Looking for a short and sweet tour of the Vatican? Then the Sistine Chapel Early Access & St Peter’s Express Tour is perfect for you. The only group tour offering Early Access Sistine Chapel tickets guarantees that you get into the Sistine Chapel 15 minutes before other tour groups and 1 hour, 15 minutes before the general public. This tour focuses only on the biggest highlights of the Vatican, perfect for those with limited time.
With no endless queues and crowds, you will not only have a detailed, but one of the best experiences of the sights. Gazing at Michelangelo’s pristine artworks adorning the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to the splendid architecture and interiors of the St. Peter’s Basilica is a surreal encounter with history and art.
Expert guides speaking fluent English will escort the small group around the sites, making sure that you don’t miss a thing.
To begin your Sistine Chapel Early Access St Peter’s Express Tour, meet your guide before official opening hours on the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums, to become the first group to step inside with a 15 minute head start on other tour groups and a 1 hour and 15 minute head start on the general public. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi.
The guide will lead you to the majestic Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope. Every corner of the chapel is decorated; with mosaics on the floor and intricate frescoes on the wall painted by the early Renaissance artists. Feast your eyes by looking at the luminous paintings on the ceiling and behind the altar painted by Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time. It is a moving experience to see the enormity of Michelangelo's Creation frescoes on the barrel-vaulted ceiling with the figures exuding strength and elegance. Contrary to the optimism and elegance of the ceiling, Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, which he painted on the back wall a decade later, is darker and pessimistic.
Your tour guide will provide you with some basic information on what to look for once you enter the chapel, then you are free to take in the beauty of the chapel on your own.
With Skip the Line Access you will gain direct entry from the Sistine Chapel to the world’s largest church, the St. Peter’s Basilica. Built on the site of St. Peter’s tomb, the basilica has been the centre of the Catholic faith and is listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Dating back to almost 2000 years and built over a span of almost 100 years by the greatest Italian architects of the time, the major highlights of the church are its masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Pietà, the Papal altar and Bernini’s ingenious use of optical illusion in the Throne of St. Peter.
After exploring the main level of the Basilica, your tour escort will lead you down to the Crypts of the Popes, housed in the space between the older 4th century Basilica and St. Peter’s, which was built on top of it. Here, you will find the tombs of many of the Church’s most important Popes and the architectural fragments found here makes it worth the visit.
In the final lap of your tour, the guide will lead you outside the entrance of the Basilica, leading on to Bernini’s architectural masterpiece, St. Peter’s Square, which is an elliptical esplanade bordered by a massive colonnade with 140 beautiful statues depicting different saints and sculpted by various artists of the 17th century. Your tour ends at this point.
01 Jan - 31 Mar: Friday
01 Apr - 31 Oct: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
Start time: 0730h (7:30am)
Duration: 2 hours
At the bottom of the wide steps across the street from the entrance of the Vatican Museums. The steps are located between Caffè Vaticano and Hotel Alimandi Vaticano, on the corner of Viale Vaticano and Via Tunisi.
St. Peter's Square
This tour goes straight to the Sistine Chapel with no bathroom or water break, to give you as much time as possible in the chapel. Please plan accordingly. Please note that large bags/tripods/umbrellas/backpacks are not permitted in the Vatican and must not be brought on this service. The group will not be able to wait for those who need to check their baggage in the cloakroom. This tour involves a fair amount of walking and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended.
It is the responsibility of all visitors to be at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure. Guests arriving after departure cannot be accommodated and missed tours or tickets cannot be refunded.
Non-flash photography is permitted throughout the tour, except in the Sistine Chapel where talking and photography are prohibited.
You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.
Entrance into the Vatican requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. isango! cannot be held responsible for refused entry due to improper dress.
Extra measures may be implemented at some venues due to heightened global security. As a result, we may experience delays in getting through mandatory security checks when entering these venues. Extra measures may also restrict the size of bags that can be brought inside. To avoid disruptions or possible denied entry, we strongly suggest that you avoid bringing large purses, bags, or backpacks on your tour. The Vatican only permits very small bags, and specifically prohibits large bags, tripods, umbrellas, and backpacks. Any such items must be checked into the free luggage storage area. The group will not be able to wait for those who need to check their baggage.
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