooms, and see a variety of ancient sculptures, paintings, relics, and medieval maps. Your guide tells you the stories behind them and the Vatican itself.

Duration: 30 minutes

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

End your experience at the Vatican Museums with a delicious breakfast in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard. Enjoy a huge spread of hot and cold breakfast foods, meats, cheeses, pastries, and pancakes. Your breakfast at the Vatican is relaxed, giving you plenty of time to sit out on the courtyard patio.
Your VIP early-entry Vatican tour ends inside the Pinecone Courtyard, so you can spend additional time exploring further, if you'd like.

Duration: 2 hours

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  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Guided visit in the Sistine Chapel before it has been opened to the public
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Breakfast
  • Entry/Admission - Sistine Chapel
  • Entry/Admission - Stanze di Raffaello
  • Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums
Not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This service ends at around 08:30AM inside the Vatican Museums.
  • Due to heightened security measures, you may experience delays in clearing security checks when entering the venue.
  • Large purses, bags, and backpacks are not allowed inside the Vatican Museums.
  • It is the responsibility of all visitors to be at the meeting point 10 minutes before departure. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated & missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded.
  • This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • This activity is not wheelchair accessible. We are also unable to accommodate strollers or baby carriages on our group tours.
  • Entrance into the Vatican Museums requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women.
  • Photography is permitted in certain sections of the Vatican Museums. Your guide will inform you of restricted areas.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
Erika H
5 | 2019-07-03

I wish I could give this review 100 stars! This tour is incredible. It may be early and it may be pricey, but it is worth every penny and every minute of missed sleep!!! The personal, private viewing that you receive on this tour cannot be matched! We saw, touched, and took photos of things others are not allowed to do!!!! The visit to the Sistine Chapel alone with this small of a group was worth it. Later in the day we went back through the chapel to enter St Peter's and the amount of people in there took my breath away! Our view was so overwhelming, I was literally brought to tears being able to view Michaelangelo's masterpiece in silence, reverence and with the ability to photograph which other visitors are not able to do!!! Please if you don't do anything else in Rome, do this tour! I could talk about it for days. The finale - breakfast in the courtyard was also very nice as well.

Joseph F
5 | 2019-07-03

This tour was overall an excellent and one of a kind experience. Our tour guide Lindi was extremely knowledgeable and enhanced the experience exponentially. Would highly recommend if you want an unparalleled way to see the Vatican.

Jennifer B
5 | 2019-07-03

This tour was amazing! Yes, it is pricey and yes it is early, but both are totally worth it. Exploring the museum with just the small group, in a quiet, uncrowded setting allowed us to take it all in without distractions. Lindy, our tour guide, was amazing! She was very knowledgeable, easy to understand, and was very engaging.

5 | 2019-07-03

First of all, our guide Tiffany was fantastic. She has been one of the guides for awhile and the information and insights she provides regarding the artwork and treasures are great. Her rapport with the Vatican staff adds to the special feeling you get with this tour. Your time in the Sistine Chapel is something you can't get any other way. Only 20 people and you are allowed to take pictures. Visiting the Vatican museums as doors are unlocked and lights are turned on is incredible. After the breakfast at the end of the tour, we went back into the museums and the Sistine Chapel to make our way to St. Peter's. The "skip the line" tours (crowds) were now inside and it reaffirmed how lucky we were to have taken this tour.

Renee L
5 | 2019-07-03

This was one of the highlights of my trip! To see the Sistine chapel with only 18 people was phenomenal. Liny was excellent! She made the history of all we saw come alive and made the experience more meaningful! Don't miss this tour!

Brian E
5 | 2019-07-03

Our entire family loved this tour...just amazing! My youngest son, 8, got to unlock the door to the Sistine Chapel and turn on the lgihts for the day!!! Our guide was excellent as well. Highly recommend this tour!

Bryan R
5 | 2019-04-29

I cannot express the inherent value in this tour. Given the amount of people they cram into the Vatican Museums (yes, even for the "Skip the Line" offerings), this is worth every penny. Becky was a fantastic guide who balanced the need to keep the group moving (after all, the keymasters need to do their jobs!) while also explaining the necessary details and nuances of what we were seeing as we opened the museum for the day.

5 | 2018-12-13

Wonderful..wonderful .Able to take pictures in Sistine chapel! So beautiful! Guided thru museums also. Great breakfast at the end and short cut to St Peter's Basilica. Opening doors with clavegero ...exciting!!!Very intimate and informational. Tiffany...OUR GUIDE...very professional and spoke perfect English very eloquently. SHE made the tour fun too!! Very best way to see this and money well spent. Last time I saw with throngs of people..ugh!

Finola T
5 | 2018-12-04

This was an incredible experience and we definitely do not regret the cost, totally worth it. Opening the doors, turning on the lights, no crowds to battle thru or to obscure any view, an amazing tour guide Tiffany - all in all just fantastic. Tiffany was interesting, knowledgeable and extremely nice, she also gave restaurant tips which turned out to be spot on. Do the tour, you will not regret it.

James W
5 | 2018-11-19

Excellent, unforgettable experience. It was worth every cent. The Sistine Chapel was amazing. Words cannot describe the experience. It sent chills upMy spine when the lights were turned on. Amazing.

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