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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

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  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration:  5 hours (approx.)
Enjoy a tour of the serene Vatican Gardens followed by a Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica tour; it’s an exciting combination of Vatican sightseeing experiences! This half-day Vatican tour includes 1.5 hours inside the elegant gardens, seeing highlights like Our Lady of Lourdes grotto. After admiring the grounds, head inside the Vatican Museums and prepare to be wowed by the likes of the Gallery of Maps and Sistine Chapel – home to Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgement’ fresco.

Numbers are limited to 16 people on this unique Vatican tour, to ensure better personal service and the opportunity to see the very best of the Vatican.

Highlights

  • Tour the Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums on a 5-hour walking tour
  • Explore the Vatican Gardens' serene sights like the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto
  • Hear stories of the gardens’ history from an expert guide
  • Visit the Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Maps and Sistine Chapel
  • Gaze at Renaissance masterpieces like Michelangelo’s The Last Judgement
  • Walk around St Peter’s Basilica and learn about La Pietà, a famous Michelangelo sculpture

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

This is one of the few tours that combines a visit to the stunning Vatican Gardens with a tour of the museums. It's a must-do experience if you're visiting Vatican City!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Vatican Gardens and Vatican Museums Tour

Marvel at the grandeur of St Peter's Basilica

Meet your guide in Vatican City, and head inside the Vatican Gardens for your walking tour. A tranquil haven for the Vatican popes since the Middle Ages, the Vatican Gardens cover an impressive 57 acres (23 hectares) with meandering pathways, grottoes and fountains as well as a gorgeous Italian garden, bedecked with colorful flowers.

Stroll around with your guide, admiring highlights like the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto – a favorite prayer spot of Pope Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI – while learning about the gardens’ history. Dating back to the 13th century, the site started as a simple fruit orchard but was extended to a more lavish standard by subsequent papal generations.

After spending roughly 1.5 hours inside the gardens, head inside the Vatican Museums. Marvel at the Bramante Staircase – a sloping spiral structure carved from stone by Renaissance architect Donato Bramante – and then wander around rooms like the Gallery of Tapestries.

Hear tales of Renaissance artists favored by the Vatican like Raphael, and admire incredible Flemish tapestries that were designed by his pupils. Step inside the Gallery of Maps, and gaze in wonder at detailed fresco maps of 16th-century Italy.

Continue to the Sistine Chapel, the pope’s private place of worship, to see some of the most influential works of art in the Western world. Panel paintings by the likes of Botticelli and Perugino are incredible but pale in comparison to Michelangelo’s attention-grabbing twosome: the Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.

Finish your tour with a walk around St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican’s magnificent domed church. After marveling at Michelangelo’s La Pietà and a memorial to Pope John Paul, bid your guide goodbye and exit into St Peter’s Square.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

This tour was amazing and so was the guide. At first I wasn't sure. They didn't have my family listed on the list for that day, but they called and got it fixed. I guess it was because my family bought the tickets so long in advance. Also it had rained with thunder/lightning early in the morning and was afraid that they were not going to do the tour of the gardens. The garden tour I think was the best part. She went the backward way of the other tours so we didn't have to deal with a lot of people. It was so beautiful then and not everything was in full bloom yet. Guide led us to a spot in the Vatican with an amazing view of Rome, then she helped us skip the lines to the museums and the Sistine Chapel. I think we spend too long in the Sistine Chapel, but just enough time in the museums. I can't remember our guide's name, but she explained everything perfectly (not too much information, but enough to understand the history). She left no time for shopping, but I wouldn't want to carry anything around during the tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

The gardens were such a great and relaxing way to enjoy the Vatican before the throngs of people inside. Also, Carrani tours was amazing! We arrived late to our meeting point due to the rain, and they found us and we were able to join a different tour and missed out on nothing!

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Tour code: 5034VATGARDENS

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