The one piece of advice almost every traveler headed to Rome gets from those who have already been, is “don’t miss out on the Vatican!”. And yes, it is truly a place like no other.
It’s the smallest independent country in the world, it’s the only monarchy ruled by a religious leader, and it is home to the most amazing art collection in the world.
With about 3.5 miles of galleries and 1100 rooms, the Vatican Museums would take days to go through, and this might be a bit of a challenge when visiting on your own. No worries! In this tour, I’ve chosen some of the most outstanding masterpieces and some hidden gems, alongside with the “must-sees”, to give you an overview of this extraordinary museum.
We’ll see the collection of antiquities, as well as the Gallery of the Tapestries and the dazzling Gallery of the Maps; and then, we’ll marvel at Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Pope, where the Conclave (the papal election) is held.
Being led by a licensed Vatican guide, you’ll have the added advantage of using the reserved access from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s church, avoiding the grueling lines for regular visitors.
St. Peter’s basilica will really take your breath away: it is not only the largest church on earth, but also one of the most impressive and ornate buildings you’ll see in your life. After admiring the gigantic St. Peter’s square, we’ll enter the church to see Michelangelo’s Pietà, the beautiful statue of Mary and Jesus the great artist made when he was just 23 years old; we’ll see the famous Baldacchino by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the bronze canopy above the high altar, as tall as a 5 storeyed building; and we’ll look up in wonder at the highest dome in town, shining with mosaics, and planned by Michelangelo towards the end of his life, when he was over 80 years old.