Walks of Italy

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Vatican Highlights Tour
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Key Details

  • City: Vatican
  • Duration: 2hrs 30mins
  • Start Time: 3.15PM

Tour Highlights

  • Our shortest Vatican Museums Tour is still comprehensive; covering all the major highlights of the museums and leaving you inside St. Peter’s Basilica to explore on your own.

  • With a carefully-timed visit after most guests have left, you'll avoid a lot of the huge crowds at the Vatican - particularly important in summer.

  • With Skip the Line Access, you’ll avoid the Vatican’s notorious lines (both at the Museums & St. Peter’s Basilica) while small groups of max 20 keep it intimate and expert Walks of Italy guides engage.
See the Sistine Chapel on our Vatican Museums Tour The Sistine Chapel Roof Expert guide describes Michelangelo's frescoes The School of Athens by Raphael Spot Rocky in the Raphael Rooms Nero's bath (its literally priceless!) The Belvedere Torso, Vatican Museums Ancient Greek sculptures, Vatican Museums Ancient Greek sculptures, Vatican Museums The Laocoon Group, Vatican Museums Apollo Belvedere, Vatican Museums Priceless ancient tapestries, Vatican Museums Admire the dome of St. Peter's Basilica (hidden) The Pinecone Courtyard (aptly named) Get more from your visit with an expert guide The ceiling of the Gallery of the Maps Plus skip the line entrance to St. Peter's Basilica

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

Get more from your visit with a great guide & good timing.

Give the Papal Palaces the attention they deserve on our Highlights of the Vatican Museums Tour. This is the shortest of all of our Vatican tours, focusing less on the details and more on the bigger picture of art, power and politics in the Vatican City.

Let our entertaining, expert guides make the Vatican’s dramatic past come to life for you. The Sistine Chapel is, of course, the highlight of our tour. By the time we reach the chapel you’ll be well prepared to appreciate the details and quirks that make it so special – and knowing Michelangelo’s history of temper tantrums and tiffs, you’ll understand what a miracle it was that he finished it at all!

We’ve timed our Vatican Museums tour to visit at one of the latest entry times so you’ll avoid the worst of the crowds, visiting the Sistine Chapel in particular, after most of the crowds have gone home. During the summer months in particular, when tens of thousands of travelers visit every day, this difference is not to be underestimated.

SKIP THE LINE ACCESS AT THE MUSUEMS AND ST. PETER’S BASILICA.

To help you make the most of every precious moment, we have privileged entrance at the Vatican Museums. This allows us to skip the notoriously long general access line, which, during high season, often stretches for hours.

We’ve also carefully chosen our finish point. If you would like to spend more time you can end your tour inside the Sistine Chapel or alternatively, follow your guide out of the chapel through the privileged, no-line passageway and directly into to St. Peter's Basilica. With new security procedures this shortcut saves you not just a 20 minute walk out of the Museums to the Basilica; but also potential hours of waiting time – and you get it at no extra cost.

After a short introduction from our guide you can visit the Basilica on your own, to explore Michelangelo's 'Pietà' among other stunning works of art and architecture.

SMALL GROUPS OF 20 OR FEWER KEEP IT CASUAL AND ENGAGING.

Key to our tour is group size. At only 20 people or fewer it’s smaller than most other operators. Smaller groups mean you’ll to engage more with your guide, hear them more easily, ask as many questions you want and guarantee that you won’t lose them during busy periods!

When you visit the Vatican, we at Walks of Italy think that you should come away with an understanding of more than just the museum’s art collection (as fantastic as it is). It takes a special person to paint the bigger picture though, which is why we’ve spent years creating the perfect team of guides – art historians, architecture buffs and storytellers, specially trained to give you a real sense of the drama and power that has played out in these very halls.

Our small group Vatican Museum tours ensure that you get the best from your Vatican visit, seeing beyond world-famous masterpieces to appreciate the bigger picture.

