Vatican: Gardens, Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 3 hours
per group up to 1
Roughly half of the Vatican is covered by flawlessly cultivated parks and gardens. You'll need to book a tour at least a week in advance if you want to see them, but here are a few of the treasures that'll be revealed if you do!
Arnaldo Pomodoro's Sphere Within Sphere was the first modern art piece to be exhibited at the Vatican Museums. It looks static, but push it firmly and it'll begin to rotate!
Outside the Mater Ecclesiae nun monastery lies this spectacular fountain, designed by Giovanni Vasanzio to look like a heavenly lagoon.
The highest terrace in the famed Belvedere Courtyard takes its name from the 1st-century bronze sculpture of a pinecone that once crowned a Roman fountain.
Founded in 1931, the station played a vital role in the broadcast of anti-fascist information. Unfortunately, the first report on Nazi treatment of Poles and Jews fell on deaf ears.
Built in 1563, the beautiful "Casina di Pio IV" is the oldest building in the Vatican Gardens. It's now an integral part of the Pontificial Academy of Sciences.
Opening hours are subject to reservation. The Vatican Gardens aren't open to the general public, but you can still visit as part of a guided tour. Numbers are incredibly limited, however, so you'll need to book at least a week in advance.
The closest Metro stop is Ottaviano-San Pietro. If you take a taxi though, ask about flat-rates (between major landmarks) or else make sure the meter's running. Some cab drivers try to get away with charging a special "Vatican fee" for tourists.
The length of the experience may seem too long but it definitely didn't feel that way. The Vatican is incredible and time simply stands still when you are in the Sistine Chapel. You simply don't want to leave the beauty and peace. Our guide, Debora, was amazing. We had a group of 5 and she made an effort to connect with each person in the group throughout the day. She was very knowledgeable and personable. The train ride to Castel Gandolfo was fun. Imagine taking a private train in the back yard of the Pope's home as you exit the amazing gardens. I highly recommend you watch "The Two Popes" in advance of going. I always find myself imagining what life was like whenever I visit a site. The movie certainly brings to life the interactions that may have happened in real life.
Amazing! I learnt so much about the Vatican and is history thanks to our friendly and enthusiastic guide,however, he was a little difficult to follow at certain points as he spoke very fast. I loved everything but my highlight was the Sistine Chapel, it was Very Beautiful! I could have spent hours gazing in awe at the images and colours there. St Peters, wow, the sheer size and atmosphere is incredible! Walking in and being surrounded by the architecture and walking up to the dome (after the tour) and seeing the mosaics up close was truly breathtaking. And to top it all seeing the view from the top of the Basillica was the perfect End.
Worth every penny. We skipped the lines, were in within 25 minutes and learned a TON from our very passionate and experienced tour guide. I do think I would have preferred to avoid some of the outside chat and head straight into the museums, as we were eager to get to Sistine and St. Peter's but all in all it was incredible! A MUST!
Our guide was extremely nice and gave us a wonderful tour of the Vatican museum, St Peters and Sistine Chapel. A must have tour to truly understand what is all means!
Very enjoyable experience. Luigi was full of information and had time for any questions. Mass in St Peters was lovely too. Pat and Nora