4. Entire Vatican Tour & Colosseum Ticket
Your expert English-speaking guide will meet you by the entrance to the Vatican Museums. After brief introductions, enjoy skip-the-line entry to what is arguably the most important and largest art collection in the world. Your guide knows every nook and cranny of the museums and will navigate seamlessly through the galleries, emphasizing the Rooms of Raphael, the Ancient Roman and Greek pieces in the Belvedere Courtyard and the Gallery of Maps, ensuring that you stay on track with an eye on the ultimate prize: the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums weren’t always as we know them today. For over 500 years, celebrated popes slowly gathered and commissioned works of art from the most talented painters, architects, and sculptors in Italy and brought them to the Vatican to showcase them for their own personal enjoyment and that of a carefully chosen circle of clerics, artists, nobles, and scholars. Each new pope sought to leave a legacy, commissioning chapels, frescoes, sculptures, libraries, paintings, courtyards—one masterpiece after another, until the papal collection finally grew to more than 70,000 works of art spread over 1,400 galleries. We’ve hand-picked a selection of highlights in this massive museum, covering the most important masterpieces from Greek and Roman times to the High Renaissance. Much of this tour will be dedicated to the Rooms of Raphael and the majestic Sistine Chapel, from its commissioning to the finishing touches applied by none other than Michelangelo Buonarroti. Your expert guide will help you to discern between myth, fact, and popular Hollywood fiction regarding this epic work of art. Gain fast-track access to St. Peter’s Basilica to view masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini among others before descending to the papal crypts below. We conclude on the portico with an overview of Bernini’s magnificent piazza (St. Peter’s Square), the central obelisk, and the renowned Swiss Guard. As your Vatican tour comes to an end, enjoy a break and a snack before making your way “back in time” to ancient Rome, where you’ll enjoy skip-the-line access to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. Explore these incredible sites at your leisure, and be sure to immortalize this epic day in Rome with plenty of photos—this is one day you won’t want to forget!.