Your Vatican experience starts in Vatican City, where you’ll meet your host and walk to your reserved doorway that provides you with the fastest skip-the-line entrance at the Vatican Museums, avoiding the other priority queues. Just show your ticket to the guard, and your host will leave you to explore the museum complex’s 9 miles (15 km) of rooms and galleries at your leisure. You may stay as long as you wish.
The most popular spaces include Raphael’s Rooms, a series of four connecting rooms adorned with Renaissance works by Raphael and his students; the Gallery of the Candelabra, home to carved marble candelabras and sculptures; and the Gallery of Maps, where you can marvel at dozens of intricate maps of Italy from the 16th century. Most explorations of the Vatican Museums end at the crown jewel, the Sistine Chapel, a particularly sacred site, as it’s where new popes are elected. Of course, you’re there to see Michelangelo’s legendary frescoes, The Creation of Adam on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on on the wall.
If you’d prefer to explore the Vatican Museums with a knowledgeable guide instead of on your own, upgrade when booking to include a tour limited to 20 people. You’ll see the highlights of the complex, including the Sistine Chapel, as well as neighboring St Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches and home to more Renaissance works. From your guide, hear about the history of the Vatican, from art to power to treachery.