Good Morning Vatican!
Early Morning Vatican Tour

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, St. Peter's Basilica
Pick up, Skip-the-line & Transportation Included!
Kids pay half price!

Duration

about 3.5 hours

Special early Skip-the-line tickets

Pick up at your hotel

Private Transportation

Professional Guides

Activity level

moderate

Sights Included

Vatican Museum with Early Access
– Pinecone Courtyard, Laocoon
– Round Room, Greek Cross Room
– Gallery of the Maps & others
The Raphael Rooms
– Stanza della Segnatura (School of Athens)
– Stanza di Eliodoro
– Sala di Costantino
Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica (skip the line)
– Ceiling & Last Judgement by Michelangelo
– St. Peter’s Square
– Pietà by Michelangelo

Watch the Video

Tour Description

Join our Professional Tour Guides on an unforgettable early Vatican Tour that includes the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, and the Vatican Museum (skip-the-line access)

The Vatican is a gem nestled in the heart of Rome. Its walls hide some of the most precious treasures in the world, and many of the most beautiful artworks ever made.

1. The Vatican Museum

Our Early Vatican tour will allow you to enter the Vatican Museum before the big crowds, and have the chance to really enjoy the masterpieces kept in this shrine of art. 

Your Private Tour Guide will lead you through the marvelous corridors, showing you both the highlights and the hidden gems of the Popes’ ancient residence.

Roman and Greek Statues will surround you in the Gallery of the Candelabra. 

Shiny tapestries will decorate the walls of the corridors you’ll walk through. 

Gigantic, 500 years-old maps of Italy painted on the walls will challenge you to find the names of your favorite Italian places in the Gallery of the Maps 

Your Tour Guide will not only provide information about the artworks but turn them into stories that you will never forget. 

Then, you’ll walk into the Raphael Rooms. 

2. The Raphael Rooms

Raphael was one of the greatest artists of his time. He was in his mid-20s when Pope Julius the 2nd hired him to decorate his apartment, giving him the chance to create some of the most famous masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance. 

You will see the Room of Constantine, the Room of Heliodorus, the Room of Signature, and admire the unequaled frescoes that decorate their walls: the School of Athens, the Disputation of the Sacrament, the Liberation of St. Peter’s. 

Discover all these unforgettable masterpieces and enjoy full detailed storytelling about how they were made,  their symbolism, and their secrets. 

You will learn about Raphael’s life and tragic death at only 37 years old, and about his rivalry with the great Michelangelo.

3. The Sistine Chapel

The next highlight of your Early Vatican tour will be the Sistine Chapel, the location where the Pope’s election takes place. 

Be ready to be left breathless. 

This unique church is almost entirely covered with Renaissance frescoes. 

The walls were painted by great masters from the 1400s, such as Perugino (the master of Raphael) Botticelli, Rosselli, Ghirlandaio (the master of Michelangelo), and many others. 

The Ceiling and the Altar wall, instead, were decorated by the most famous Italian artist: Michelangelo

Your  expert tour guide will tell you about his temper and ambition and will reveal all the secrets of his brilliant masterpieces. He will not only show you all the details of the Ceiling, but he will help you create an emotional connection with it and get a deeper understanding of its artistic value. 

You will learn everything about Michelangelo’s enterprise, and how he overcame many difficulties to finally donate this masterpiece to the world. 

But, that’s not it: twenty-four years later, Michelangelo started painting also the altar wall, which is entirely covered by the dramatic Last Judgment, his most intense masterwork. 

Your Professional Tour Guide will show you all the details of this revolutionary fresco, and guide you through the interpretation of the scenes of damnation and redemption that move millions of visitors every year. 

Usually, the Sistine Chapel is extremely crowded, but our Early Vatican Tour has been designed to show you this location before the general public walks in, so that you can fully enjoy its astonishing beauty and go back home with life-lasting memories. 

4. St. Peter's Basilica

The last stop of your Early Vatican Private Tour will be St. Peter’s Basilica, the biggest Catholic church in the world. 

St. Peter’s was built by the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine right on top of the cemetery where St. Peter the Apostle had been buried in 64 AD. 

Constantine’s basilica was in use until the early 1500s when a very stubborn and determined man became pope with name of Julius the 2nd. 

Julius wanted to leave a permanent mark on the Vatican area. He wanted to build something that would have made his name resonate through the centuries, and become eternal. 

Therefore, he decided to build a new St. Peter’s Basilica after demolishing the old one.

His basilica would have been even bigger, richer, and more impressive than the original. 

The construction of the new church started in 1506 and was finished only 120 years later. 

Your guide will help you skip the line (which you can do only with a guide) and enter through one of the gigantic doors. 

Your guide will tell you the incredible story of the construction of the basilica and describe the breath-taking decoration. Look carefully: the whole church is decorated with marble, mosaics, and shiny gold. 

Also, you will see the Pietà by Michelangelo and Canopy by Bernini, two of the most famous masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque art. 

Your Early Vatican Tour will end in St. Peter’s Square, the epitome of Baroque architecture built right where St. Peter was crucified upside down. 

Before letting you go, your guide will describe to you the highlights of the square, and show you the Pope’s windows. 

Why go on your own? Discover the Vatican with us.

Forget about standard talks and itineraries. Instead, book our Classic Vatican Private tour – explore at your own pace, and take advantage of our fully-customized service!

