You'll want to fill it up, when you learn about our world famous Colosseum Underground Tour!
There will be plenty of walking and also going up & down the stairs as we cross between galleries on different levels.
Follow your Vatican guide past the long general public line and go directly to the "special entrance" area to access the Vatican Museums at 8:00am.
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
In order to enter the Sistine Chapel, both men and women must cover their knees and shoulders. Otherwise, you may be refused entry to this 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.
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 and Leonardo. 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. Back in the day, pontiffs rarely left Rome. In order to explore the Italian peninsula without endangering his life, Pope Gregory XIII commissioned 40 giant meticulous maps. Most of these maps measure more than 15 feet by 16 feet, and the end result is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The period in European civilization that immediately followed the Middle Ages is called the Renaissance. Raphael, one of the most famous Renaissance artists, designed and frescoed a series of papal apartments now called the Stanze di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms). One of the most celebrated works on display here is the School of Athens - a painting that represents a gathering of the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists. In an early version of a selfie, Raphael even included himself in the painting. See if you can spot him.
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.
Except on Wednesdays
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 the 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. Please note: if your Vatican tour lands on a Wednesday, St. Peter's is not open for tours. This is because Papal Mass takes place on Wednesday mornings.
Important: Remember, it isn’t possible to return to the Vatican Museums from St. Peter’s Basilica. If you want more time inside the museums, you must forgo the guided tour of the basilica. Also, if you’d like to stay in St. Peter's Basilica longer, don't leave with the guide to take photos in the piazza. Because the security line is long and re-entry on your own is not recommended, we suggest you stay inside St. Peter’s and explore on your own after the tour concludes.
Q: Is there a dress code to enter the religious sites on this tour?
A: We ask both men and women to cover knees and shoulders, otherwise you may be refused entry to religious sites and miss out on a portion of your tour. We understand the summers in Rome can be hot, so a great alternative is to bring a shawl/scarf/sweater with you. That way, you can cover your knees and shoulders when necessary.
Q: Does this tour always include St. Peter's Basilica?
A: St. Peter's Basilica is closed on Wednesday's in the morning due to the papal audience. We still run the tour because it might be your only day in Rome! Instead, we visit some of the most iconic statues in the world and Emperor Nero's enormous marble bathtub.
Q: Does the tour go inside at 7:30 am without waiting in any lines?
A: As an accredited tour operator we do not have to wait in the ticket line, but we still have to wait in a security line. For this reason, we leave the meeting point as early as possible and get in the security line reserved for tour operators. The doors open for us at 8 am, an hour before the general public.
Q: What are the chances my tour will be cancelled or the Vatican will close something?
A: We run the tour rain or shine all year round. Although it is rare, sometimes part of the Vatican City closes for special religious events. If an area normally covered on a tour is closed, our guide will still provide explanations of the closed areas from outside. Plus, we will show you an extra site or gallery to compensate.
Q: I have some doubts about my mobility. Is this tour right for me?
A: If you have any doubts about your mobility, we strongly suggest you take a private Vatican tour.
Where to Meet
What to Bring
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
+39 06 9480 4747 From Italy
5 / 5
Excelent tour!!! Very detailed, and our guide Ana made it really enjoyable! She’s a delight! So full of knowledge and really enjoys sharing it! Money Excelent tour!!! Very detailed, and our guide Ana made it really enjoyable! She’s a delight! So full of knowledge and really enjoys sharing it! Money and time really well spent! 🙌🏻 ..more
Maria Teresa Naranjo
Ami made history come to life with her astounding knowledge and passion! We truly had a wonderful and educational 5hr tour with Ami that was the shiniAmi made history come to life with her astounding knowledge and passion! We truly had a wonderful and educational 5hr tour with Ami that was the shining light of our Rome experience. Truly grateful! 😄😁🤗..more
This was a wonderful 5 hour tour of the Vatican. Our tour guide Federica B was incredible. She was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sitesThis was a wonderful 5 hour tour of the Vatican. Our tour guide Federica B was incredible. She was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sites. We learned so much and were able to enjoy the beauty of the Vatican despite the crowds...more
We took two tours with the Roman Guy. 5 hour Vatican Tour with Raf as our guide and Colosseum tour with restricted access to arena floor and under groWe took two tours with the Roman Guy. 5 hour Vatican Tour with Raf as our guide and Colosseum tour with restricted access to arena floor and under ground with Loretta as or guide.
We loved the vibe we got from Roman guy from booking and through to the tours. Both our guides were extremely knowledgeable, managed the groups efficiently and we learnt so much along the way. We would highly recommend these tours and the Roman Guy!