Make sure you see everything, with our Once in a Lifetime Extended Tour of the Vatican. Visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums and gain special access to the Niccoline Chapel and Bramante Staircase!
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A visit to the Vatican State is an experience no one touring Rome can skip, but most people only enter the Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica and part of the Vatican Museums, ignoring the many other wonders that the place hides. Whilst St. Peter’s Basilica is open for everyone to visit for free and the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are easily accessible to anyone buying a ticket, there are restricted areas of the Vatican Museums that are usually inaccessible, containing priceless pieces of art and architecture: the Bramante Staircase and Niccoline Chapel.
Your Once in a Lifetime Extended tour of the Vatican will start just outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Here you will meet your private guide, one of the best official guides with a degree either in Art History or Archaeology. You will enter the Vatican Museums right away at 9am, thanks to our pre-booked skip-the-line tickets! Your visit will start off with the restricted areas of the Niccoline Chapel and Bramante Staircase, usually closed to the public and you will continue your visit to the other areas of the Vatican Museums, including the Raphael Rooms.
The Niccoline Chapel owes its name to its patron, Pope Nicholas V, who had it built for use as his private chapel. Among the several works of art contained, what will leave you breathless are the amazing frescoes paintings painted by Fra Angelico and his assistants, depicting two of the earliest Christian martyrs; scenes from the Life of St. Stephen and St. Laurence. Look up and take in the view of the stunning vault, painted blue, decorated with stars and figures of the Four Evangelists in the corners.
At 11am your Extended Tour of the Vatican will continue with special access to the esquisite Bramante Staircase. Centuries before DNA was discovered, the gifted artist from Tuscany created a staircase in the shape of a double-helix, something Bramante's contemporaries had obviously never seen before. The purpose of this staircase, though, was very practical. The Bramante Staircase was once an entrance from street level to the Papal apartments and it was built to accommodate horses and mules carrying large items back and forth from the Papal Palaces.
Your tour will of course continue with the other highlight of the Vatican, Michelangelo’s masterpiece Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, a special passageway will bring you to St Peter’s Basilica, so that you avoid the line to enter St Peter's Basilica. Your guide will explain all about the most important Basilica in the world, pointing out the art and architecture that enrich the massive Church.
In front of the entrance to the Vatican Museums, by the marble arch at the bottom of the steps.
Please wear comfortable shoes. This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
Remember to follow the dresscode for the Vatican: you must be able to cover your shoulder and knees.
PLEASE NOTE: in case St Peter's Basilica is closed for religious functions, you will spend longer time in the Vatican galleries with your guide. The Basilica is a Church and as such the Vatican can decide to use it for religious functions without notice.
Please note that in certain periods of summer time, or when the Vatican Museums reopen its doors after bank holidays, the museums might be busier than usual.