The Rome Sightseeing – St. Peter’s Basilica and Vatican Museums Tour is actually a package composed of two separate tours.
Your day starts with a Skip the Line tour of the Vatican Museums. You will bypass the long line snaking into the Vatican Museums to gain entry to one of the world’s most incredible art collections. Visit the sumptuous Raphael Rooms among other treasures before arriving at one of the highlights of our tour, the Sistine Chapel.
From the Sistine Chapel we’ll use a special access door, allowing us to bypass another long line on the way into St. Peter’s Basilica. Feast your eyes on the largest Church in Christianity – guardian of St. Peter's tomb, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s immense baldachin.
St. Peter’s Basilica is one of only four major basilicas in the world – the other three being St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John of Lateran and Santa Maria Maggiore, all visited on this tour. Although scattered around the city of Rome, the other three basilicas are technically part of Vatican City territory, not to mention some of the most important places of worship in the Catholic Church.
After an ample lunch break and a rest, you will go on to the next major basilica on our tour – the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here lie the remains of Saint Paul amidst a beautiful display of 5th Century mosaics, which shimmer alongside brilliantly colored frescoes.
You will then visit the imposing Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome and traditional seat of the Pope, which was built by Constantine even before St. Peter's. Contrary to what you might think, this is actually the most important church within the Catholic Church (even more important than St. Peter’s Basilica) as the official seat of the Pope.
You won't miss the chance to see the Holy Stairs - the twenty-eight white marble steps said to be climbed by Christ during his passion. There won’t be time to climb all the steps (to do so takes an hour and a half since you must say a prayer on each step) but your guide will give you time to do one step if you please.
Our next stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which boasts exuberant mannerist sculptural decorations, stunning 5th century mosaics, enchanting frescoes and Bernini’s tomb.
Follow in the footsteps of emperors, saints and popes as you as you explore these incredible houses of worship and museums – long considered to be the most important in all of Christianity.
Watch the video and see why this tour is so fantastic