Private Vatican Museum, St. Peters Basilica and Free Time
Vatican Museum & St. Peter's Basilica Day Tour
An incredible museum of artwork, Michelangelo's celebrated Sistine Chapel and the world's largest domed church are all located in one of the smallest countries in the world. This full-day Civitavecchia tour will show you this wealth of treasures.
Meet your driver on the pier for the approximately one-hour drive to the Vatican City. Upon arrival in Rome, you will meet your professionally trained, licensed tour guide and begin your visit of Vatican City, the smallest state in the world.
Within Vatican City is the Vatican Museum. The museum is made up of over one thousand rooms and galleries containing a multitude of amazing treasures collected by popes throughout the centuries. It would take days to even scratch the surface. With your private Civitavecchia tour guide and priority entrance you will avoid the long lines outside and be able to spend more time in the museum itself. You will have time to see some of the most important galleries and outstanding museum pieces but please be aware that you will only see a portion of the museum, and that crowds are to be expected.
At the end of the museum is the Sistine Chapel which can only be reached by a staircase. Built between the years 1473 and 1481, it is the best-known chapel in the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. Part of its fame rests on its architecture with internal measurements of 134 feet long by 44 feet wide, the dimensions of Solomon's Temple as given in the Old Testament. Adding to its fame is its decoration, with frescoes throughout by the greatest Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Bernini, Raphael, and Botticelli. Under the patronage of Pope Julius II, Michelangelo painted 12,000 square feet of the chapel ceiling, 68 feet above the floor, between the years 1508 and 1512. Although he resented the commission, today the ceiling, and especially "The Last Judgment," are widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievements in painting.
From the chapel, a staircase leads you past the long lines waiting to enter the Basilica from St. Mark's Square to your last visit in the Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica. The Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites in the world. It is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Catholic tradition holds that Saint Peter's tomb is below the altar of the basilica. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century.
Based on the design of Donato Brumante, the current building's foundation stone was laid on April 18, 1506. Five other designers and two additional popes would be involved before Michelangelo, then in his seventies, was forced to become the designer in 1547. He is the man considered the principle designer of a majority of the present-day building's interior as well as the man who finally got the construction moving forward. After he died, it would take 60 more years and several more designers to see it finished. Among the many fine pieces of art and mosaics on display are Michelangelo's "Pieta" and the beautifully carved Bernini Pulpit.
After your visit to the Vatican City, your private guide will bid you farewell and you will have approximately two hours at leisure with your private driver for additional touring, shopping or dining. At the appointed time you will make the return drive to the port.
Please Note: Due to regulations at the Vatican Museum, the guest booking the tour (lead guest) must provide his or her full name, place of birth, and date of birth, matching the information in his or her valid passport, at the time of booking. The lead guest must also present his or her passport to the Vatican officials upon arrival at the museum. This ONLY applies to the lead guest, not every guest in the group. The lead guest must also provide the full name and age of all participants at the time of booking, and this information must match the information in their valid passports. Please be aware that the Basilica may close for security reasons at any given time without previous notice. In case this occurs, free time will be provided to compensate or additional time at the Vatican Museum.
The driver does not speak fluent English and is not a guide for your Rome tour.