Private Vatican, Coliseum and Old Rome
Please note: Infants seated in adult's lap are free of charge.
Begin your amazing journey with an approximately 60 to 90 minute drive to the Vatican City. Upon arrival in Rome, you will meet your professionally trained, licensed tour guide and begin your private 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 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, 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 Bramante, 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 principal designer of a majority of the present-day building's interior, as well as the man who finally got the construction moving forward. 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, visit the Piazza Venezia, known for the Victor Emanuel Monument (also called the "wedding cake") and for the building that was Mussolini's headquarters. Climb the steps of the Capitoline hill and enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Roman Forum with the Rostrum where Mark Anthony made his impassioned speech over the body of Julius Cesar. Your driver can suggest several places where you can enjoy a local lunch with plenty of home-made wine during your free time. Stop at the most beautiful fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain. Drive by the famous Spanish Steps, where the finest shopping street is. Walk through Piazza Navona and visit the imposing Pantheon where the great painter Raphael is buried.
Then explore the Imperial area of Rome, reflecting twelve centuries of cultural, political and religious history. You will make an inside visit to the Symbol of the "Eternal City," the Roman Colosseum, one of the most important monuments of ancient Rome. A masterpiece of classical architecture, the Colosseum is an enormous amphitheater where gladiators, Christians, and wild beasts once battled to the death in front of 50,000 spectators. At the end of the tour, your private guide will bid you farewell and you will make the return drive to the port.
This private, small group excursion provides an unparalleled experience of Rome using mini-vans to navigate the narrow streets of this beautiful ancient city. The maximum number of guests that can be accommodated per minivan is 8 passengers. Groups of 9 or more guests can be split into two mini-vans that will view each of the sites along the itinerary at the same time, but they will be traveling separately. Please place separate orders and indicate if traveling with another group.
Alternatively, we offer a large group version of this excursion that uses a mini-coach vehicle that can accommodate groups of 9 to 32 so that groups of 9 or more can travel together. Please click here to view this tour.
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.
Depending on traffic or crowds at the sites, the tour may operate in a different order. All sites will be visited time permitting. You will walk only a few minutes to the sites from the vehicle. Please be aware that the Basilica may close for security reasons at any given time without previous notice. Should this occur, free time will be provided to compensate or additional time at the Vatican Museum.
Our family had a fabulous tour thanks to David and his personal tour! Highly recommend! Two teens and two adults. His tour van was clean and comfortable. He was on time and friendly. He even helped us get in a few extra sites to see. Took great care of us and we returned to the cruise ship with time to spare.
Reviewer: Tony Aires
One of the best tour excursions we took. Our private driver, Gigi, was excellent and the tour guy, Simone, was great. I would highly recommend taking a private tour if you plan on seeing the Vatican/Sistine chapel/Vatican Museum, plus the colosseum. We couldn’t have seen so much as part of the group tour. We were able to pass through the long lines and see so much more. The tour guide was very knowledgeable of the history of Italy and the Roman Empire. It was well worth the money and highly recommend you do.
Reviewer: Sheryl n
Valentina was absolutely wonderful!!! The very best tour guide ever!!!! Stop shopping around for tours, this is it!!!!!!!!! The driver was absolutely safe and kind and wonderful!!!!! Highlight of our Europe trip!!!!
Reviewer: A. Hallstone
We had Francesco as our driver and Lara as our tour guide. They were both excellent! They made Rome so special for us! Francesco spoke with my husband about local food (husband's choice of topic) and even stopped at a local gelato stand on the way out of Rome for us. He knew the ins and outs of the city, and seemed to have exclusive parking spots in the Vatican (even Lara was impressed). Lara was a joy as well. She is an art major, so was passionate and knowledgeable about the works of art in the Vatican. She was a wealth of knowledge for the Coliseum, as well as other sites in Rome (Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, etc). Our teenage girls loved it as well and their interest was kept throughout the day. If we ever come back to Rome we would definitely request both Francesco and Lara again