Explore the incomparable Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica one hour before the public opening to see these timeless masterpieces before the galleries become crowded with thousands of visitors, estimated at 25,000 every day!
This small group tour starts with a short introduction to the Vatican Museums, after which you will briskly proceed through the corridors to be one of the first inside the Sistine Chapel. One of the most famous painted interior spaces in the world, the chapel's decoration was started in 1481 by Renaissance masters, including Botticelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio and Luca Signorelli. Michelangelo began the ceiling in 1508 and spent four years here under difficult conditions, from extreme temperatures to weeks of contorted painting positions. Two of the most moving scenes are the Creation of Adam and the Expulsion from the Garden.
Continue your group tour through the Vatican Museums where your guide will introduce you to its impressive art collections. Admire the spectacular Gallery of the Candelabra, the dazzling optical illusions inside the Gallery of the Tapestries and the detailed maps of Italy frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of Maps. Not to be missed are the Raphael Rooms, regarded by critics as one of the greatest Renaissance painting cycles ever done.
The tour will end in St. Peter's Basilica. Here you will find Michelangelo's exquisite marble statue of the "Pieta'," right next to the tomb of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 and was made a saint in 2014.
Participants of this tour are both Select Italy and non-Select Italy clients; maximum number of participants is 13.
Please note that transportation to/from the meeting point is NOT included in the total price. Select Italy will be happy to arrange a private transfer for a supplemental fee.
Please also note that you will not be allowed to enter the museum without proper attire - no shorts, miniskirts or capri-style pants, no sleeveless shirts or bare shoulders.
Furthermore, please note that on Wednesday mornings, when the Papal Audience takes place, there is the chance of the St Peter's Basilica being closed to the public.
Sites Included: Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Square and Basilica
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