You'll want to fill it up, when you learn about our world famous Colosseum Underground Tour!
This is a walking tour and involves occasional walking up&down the stairs.
Follow your Vatican guide past the long line and go directly inside the Vatican Museums.
With a visual aid in hand, be among the first people to walk into the spectacular Sistine Chapel and admire the masterpiece of Michelangelo, leaving the crowds waiting in line outside.
Marvel at one of the largest and most impressive art collections in the world as you visit our favorite collections.
Enjoy the amazing views and open space of the Pinecone Courtyard, one of the many open spaces within the Vatican State and Museums.
Get up close and personal to works of art that date between the 12th and 19th century painted by the likes of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo, Guido Reni and Giotto.
In the Bramante Courtyard, get up close to some of the world's most iconic statues in the world, including Laocoön and His Sons.
How big would you build your bathtub if you ruled the world, or the Roman Empire? Witness just how far Emperor Nero went to bathe in ultimate luxury.
This marble torso is more than it seems. Our guide will explain just how significant this broken statue is and why you can thank it for inspiring some of Michelangelo's most famous works of art.
Originally an open "loggia", this gallery was walled and closed some 200 years ago. The statues and candelabras on display here date as far back as the 3rd century B.C.
Some of the masterpieces in this gallery were designed after the cartoons drawn by Raphael. Look out for a tapestry that includes a spectacular optical illusion.
This is a true highlight of the Vatican Museums. On display here are incredible frescoes of maps.
Decorated for Pope Julius II by the hand of Raphael, your next stop on your Vatican group tour is to the apartments adorned in Raphael’s priceless frescos, including his glorious "School of Athens”.
Visit the rooms that once served as the apartments of Pope Alexander VI. With all the scandal around this pope and his family, you'll wish these walls could talk.
A detailed itinerary tour of the Vatican would not be complete without a tour of St Peter's Basilica, the most important church in all of Catholicism.
One of the hidden treasures of St. Peter's is a statue celebrated today as one of the greatest ever made. It's also the only piece of art ever signed by Michelangelo.
One of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's most celebrated works sits in the center of the Basilica. Marvel at the gorgeous dome - directly below it is St. Peter's tomb.
Our final is a stop to the Papal Tombs below the floor of the basilica. Visit the the crypts that hold the tombs of hundreds of ex-popes.
CLIMB ST. PETER'S DOME If you're up to it, access some amazing views of Rome from St. Peter's Dome. The climb is worth it.
Enter an Hour Before the General Opening
Visit the Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
Passionate English-Speaking Guide
Are you fascinated by the Vatican's history and all the priceless works of art inside? On the Detailed Itinerary Vatican Tour, visit the best highlights of the Vatican Museums, as well as the most intriguing hidden gems. With the help of a passionate Vatican guide, learn the most interesting and bizarre stories related to the Vatican City State, the popes, the collections housed at the Vatican Museums and the celebrated artists who shaped Western civilization. If you want to experience the Vatican Museums as in-depth as possible, this is the best Vatican tour for you. This five hour tour includes:
Before anything else on this in-depth Vatican tour, visit the Sistine Chapel before it’s open to the general public. This is how Michelangelo’s masterpiece was meant to be experienced. Since the chapel is inside the museums, entrance is included in your Vatican tour. Now that the chapel is restored, every detail and color used in the treasured work of art is visible. Since the Sistine Chapel is a place of worship, speaking inside is not allowed. Since our guide cannot explain the frescoes while you are inside, we provide you with a map/handout for reference before you enter.
One of the most rewarding rooms at the Vatican Museums is the Pinacoteca, also known as the Vatican Art Gallery. Arranged through a series of rooms, in chronological order and divided by art school, the Pinacoteca is home to some of the most impressive paintings in the Vatican. Get up close and personal to a total of 460 works of art, painted by the likes of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo, Guido Reni and Giotto. The Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) is one of the more modern sections of the Vatican Museums and is often overlooked on other Vatican Tours.
Another hidden gem of the Vatican, rarely visited by Vatican tours, is the Carriage Pavilion. This underground exhibit houses an impressive collection of historical vehicles used by different popes, including a Fiat Campagnola. This Fiat is known around the world because this is where Pope John Paul II was standing on the day of his attempted assassination in St. Peter’s Square back in 1981. The collection also contains three Popemobiles and the Renault 4 donated to Pope Francis in 2013.
Next up is a visit to the Bramante Courtyard (designed by Bramante Lazzari), home to the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso. Learn about the myths and legends associated with these iconic statues, before visiting the biggest and oldest bathtubs you’ll ever see. Nero's Bathtub measures an incredible 25 ft in diameter; the massive tub is made from a marble so precious that there is no way to recreate it today.
Explore the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and our personal favorite, the Gallery of the Maps. Based on painted topographical maps of Italy by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti, the Gallery of Maps is both beautiful and informative. The painted frescoes reveal how Renaissance Italians saw themselves and their surroundings. Predating a unified Italy by nearly 300 years, the Gallery of Maps shows the length and breadth of the peninsula circa 1580. One of the most opulent and impressive corridors in the Vatican Museums, this collection extends for 120 meters.
The term Renaissance, literally means "rebirth" and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages. In this time period, a great revival in art, literature and learning occurred. Raphael was one of Rome's most famous Renaissance artists who encompassed all the ideals of a Renaissance man. He designed and frescoed multiple rooms connected to the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, see one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens.
