Vatican "Under the Stars" Private Evening Tour
An Evening Tour of the Vatican Museums
There's no better way to end your day in Rome than with a leisurely private guided tour through the Vatican Museums at sunset. The heat and stress of the daytime crowds slowly melt away as you only encounter only a tenth of the regular visitors.
What you get with this tour
What you will see on this tour
- St. Peter's Basilica Views
- Pinecone Courtyard
- Pio-Clementine Collection
- Gallery of the Candelabra
- Gallery of Tapestries
- Gallery of Maps
- Immaculate Conception
- Raphael Rooms
- Borgia Apartments
- Sistine Chapel
- Michelangelo's Ceiling
- Keep Exploring
Are you looking for unusual things to do in Rome at night? Are you fascinated by the priceless works of art inside the Vatican Museums? On the this private Vatican night tour, visit the best highlights of the Vatican Museums after the sun sets. Led by a private Vatican guide, visit the incredible collections of the Vatican Museums minus the heat and the crowds. Accessing the Vatican Museums after normal closing hours is a surreal experience - don’t miss the opportunity to do something different on your trip to Rome. This private 2-hour tour includes:
- - After-hours access to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
- - A private English-speaking guide with expertise in art history
- - Access to the treasures inside the Vatican without the heat and crowds
Named for the giant pinecone that adorns one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the Vatican Museums, the Pinecone Courtyard was designed by Donato Bramante. From here, catch an amazing view of St. Peter’s Dome. The courtyard where the pinecone stands was originally part of the Cortile del Belvedere that connected the palace of Pope Innocent VIII with the Sistine Chapel.
Octagonal Belvedere Courtyard
The Vatican’s Pio-Clementino Museum is an incredible collection of ancient Greek and Roman statues. In the octagonal Belvedere Courtyard, the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön and His Sons and the Belvedere Torso statues take center stage. After learning the stories and mythology behind these famed works of art, visit the biggest and oldest bathtubs you’ll ever see. Nero’s Bathtub measures an incredible 25 ft in diameter. Take a close look at the red marble the bathtub is made of - it’s so rare the tub can never be recreated.
The Best Collections of the Vatican Museums
This private Vatican night tour includes the Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the Maps. A favorite collection of many Vatican visitors, the Gallery of the Maps features topographical maps of Italy painted by Dominican Italian friar Ignazio Danti. Providing insights into the way Renaissance Italians saw themselves and their surroundings, the maps predate a unified Italy by nearly 300 years. The collection extends for 120 meters and boasts one of the most impressive corridors in the Vatican Museums.
The Raphael Rooms and The School of Athens
Raphael was one of Rome’s most famous Renaissance artists. In constant competition with Michelangelo, he designed and frescoed multiple rooms connected to the Vatican Museums. Among other masterpieces, visit one of Raphael’s most famous works of art, The School of Athens. A depiction of philosophy, the painting represents all the greatest mathematicians, philosophers and scientists sharing ideas. In an early version of a selfie, Raphael included himself into the painting! Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle, engaged in dialogue, take center stage in the masterpiece.
Pinturicchio and the Borgia Apartments
The Borgia Apartments are comprised of a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. They were created for personal use by Pope Alexander VI (Rodrígo de Borgia, 1492-1503) and frescoed by early Renaissance artist Bernardino di Betto, nicknamed “Pinturicchio”. This apartment suite was closed off by Julius II, who refused to live in rooms formerly occupied by his despised predecessor. Until the rooms’ reopening at the end of the 19th century, the dynamic frescoes were obscured in black crepe.
The Sistine Chapel After Hours
If you want to avoid the normal Sistine Chapel crowds, going to the Vatican at night is the perfect solution. This private Vatican evening tour concludes in the Sistine Chapel, the place every Vatican visitor wants to see. Since the Sistine Chapel is inside the Vatican Museums, the entrance fee is included in the cost of this tour. Only when you enter the Sistine Chapel is it clear how high the ceiling is and how many frescos there are.
Important: Since the Sistine Chapel is a sacred place, 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.
Free Time to Explore
If you wish to stay inside the Vatican Museums after the tour, no problem! The museums remain open another few hours after the tour finishes, giving you plenty of time to revisit your favorite works of art. If you’re hungry after taking in all of the beauty, ask your personal guide where to eat near the Vatican. You definitely deserve a pizza, plate of pasta, or both.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to meet?
Between Hotel Alimandi and Caffé Vaticano, at the top of the big staircase (Viale Vaticano, 100). A representative will be there holding a sign with our company name on it.
What to bring?
Cover your knees and shoulders, there's no need to dress like the people who live in Vatican City, just avoid short pants, dresses and tank tops. If you're a woman and you are wearing something that bares your shoulders, bring a long a shall or sweater. Comfortable shoes are always recommended for walking tours.
See what people are saying
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Private night Vatican Tour
Not only was touring the Vatican at night beautiful, it was also a major time saver. Touring the Vatican at night gave me more time during the day to tour other museums or moments that schedules weren't as flexible! Great choice for anyone who wants more time during the day or who just isn't an early bird!
We booked the Friday night tour since we heard that the crowds were more manageable. It was absolutely fantastic! Booked with the Roman guy tours and my husband and I were the only ones with our guide so we had a private tour. No crowds except the Sistine chapel had a lot of people, but still not too bad. I can’t say enough about our wonderful guide, Maria Elisa spoke good English and was very informative & enjoyable! Highly recommended! Bravo!!!
This tour really blew me and my family away! Seeing the Vatican under the stars was incredible!