1. Extended Vatican City Tour With Exclusive Sights
Your tour begins outside the Vatican, where your expert guide will whisk you passed the famously long lines and through an Official Vatican Partner entrance before giving you a brief overview of the tour. You’ll then follow your guide to the Pinacoteca, also known as the Vatican Paintings Gallery. Often overlooked by independent sightseers, this is one of the quietest parts of the Museums. Enjoy the hush as you view masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio and the only Da Vinci left in Rome. As you wander this modern gallery, your expert guide will tell you not just about the techniques and subjects of these works, but also about the lives of their creators. Then, you will make your way to one of the highlights of our tour: the Bramante Staircase. A Vatican Guard will escort you beyond a velvet rope to this engineering marvel, which was built to admit horse-drawn carriages from street level to the Papal apartments. It’s usually closed to the public, so you’ll have this stunning helical staircase to yourself, with space to admire spectacular views overlooking Vatican City. Next, visit some of the well-known sights of the Vatican including the Gallery of Maps, Raphael Rooms, and the stunning Sistine Chapel. Of course, no visit to the Vatican would be complete without seeing this iconic masterpiece, and your expert guide will be sure to give you all the background you need to truly appreciate Michelangelo’s most famous work. Finish your tour with privileged access to St. Peter’s Basilica through a door leading directly from the Sistine Chapel, avoiding the lines so you have more time inside to discover works like Michelangelo’s ‘La Pietà’.