Sites visited

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Belvedere Courtyard with Apollo Belvedere & Laocoön & His Sons
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Gallery of the Candelabra
  • Gallery of the Maps
  • Gallery of the Tapestries
  • St. Peter’s Basilica (optional)

Included

  • Skip the Line Access tickets to the Vatican Museums
  • Skip the Line Access to St. Peter’s Basilica (optional)
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups, never more than 20 people
  • Headsets

Reviews

5-stars from over 670 Customer Reviews

Excellent guide.
Excellent guide.
Camilla was well-informed on the history of The Vatican and told her "story" in an informative and interesting way that kept my attention and fascination. I would definitely recommend having a tour guide, specifically Camilla, when one tours The Vatican.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

As with all museums, particular galleries of the Vatican museums can sometimes be closed without prior notice and pieces removed for restoration or loan. In the case of a gallery being closed, your guide will take you to another section of the museums instead.

Also, please remember that the Sistine Chapel is a holy place, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. Please note that, since the chapel is at the end of the Vatican visit, it is sufficient to bring extra coverings with you and put them on before our entrance to the holy areas.

On rare occasions, when St. Peter's Basilica is being prepared for high masses or a special private event, including the Easter ceremonies, the tour group exit and/or the basilica itself can be closed without prior notification. Your guide will still give you an introduction to the church should you wish to visit this on your own at a later occasion. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts.

While the Vatican Museums are equipped with elevators for wheelchair access, they are not conveniently located on the group tour route and only give access to specific sections of the Museums. Please contact us at info@walksofitaly.com if you have walking disabilities or if you are in a wheelchair. We can then work out a suitable alternative.

Please ensure that all members of your party have a valid ID on them on the day of the visit. This is particularly important for guests who have qualified for a senior, student, or child reduction.

For details of what you may and may not bring inside the Vatican Museums (you may not, for example, carry backpacks), click here. Guests who do bring these items will be required to leave them in the Vatican cloakroom and will be responsible for collecting them at the end of the tour. Please note that it is a 15 to 20 minute walk from St. Peter’s Square back to the entrance of the Museums.

