This tour includes a private English-speaking guide (only for you) for the three-hour tour
Meeting with our Tour guide in a specific place, which can be arranged according to guest’ s requirements.
The tour shows the visitors the most important religious and cultural places of the Vatican State like the Vatican Museums (Pio Clementino + Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of maps + the Raphael’s Rooms) with the Sistine Chapel and the Piazza del Bernini with the St. Peter’s Basilica (without visiting the dome).
You can admire the grandeur of the S. Peter’s Square on which stands the largest temple of Christianity: the Basilica of St. Peter. The dome, designed by Michelangelo, dominates the area. The construction of the Dome proceeded between problems and obstacles of all kinds. Michelangelo began the building it in old age, after 1546, so that at his death in 1564 only the ring of the drum had been completed. The rest of the work was carried out between 1588 and 1589 by Giacomo Della Porta and Domenico Fontana. While the solemn entrance to St. Peter’s and the beautiful Piazza Bernini square with its majestic colonnade were built by Bernini who also created the design of the 140 statues of saints that decorate it.
The Palaces and the Vatican collections are a museum complex of exceptional importance for the wealth and prestige of the masterpieces that have been gathered there over the centuries. Beautiful are also the so-called Raphael Rooms. Just arrived to Rome, the great artist Raffaello was immediately introduced to Julius II, who decided to decorate with frescoes his private chambers. On January 13, 1509 Raffaello received the first payment ad bonum computum picturae camerae. In fact, as soon as he arrived in the papal city he started painting the first room of Julius II, intended to house the papal library. This room is now called Room of the Segnatura because it was later transformed into the seat of the court of the Signatura Gratiae. The rooms Stanza della Segnatura and Stanza of Heliodorus, where the art of Raffaello is more visible and at the highest level, were completed in a few years during which the pontificate of Julius II ended and that one of Leo X started. In these two rooms Raphael showed all his deep artistic knowledge. The new Pope was an educated man, interested in theological studies, to poetry and music, as well as antiquities. While continuing the decoration of the rooms, Leo X commissioned Raffaello to cover many other jobs so that the artist started to use a team of collaborators, each member specialized in a certain figurative genre.
As regards the Sistine Chapel, it was built by the architect Giovanni de’ Dolci between 1475 and 1483 and commissioned by Sixtus IV. The decorative paintings began in 1481 and turned this chapel into a precious gallery of Italian Renaissance paintings from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In 1508, Julius II ordered the young Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We know that the contacts between Michelangelo and Julius II for the decoration of the chapel dates back at least to May 1506, while the beginning of the work took place on May 10, 1508. In these two years the artist was obviously convinced to overcome the initial reluctance to accept the commission, a reluctance witnessed by contemporary sources. The first problem Michelangelo had to face was to build a scaffold that could allow him to work in safe conditions at over twenty feet high. Moreover the original design of decoration developed by Michelangelo provided simply the depiction of the twelve Apostles immortalized in a great decoration. But once he had the green light, the artist imagined an extraordinary architectural structure through which we see the progressive implementation of Divine Revelation and Redemption. The gigantic work was begun in 1508 and was finished in 1512.
N.B.: The Vatican Museums are closed on Sunday (except the last Sunday of every month, free entrance from 9 am to 12.30 pm; the Museums close at 2 pm).
Do not forget to take with you your photo ID: the admission is free for children up 6 - Reduced price for visitors under 18.