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Skip the lengthy lines and enjoy VIP access to the Vatican Museum’s many works of art on this guided, 4.5-hour tour. Hear the stories that bring the art to life. Visit the Vatican Pinacoteca art gallery; the Chiaramonti Museum, a collection of Roman busts and statues and the spiral Bramante Staircase. Also, see Raphael’s Rooms, with frescoes painted by renowned Renaissance artist Raphael and the Gallery of Tapestries. Visit the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous “Creation of Adam” painting, plus St. Peter’s Basilica and more.

Highlights

  • 4.5-hour skip-the-line Vatican art tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica
  • Learn about the history of the Vatican artwork and the talented Renaissance artists employed by the popes
  • Stop at rarely visited Vatican sites such as the Bramante Staircase (normally closed to the public), Pinacoteca and Chiaramonti Museum
  • Admire artistic highlights such as Da Vinci’s St Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration
  • Visit the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica to ogle three Michelangelo masterpieces including the Creation of Adam
  • Enjoy privileged fast-track access to the Vatican Museums through a reserved entranceway

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Vatican Museums Extended Art Tour Including Bramante Staircase

Admire the wealth of artwork that the Vatican has to offer!

Meet and greet the tour guide outside the Vatican Museums, a collection of galleries of classical and Renaissance art masterpieces, including the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Walk inside through a special reserved door without any waiting. This access is even faster than the priority lines.

Once inside, there are more than nine miles of art, so follow along with the guide who will point out the highlights and explain the story behind each work of art. A headset is included to hear the guide clearly.

Stop at the Vatican Pinacoteca art gallery, featuring some of the most influential paintings in the world like Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, Da Vinci’s unfinished St. Jermone and Raphael’s Transfiguration.

See the hundreds of Roman busts and statues inside the Chiaramonti Museum, then roam the Octagonal Courtyard to see Apollo Belvedere, a celebrated marble sculpture and the Laocoon, one of the most famous ancient sculptures in the world.

One of the biggest thrills of the tour is a visit to the Bramante Staircase. It was once used by the popes and Vatican staff, but it is now rarely visited. Take the opportunity to get a photo of this beautiful spiral staircase. Then exit directly into the Gregorian Etruscan Museum to see the many bronze figurines and Etruscan tombs.

Finally, visit Raphael’s Rooms, four interconnected rooms with frescoes painted by Renaissance artist Raphael; the six-sectioned Gallery of Candelabra, with Roman copies of Hellenistic originals and some great second century candelabra, from Otricoli; the Gallery of Tapestries, featuring the drawings from many of Raphael’s pupils; and Gallery of Maps, on the west side of the Belvedere Courtyard featuring a series of painted topographical maps of Italy.

Go to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam and the Last Judgement and St. Peter’s Basilica to see Pietà, one of Michelangelo’s earlier sculptures depicting the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion.

The tour ends just outside St. Peter’s Basilica.

Customer Reviews

Renee P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Wow! Really good tour, didn and #39;t really realize how crowded it would be or how long it actually took to walk through the entire Vatican. The staircase was probably my favorite and the Sistine Chapel. This tour had everything.

kellylynncin

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This tour was amazing!

Pratixa S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Our tour was excellent. Our guide had so much information and he was really was interesting and funny. The tour was long 5 hours but it was what we signed up for. I learnt a lot and it was breathtaking to see some of the painting and listen to the guide talk about the painters. The highlight was the maps in sisten chapel. Overall ,an excellent tour. Thank You!

Edwin T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

A very good tour overall. Met by well organised reps. Knowledgeable and helpful guide. My main interest was the Bramante staircase and I was so pleased with the amount of time we were allowed there without any other groups. Our guide led us skilfully through the very crowded areas. A special experience.

jlblum78

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Just on its own, this tour was great. But it was made absolutely fantastic by our tour guide, Dorianna speling?! Here's why she and the tour were so fantastic...
1 She was unbelievably knowledgeable about the Vatican, the various pieces of work, etc.
2 She was personable, funny, and witty. She was appropriate and well timed with her jokes.
3 She was a great story teller/narrator, which helped keep me interested, captivated, and not bored.
4 She has, what I think, is one of the coolest degrees/jobs around....she's a full blown archaeologist!! I mean, that's a super cool awesome job! And, because she's a female archeologist, I think it makes her even cooler and a great role model for young girls.
5 She was very passionate about art, the artists, the history, etc, and you could tell she cared about/loved it.
6 Her English was exceptional and very easy to understand.
7 The Bramante Staircase was a great thing to see. It has awesome views of the city.
8 Because of how you access the Bramante Staircase, other people not in our tour group saw us entering and thought the area was being open to the public. So when they tried to follow us in, they were turned away. Although it may make me a bit of a jerk, I appreciated the exclusivity that the extra money this particular tour afforded me, and thus felt it was money well spent.
9 The group size was good.
10 If she saw someone taking flash photos, she would immediately ask them to turn off the flash. It's a huge pet peeve of mine when people do that, because it can ruin the artwork.
11 A few people tried to join our tour. She told them they needed to move along, as we had paid money for the guided tour.

The one thing I would suggest to anyone going to the Vatican is to goo as early in the morning as possible...the later it gets, the more packed it gets.

Joseph Anthony B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Best tour of the Vatican Museums! We were a small group of 11, and were the only group at the Bramante staircase. We could not wish for a better tour or guide. Our guide Viviana is an archaeologist who also studies theology. Her knowledge of the art pieces and history is amazing, she answered all our questions and more! We appreciated the art pieces and places even more as she provides the history behind them. From the beautiful tapestries to the Borgia rooms to Rafael's rooms to the breathtaking Bramante staircase to Etruscan collection to the beautiful Sistine Chapel and ending at St Peter's Basilica and so much more!. This is the best way to see the Vatican Museums and St Peter's.

James H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Outstanding ! Great tour guide!

MRS DE M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Dorianna was first class, very interesting and knowledgeable and we enjoyed every minite

Samuel M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The tour guide Sve was just great. He was informative and very knowledgeable. He made the tour pleasant and connected with his group well. I left very the tour with a great impression! The history and the arts. Very happy! I would recommend this tour with this guide tour.

Anna D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent - even with the downpouring rain!! Our guide was magnificent, warm and easily understood. She kept us out of the rain as much as possible and authentically cared about our enjoyment of these magnificent museums. I would highly recommend this.

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