Best Way to See the Sistine Chapel: Our Vatican Key Master’s Tour

July 17, 2023

Imagine holding the physical key to the Sistine Chapel, sliding it into the keyhole, and unlocking the door to the timeless treasures for the thousands who will visit that day. As you gently swing the door, you cautiously step inside the unlit and silent chapel with a dizzy glee.

Unlock the Sistine Chapel

While you find your bearings inside, you begin to notice a whirring sound. Shortly after, the lights turn on. Your eyes adjust. And as the masterpieces begin to come slowly into focus, you stand in awe as you take in the magnificent frescoes in complete silence.

This is truly a once-in-lifetime experience we’re super excited to offer guests.

On our VIP Vatican Key Master’s Tour: Unlock the Sistine Chapel, you’ll enter the Vatican Museums at dawn with the Key Master as he unlocks the doors to the immense art collection and spectacular galleries. The Key Master (clavigero in Italian) is the keeper of over 300 keys, and on this tour, you’ll not only get to see all the keys, but you’ll also help the Key Master in opening up the Vatican Museums. 

VIP Vatican Key Master's Tour: Unlock the Sistine Chapel

While the highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the Sistine Chapel, you’ll also see commonly featured highlights in the Vatican Museums like the mystical Laocoön and His Sons” sculpture, the Belvedere torso, the spectacular Gallery of the Maps and Gallery of the Tapestries. For the entire two hours you’ll have the Vatican Museums all to yourself and be accompanied by an official Vatican Museums tour guide. Without the crowds and in a small group, you can fully take in the details of the magnificent artworks as your guide shares stories and insights in a peaceful setting.

VIP Vatican Museums

Take the time to enjoy the Raphael Rooms alone and explore the four separate spaces – the Sala di Constantino, the Stanza di Eliodoro, the Stanza della Segnatura, and the Stanza dell’incendio del Borgo. Here, your guide will decode Raphael’s frescoes, which are considered the artistic pinnacle of the Italian Renaissance alongside Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel painted at roughly the same time. 

Raphael Rooms in the Vatican Museums

After taking in all the incredible art, opening doors, and turning on the lights, your tour ends with a well-deserved breakfast buffet in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard. Once breakfast is finished, should you wish to do so, you can stay to fully explore the Vatican Museums on your own.

This special tour is truly the best way to see the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums! For a glimpse of the tour, check out our Instagram Highlights where guests had a memorable time “playing” Key Master, special access to rooms that are usually closed to the public, and the opportunity to stroll the empty galleries.

VIP Vatican Museums: Unlock the Sistine Chapel

While the start time of this tour can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t an early riser, all our guests say it is well worth it and have all raved about this amazing experience. So, whether it’s your first or fifth visit to the Vatican Museums, we’re pretty confident that the VIP Vatican Key Master’s Tour: Unlock the Sistine Chapel will be memorable. 

by Cristina C.

View more by Cristina ›

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