Begin your amazing journey with an approximately 60 to 90 minute drive to the 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, 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 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, have free time for lunch on your own at either Piazza Navona or the most beautiful fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain. Admire Piazza Venezia, Palantine Hill, and the impressive ruins of the Circus Maximus on your way to the symbol of the "Eternal City," the Roman Colosseum, one of the most important monuments of ancient Rome. You will make an inside visit to this 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.
Please Note: Due to regulations at the Vatican Museum, the guest booking the tour must provide the information below about their group and themselves from their valid passport at the time of booking. This guest must also present their passport to the Vatican officials upon arrival at the museum. This ONLY applies to the person making the booking, and not everyone in the group.
Depending on traffic or crowds at the sites, the tour may operate in a different order. All sites will be visited time permitting. Due to parking restrictions for larger vehicles, the walking distance from the vehicle to the sites may be up to 10 minutes each way.