After meeting your private guide, go straight inside the Vatican Museum with your skip-the line ticket, and let your guide know if there’s anything specific you want to see or any particular interests you have that you’d like to hear more about, such as the history of the Vatican or the sometimes-scandalous stories about its inhabitants over the years.
Follow your guide to some of the complex’s dozens of galleries and rooms, such as Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Pinecone Courtyard. Hear about the famed Renaissance masters like Raphael and Michelangelo who created art for the popes, and listen to stories about rivalries between artists. You’ll eventually reach the Sistine Chapel, known for its iconic frescoes by Michelangelo—The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam, which decorates the chapel’s sacred ceiling. (Talking inside the chapel is prohibited, so any commentary from your guide will be given outside the doors.)
Next, walk over to St Peter’s Basilica, the Italian Renaissance church that’s home to more artistic masterpieces, most famously Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture and Bernini’s bronze baldachin altar canopy. Then head outside for a stroll around St Peter’s Square, where your guide points out Bernini’s use of optical illusion at the colonnades. Your tour ends here, where you can continue exploring on your own.