For the exclusive Vatican Breakfast, Museums Tour and Saint Peter Basilica experience you should meet your guide 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. The coordinators will be wearing blue polo shirts or jackets for easy recognition. The closest metro stop is on line A (red line): Ottaviano - Musei Vaticani. Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before departure.
Your guide will lead you through the quiet corridors of the Vatican Museums to the main outdoor courtyard of the Vatican Palace. Here you’ll enjoy a leisurely meal of traditional Italian fare as well as an American buffet complete with our own pancake chef!
After breakfast you’ll split into groups of 10 people or less and your expert, English-speaking guide will take lead you on an exploration of the best works in the Vatican Museums.
The Vatican Museums house one of the most important art collections in the world, ranging from Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities to late Renaissance.
Visual treats in store include:
Raphael's Rooms: A suite of rooms famous for the beautiful frescoes painted by Raphael and his students. The works here show the artist at the peak of his powers. Note the masterful way he manages the huge compositions.
Octagonal Courtyard: Showcasing some of the most famous statues of antiquity including the powerful sculpture of Laocoon and his sons being attacked by sea serpents.
The Sistine Chapel: See Michelangelo’s magnificent masterpieces – the legendary painted ceiling and the ‘Last Judgment’ on the wall behind the altar. Note how the powerful muscular figures reveal the artist’s skill and experience as a sculptor.
From the Sistine Chapel your guide will lead your small group through a Skip the Line entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica. This will allow you to save precious time and avoid the queues to “one of the greatest churches in all Christendom”.
A Renaissance masterpiece created by geniuses such as Bramante, Michelangelo and Bernini, St Peter’s was until recently the largest church ever built. The Basilica stands on the traditional site where Peter The Apostle was crucified and buried. There is indeed some historical evidence that St. Peter's tomb lies under the main altar with its magnificent canopy by Bernini.
Your guide will show you Michelangelo’s exquisite marble Pietá depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead Jesus in her lap after the crucifixion.
As you walk around you can admire the lavish decoration of the Basilica, and the magnificent artwork around some of the papal tombs. Your guide will also tell you about the many challenges that confronted the architects in building the great cathedral dome, a dome that was conceived from the outset to be the largest in Christendom.
Your tour ends at St Peter’s Basilica, just in time for lunch!