The buildings housing the collection of the Vatican Museums, with their architectural details and decorated vaults and walls, are artworks themselves. Wonderful painting, sculptures, artefacts, tapestries, jewels reflecting various epochs, cultures and traditions are on display in this magnificent building which was once the residence of popes and cardinals. Undoubtedly, you will find yourselves in front of one of the richest and most important art collection in the world!
The tour will start in the vicinity of the Vatican where you will meet your guide. After a short walk along the Vatican wall during which your guide will explain the history of the smallest state in the world, from the Roman age to our modern times, you will enter the Museums by way of a preferential entrance, skipping the usual long lines. You will climb a spiral staircase to reach the various sections: the Pius-Clementine Museum with its ancient collection of statues, the Gallery of the Candelabra, the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, then on to the apartments of Julius II, known as the Raphael’s Rooms, because frescoed by the great artist Raphael Sanzio, and then you will enter the “Sistine Chapel”.
Before entering the chapel, with the use of reproductions, our official guide, will explain the 14th century frescoes painted on the chapel walls, the nine scenes of the book of Genesis painted by Michelangelo on the vault and the last Judgment on the front wall. Once inside, out of respect for such a sacred place, the guide will just point out what has been explained previously. The vatican tour will proceed with the visit of St. Peter’s Basilica and end outside to view Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s magnificent colonnade in St. Peter’s square. Inside the Basilica you will stop in front of the extraordinary Pietà by Michelangelo, proceed to the famous gilded bronze baldachin (canopy) covering the papal altar also known as Cattedra (Throne) both designed by Bernini and view other works of great artistic importance, accompanied by anecdotes and stories of the most well known popes of the history of the Church.
Whenever our tour coincides with religious ceremonies and services it will not be possible to visit the interior of the Basilica; in this case the explanation will be given outside. In some days it will not be possible to visit the Raphael’s Rooms.