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Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St Peter's Basilica

No visit to Rome would be complete without seeing the breathtaking Sistine Chapel, the grandeur of the Vatican museums and experiencing the quiet reverence of St Peter’s Basilica. 

The Vatican has been an independent city state since 1929 and is home to 800 people as well as being the principle residence of the Pope and the seat of the Catholic Church. This tour, with your own private guide, will take you through the extensive Vatican museum complex with its huge papal collections of art and antiques, maps and tapestries. 

The museums are extremely extensive and it would be impossible to cover them in their entirety in one visit. Your guide will, however, be able to show you all the highlights along with any extra rooms that may be open during your visit (some rooms and exhibits are not always open to visitors so your guide will take you to whichever options are best on the day). 

You will then reach the Sistine Chapel, where talking and photography are both prohibited so, before you enter, your guide will take a moment to explain some of the most important points and what to look out for when you admire Michelangelo’s incredible work. While you will need to remain silent within the chapel itself, your guide will be more than happy to answer any questions once you have left. 

From here you will proceed to St Peter’s Basilica where your guide will explain some of the history surrounding this impressive building, which is also home to some excellent work by Bernini as well as Michelangelo’s wonderfully emotional Pieta. Exiting the basilica into St Peter’s Square, you will have some time to enjoy the dramatic majesty of Bernini’s huge colonnaded forecourt before completing your tour.  

This half day tour includes pre-booked entry tickets to the Vatican and museums that will allow you to bypass the lines with your guide, though there may be a wait to pass through the security scanners. As this is a religious site, it is important to remember to dress respectfully with your shoulders and knees covered. Hats will also need to be removed.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Carolyn

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Italy specialists on 01993 838 960

Other experiences in Rome

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.