The early Vatican private tour: a great way to experience the Sistine Chapel

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Why choose an early Vatican private tour?

Well, why wouldn’t you choose an early Vatican private tour?

Approximately 5 million people visit the Vatican Museums every year, keen to see a collection that could arguably be described as one of the wonders of the world – a spectacular exhibition of treasures ranging from Ancient Roman statues to frescoes by Raphael. While the Vatican’s popularity is understandable, it can also make it difficult to truly enjoy a visit; at times, being in the Sistine Chapel can feel like the metro at rush hour.

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The Vatican Museum during our Early Morning Tour.

The best way to enjoy the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in tranquillity? An early Vatican private tour with Roads to Rome Private Tours. This is a unique opportunity to enter the Vatican Museums at 8.00, before the crowds descend. As the museums are not open to the general public at this time, you’ll get to enjoy a relaxed stroll through the galleries, including a tour of the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel.

The Vatican attracts so many visitors all year round that going on an early morning tour is the onl

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The Vatican Museum during a “normal” tour

y way to truly avoid the crowds. While visiting in low season or arriving in the afternoon rather than the morning does make a difference, there will still be crowds. So, to experience the masterpieces of the Vatican while retaining your personal space, join a morning private tour. Your personal guide will show you the highlights of the Vatican collection and provide fascinating historical and cultural context.

Highlights of the Vatican Museum

On your early morning Vatican private tour you’ll get to explore the breathtaking collections of what is arguably the greatest museum in the world. These are some of the highlights:

  • Famous statues from antiquity, including the beautiful Apollo Belvedere (one of the most celebrated artworks of all time) and the moving Laocoon and His Sons, the “prototypical icon of human agony”.
  • The masterpieces of the Pinacoteca (picture gallery), which is often overlooked by tour groups. Did you know that there’s a painting by Leonardo da Vinci on display? According to legend, the unfinished St Jerome in the Wilderness was cut in two and discovered being used as a table top in Rome, before being put together again and sold to Pope Pius IX.
  • The Gallery of Maps is a visitor favourite – a magnificent corridor filled with Renaissance maps of Italy. The gallery is often rammed with visitors, but on early Vatican private tours you’ll get to experience it in peace and quiet.
  • The Raphael Rooms are one of the must-see sights in the Vatican. This suite of rooms was originally a private papal apartment, decorated to spectacular effect by the young Raphael and his workshop. Here you’ll see the iconic School of Athens, amongst other masterworks.

A Sistine Chapel morning tour

For most visitors, the best part of the early Vatican private tour is a memorable visit to a relatively empty Sistine Chapel. Instead of being rushed through the crowded chapel as part of a large group, barely getting more than a glance at the ceiling before being herded out, you’ll get to experience the Sistine Chapel as it was supposed to be experienced. Take the time to really study Michelangelo’s masterpieces – not only the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but also the Last Judgement on the altar wall.

In the company of your personal guide, you’ll learn all about the remarkable story of the Sistine Chapel’s creation, and discover the secret symbolism and details that are easily missed. While it’s easy to recognise the paintings in the Sistine Chapel as masterpieces, true appreciation takes time and a deeper understanding of many different factors, from Michelangelo’s artistic technique to the inspiration behind certain figures. With the explanations of a guide who’s an expert in art history, a Sistine Chapel tour becomes a much more meaningful experience.

And, as you leave the Sistine Chapel on your way to St Peter’s Basilica, think of the crowds who are just beginning to arrive at the entrance of the Vatican Museums – where would you rather be?

Read more: Vatican’s Sistine Chapel gets annual check-up (CNN)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]