Downstairs from the Raphael Rooms and occupied by by Borgia Pope Alexander VI, these private chambers were frescoed by early Renaissance artist Pinturicchio. A co-pupil of Raphael’s under master Perugino, Pinturicchio had a penchant for embedding fake jewels and other three dimensional objects like metal saddle studs in his frescoes. The Borgia Apartments also contain another hidden gem - the first European depiction of Native Americans.
Skip the lines to St. Peter’s Basilica and enter through a special door to enter the most opulent church in the world. Once inside, admire celebrated artwork including La Baldacchino, La Pieta, the Statue of St. Peter and more. Then, go underneath the church’s floors to visit the tombs of hundreds of Popes, as well as a Swedish Queen who converted to Roman Catholicism. Learn the stories behind some of the most most fascinating leaders of the Roman Catholic church, as you visit their final resting places.
Important: Please note you cannot return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the Basilica. Inform your guide at the beginning of the tour. Also, if you would like to stay in St. Peter's Basilica longer, don’t leave with your guide to take photos in the piazza. The security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended. The guide will not explain much of anything from the piazza so we recommend you stay and explore on your own after the tour is over.
If you want to experience some of the best views in Rome, climb St. Peter’s Dome. Before leaving St. Peter’s Basilica, ask our guide how to access the dome. Either skip over 300 steps by catching an elevator part of the way, or climb the entire way to the top like a champ. Tickets to the dome cost about 5-7 euros, but trust us, the views are incredible.
Other tours you may like:
- Colosseum Underground Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
- Local Rome Food Tour in Trastevere
- Venice Discovery Walking & Boat Tour
- Florence Walking Tour with David
In front of Caffé Vaticano – on Viale Vaticano, 100. This is across the street from the Vatican Museum Entrance. Your guide will be there holding a sign that says “The Roman Guy.”
Where to Meet
What to Bring
Student (18-25 w/ I.D.)
Child (5 & under)
The Roman Guy offers a full refund on Group Tour cancellations made more than 72 hours prior to your tour taking place. Cancellations made within 72 hours of your tour taking place cannot be refunded but we will do our best to accommodate you on another tour or date, pending availability.
The Roman Guy offers a full refund on Private Tour cancellations made more than 7 days prior to your tour taking place. Cancellations made within 7 days of your tour taking place cannot be refunded but we will do our best to accommodate you on another tour or date, pending availability.
Be prepared to be walking or on your feet for the duration of the tour. If that makes you nervous due to a physical condition, contact us for more information or go with a private tour that will move at your pace. Thanks!
+1 888 290 5595 Toll free from USA or Canada
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5 / 5
I selected the detailed itinerary of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica. It was amazing and so worth it. The five hours passes quickly.I selected the detailed itinerary of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Basilica. It was amazing and so worth it. The five hours passes quickly. The tour can be tough on the feet and tiresome for some (on my tour); however, the difference between entering before the public and after the public is invaluable. I'm not sure what I might have seen that the general public didn't; so in that regard, I'm not sure the tour was exceptional. But my guide's (Maria L.) knowledge and personality was wonderful. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Thank you, Roman Guy! If I'm ever in Italy again, I will definitely hit you up!..more
My son and I enjoyed a tour led by Franco. It was a 5-hour tour, so quite challenging, but we had regular breaks. Franco was excellent - very informatMy son and I enjoyed a tour led by Franco. It was a 5-hour tour, so quite challenging, but we had regular breaks. Franco was excellent - very informative and explained things in a way that those without a degree in art history could understand. He was mindful of a lady in the group with a slight mobility issue, which was very thoughtful of him. The tour itself of the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel was extraordinary. We saw magnificent works of art and the splendour of a different era. We went through the galleries at a good pace. For those who wish to spend more time in the museums, there is the option to do so, but it means leaving the group and the guide, and visiting St Peter's Basilica on your own. I highly recommend this long tour. Anything less than 5 hours and you'll miss so much. Also, skipping the line is a must - the queue to enter the Vatican museums was depressingly long on the day of our tour. If you don't mind waiting in line for a couple of hours (at least!), by all means, do so. Otherwise, sign up for a guided tour. It's money we'll spent. Thank you, Franco. It was nice to bump into you a few days later! ..more
What a great 5 hour tour - and Franco was absolutely brilliant. His 27 years experience showed at every turn of the tour, and I don't know if there's What a great 5 hour tour - and Franco was absolutely brilliant. His 27 years experience showed at every turn of the tour, and I don't know if there's anything he doesn't know about the place! We met at 7.30 am and entered at 8 am ahead of the huge crowds that had to wait until 9 am to enter. This was key to the first half of the tour as we were (literally) some of the first people to see inside the museums - you get what you pay for on this tour, as by 11 am the place was packed with other visitors and it was almost impossible for any of them to see the detail of what they were experiencing - well worth the extra money spent up front to get ahead of the crowds. We were also very lucky in that there was only 4 of us on the tour - which made it that little extra special. The tour is around 5 hours in length, and there's time to take a break at one of the cafes inside (prices were very good) - however as there's so much to see, much of the time is spent walking - wear comfy shoes! The whole tour is an experience we'll never forget - and made so much better with Franco's knowledge. I'd highly recommend this tour!..more
Raffa, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable of history and the various sites. She spoke at a great pace and transitioned from one area to the next, Raffa, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable of history and the various sites. She spoke at a great pace and transitioned from one area to the next, pointing out interesting facts. I definitely will purchase other tours from The Roman Guy!..more
My wife and I enjoyed our time visiting the Vatican listening with intent to all the details along with the story-telling, which definitely made ourMy wife and I enjoyed our time visiting the Vatican listening with intent to all the details along with the story-telling, which definitely made our learning experience a very entertaining one.
The guides wealth of information was phenomenal ,a tour very well done...more