The Vatican management might decide to close the Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, or any other part of the museum without giving notice to anyone. It happens rarely, but it could happen. We’ll do our best to integrate what you will eventually not see with something else equally interesting. 

IMPORTANT INFO!

You MUST bring an ID, a passport or a driver’s license to enter the sights.

Your knees and shoulders must be covered to enter the Vatican

This is the price for groups from one to six people. If you have more people in your group, please let us know and we’ll create a customized price.​​

Pricing
539 € for 1 person
89 € per additional adult
45 € per additional kid under 18
What's included
Skip-the-line tickets
Transportation

by car or cab to the Vatican

Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel

if in Rome city center

Book now!

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Tour Location

Italian ArtVentures' Feedbacks

Michelle
Michelle
Above & Beyond
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We were amazed by the service we received in Rome and even in Benevento. Giovanni went above and beyond to organize tours and transportation for our family of 15 traveling. Massimo was an incredible and knowledgeable tour guide in Rome. He made it fun for the kids and knew when to take a break. Provided water and an amazing lunch spot for us all. We still are talking about some of the stories he told us. Stefano met us at the train in Benevento and was only supposed to drive us through San Bartolomeo, my father's hometown. But he pulled up my father's and grandfather's genealogy and found some interesting facts that were amazing to find out. He printed and laminated it for us to take. It was an emotional day but such a wonderful part of the trip. The minibus was perfect for everyone to fit comfortably and head over to Almafi. Thank you Giovanni and your amazing staff for making this trip one of the most memorable trips ever!!!
Rosa
Rosa
Exceptional!
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Giovanni was so exceptional at his job that you left the trip feeling torn between wanting to tell the World and also keeping him a best kept secret. Everything that he had orchestrated happened, seamlessly for us as if he had choreographed the entire country of Italy to show up, act, behave on queue. I put together a lot of trips, all over the world, for a group of around 20 friends each adventure. As the chief coordinator, you are always a little concerned about third party tours and tour guides: will everyone show up, is this a scam, can they speak English? Giovanni had infinite patience answering my questions and provided so much detail about our adventure, that everyone knew what to expect ahead of time. He took into consideration everyone’s interest, abilities and aptitudes. We saw a side of Italy that felt intimate and entertaining. There are not enough stars in the galaxy to award him.
Kara
Kara
Great Experience!
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What a great experience for me and my family to have these private tours planned by Giovanni. We wanted a curated set of events during our time in Rome and Florence and Gio delivered such a wonderful set of activities to suit my husband and I and our two teenagers. Each of the four days was a memorable experience. Alex was so fantastic and I would recommend him highly- we had one our best meals with him just learning from him and having great conversation. Andres in Florence was a blast and incredibly connected to the history of the area, just a wealth of information so much so that we are definitely coming back to Florence to spend more time. Caterina walked us through the Roman ruins and the Colosseum which was awe inspiring. And, one of the best things we did which I highly recommend is a pasta making class with Romina. We learned to make two dishes with her and then ate the food we had prepared. Such a great way to spend our time connecting to Roma. Thank you Gio and to all our guides! We will cherish our memories made together.
Brian
Brian
Thank you!
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Giovanni-thank you for a wonderful itinerary of guided visits to all the sights in Rome! We so appreciated the communication and detailed planning that ensured our visits to the Vatican/St. Peter's, Colosseum, Hadrian's Villa and Florence came off without a hitch.
Your guides are so friendly and knowledgeable. They made the history accessible and enriching.
You covered every detail, down to lunch reservations, business class train tickets and wonderful air-conditioned transportation with friendly drivers!
Thank you again for all the e-mails to develop a personalized itinerary for a special trip! We give you 5 1/2 stars on a 5 star scale!
Bonnie
Bonnie
Highly recommended!
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I highly recommend Italian ArtVentures. We decided to use a private tour company, rather than the cruise ship excursions, and we were not disappointed. Giovanni was excellent at planning. We booked a tour in Rome and Pompeii. Giovanni was able to customize a tour that was special to us, so we could visit the LDS temple. Maria was our guide at the Vatican. She was fun, smart, and thoughtful. She translated for us as needed and was able to answer all of our questions. One major bonus of having a tour guide is skipping the line for St. Peter's Basilica. Our driver was awesome, traveling quickly and safely. The van was new, clean, and comfortable. We asked for a restaurant recommendation, and Giovanni made us reservations for Amalfi. It was incredible. The next day, we went to Pompeii with Stefano. He was fantastic. He made sure we saw the highlights and we avoided the crowds because of his expertise in the area. Booking was simple, communication was excellent, the cost was well worth what you get. This company is very professional. Totally awesome experience!
Kevin
Kevin
Perfect Tour
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Truly outstanding experience visiting the Vatican with Maria! She was the perfect guide - knowledgable, smart, funny, passionate about the subject matter. She had a deep knowledge of the art, architecture, history, and the religious significance of the whole area, and gave us thoughtful, interesting commentary throughout our tour. Although she seemed to have a bottomless knowledge of everything, she also knew how to present the information in a way that was considered, insightful, and crucially, not too overwhelming for us. As we walked, she called attention to many things, some big, others details that could easily be missed. She was well prepared, but also brilliant at answering questions and flexible about following our interests. Several times she pointed out a small detail, then drew a connection back to it later in the tour. She knew the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, courtyard and Basilica like the back of her hand, steering us to less crowded routes and perfect viewing vantages. One of us is Catholic, and one of us loves art, and Maria brilliantly held both our interests throughout the tour. Highly Recommend!
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