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Excellent guide.
Excellent guide.
The tour was a good short tour that showed us the main parts of the Vatican and also our guide was very enthusiastic so it made us feel excited to listen. The audio receivers had a bit of static on it but nothing too bad as to ruin an altogether good tour. Keep up the good work!
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Camilla was well-informed on the history of The Vatican and told her "story" in an informative and interesting way that kept my attention and fascination. I would definitely recommend having a tour guide, specifically Camilla, when one tours The Vatican.
(No comment)
The Sistine chapel was rushed at the end but appreciate it was a lot to get through. I very much enjoyed it and the guide was very engaging.
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the tour provided a good overview of Vatican, museums and Sistene chapel. Need to visit again! loved our guide, great sense of humor and kept things moving.
Our guide was amazing. She had a great sense of humor, was extremely knowledgeable about history and art, and managed to keep our group together on a very crowded day. We arrived in Rome that day, and easily found our meeting spot. I would highly recommend the Walks of Italy tour to anyone visiting.
Great tour, so much to see! Francesco did a marvelous job! Be prepared for crowds though.
The tour guide was light heated yet very informative. He kept the group moving at the right pace to see things. I was glad that we booked the tour and felt that it was good value,
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Perfect amount of time if you are looking to just experience the highlights of Vatican city. Tour guide was very informative.
Great tour!
Very pleased with our tour. Our guide knew how to maneuver around the crowds as much as she knew of all the displays and history inside. We timed the entrance to the Sistine Chapel perfectly, we saw upon exiting that some tours could not get in because their guide did not get them to the chapel in time!
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My parents and I took this tour and it was absolutely fantastic! Fernandino (Fernando? apologies for not remember exactly!) was an excellent guide - informative, charming and engaging. There's quite a lot to see and he did a great job at showing us the highlights and explaining the history and context. Highly recommend!
Emma was a great guide, really knew her stuff - thank you! My mum and I (the two pasty white Irish people who were nearly always at the back!) would have been lost if we had done the tour ourselves!
It was a fabulous tour and enough time to see the highlights of this amazing place. Luidi was extremely knowledgeable and a delightful guide. Occasionally it was difficult to hear him but only due to the crowds and other tour groups pushing through in your way and then you would be out of range.
Another great tour considering the crowds at the Vatican. Davide answered many questions and was engaging and informative. We also took a tour in Florence with Charles on September 17 1:45PM. Another good tour. He was flexible enough to allow for a hot chocolate break when it was chilly outside.
Our guide was truly outstanding, Amber (Ambre). Her enthusiasm, depth of knowledge and ability to appeal to all ages (our 18 year old and 22 year old daughters were totally drawn in by her) was outstanding. She was punctual and professional. Would highly recommend this experience
guide for our vatican was great. very knowledgeable and great personality
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Your guide for the Vatican tour was funny, smart and engaging. He provided many references to the works we saw, from art to literature to movies, and told great stories. He also asked us questions, to keep everyone involved. We really enjoyed the experience very much !! Thank you !!!
Sev was terrific -- I took my parents (who have been to the Vatican/Sistine Chapel/St. Peter's several times) and my husband (who has never been), and all agreed it was one of the most articulate tours we've ever been on. Everyone learned so much, which enhanced the entire experience and was one of the bright spots during our time in Rome. Thank you!
Our tour guide and the tour itself was simply amazing! Had a great time. Thank you guys so much!
Rosa was a great guide. She dealt with some technical problems quickly and effectively and guided us carefully through the highlights of the Vatican Museum. We thoroughly enjoyed the walk and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
Informative tour however we spent a little too long standing in one place throughout the tour.
Great tour with informative and enthusiastic guide Only comment was that the headphones were not brilliant and sometimes difficult to hear the guide
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Excellent tour. Very knowledgeable guide, and very friendly. Enjoyed it completely.
An great and interesting tour. Will mention however that art lovers will probably enjoy this most as a lot of its content is detailed.
what an incredible tour! my fiance was a little annoyed with me that I booked this tour, as he thought that he wanted to be able to walk freely, but he came away loving it even more than I did. The knowledge and background that our fantastic guide shared was so valuable. I cant recommend this tour high enough. thank you so much!
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Anna was a fantastic guide! She made us all feel at ease, was personable, knowledgeable & paced the tour well. This was a highlights tour so we knew we would not be able to drag our heels however if you wanted to, you did have time to go back. We felt that Anna kept us moving when required to ensure we wouldn't be stuck behind other groups so that we would have ample time at certain areas for discussion and contemplation. We were very fortunate in that when we visited, Anna commented that it was most strange as it was like it was the winter season, there were no queues and not many people about. All of this was obviously in our favour. Perfect introduction to the Vatican museum, Sistene Chapel & St Peters Basilica. Would highly recommend. P.S the individual ear pieces were absolutely brilliant.
Maria Theresa was very thorough throughout the tour. We could tell that she is passionate about the art history of the Vatican City and truly enjoyed listening to her narratives! She organized the tour very well and explained, in advance, the stories behind the paintings in the Sistine Chapel so we knew what to look out for. Overall, excellent experience, thanks to Maria Theresa!
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Great tour
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Ambra was an incredible guide! We were very impressed with her enthusiasm, rich background in the history of the Vatican and surroundings, and her overall interesting facts about highlighted pieces of art we viewed. We highly recommend her for her pace of the tour and overall joy throughout the experience. We felt so at home with her as our guide. Grazie Mille, Ambra!
The tour was excellent! Siriana was amazing - sharing a great deal of interesting details with us. I could have followed her around all of Rome! The later start time of the Vatican Highlights Tour allowed us to have much shorter lines for entering. Grazie!