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This Tour is guaranteed at max 6 people per group
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Alert! St Peter's Basilica Direct Access

Early Access Vatican Tour with Secret Room | Semi-Private Morning Experience

Max 6 people
3 hrs 30 mins
Refundable booking
early access vatican tour

LivTours Early Access Vatican Tour is ideal for first-time visitors to the Vatican or, if you are a returning visitor, allowing you to see more of the Vatican Museums.  As an Official Vatican Silver Level Collaborator, LivTours enjoys direct access to a secret room that is unlocked exclusively for this tour.  But it is not all secret rooms on this tour as your expert guide takes you to see the Hall of Animals, Hall of Busts, Gallery of Tapestries, Belvedere Torso, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel and several more stops that will give you an unparalleled overview of the Vatican Museums.

This tour was designed to give you a head start on your day, as well as get ahead of the crowds at one of the most visited sites in the world.  This is an extensive tour which is sure to give you an excellent solid foundation into the history of Rome and the papacy.

As the Vatican Museums are a must-see on every visitor’s list, you can imagine it can fill up very quickly.   LivTours semi-private tour with a maximum of six people allows your guide to easily navigate you to see the countless masterpieces that larger groups would find difficult, if not impossible to do so efficiently. 


  • Enjoy a semi-private tour with no more than 6 people and an expert tour guide
  • Revel in priority entrance to the Vatican Museums 1 hour before opening to public
  • Discover the amazing art hidden behind an unlocked door with exclusive access
  • Admire the 8,000 sq foot ceiling of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo
  • Be amazed by some of the most colorful and intricate designs in the Museums hallways

Semi-Private tours and experiences are guaranteed six participants max.

Our prices always include tickets and reservations fees (no waiting in lines!)

Our tour guides and staff are selected experts and speak perfect English

Easy to book and prepay your tours with our secure payment system

Eco-sustainable tourism, designed to respect and support local culture, art and traditions

Your LivTours Early Access Vatican Tour starts by meeting your guide near the Vatican Museums.  With your privileged access, your expert guide will lead you past the already long lines and enter the Vatican Museums one hour before the general public. The meditative silence of the Pinecone Courtyard and the Museo Clementino is uncommon once the general public gains entrance.  

Your visit includes visiting the breathtaking Belvedere Torso, a torso bust which inspired the likeness of Christ in Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, a close-up view of the Apollo Belvedere, considered a flawless example of ancient art, and admire the artistry of the Lacoon Priest of Troy whose suffering is almost too life-like to be a statue.

One destination which stands out is the Cabinet of the Masks rooms which are opened exclusively for LivTours guests. This hall was constructed in the 18th century and derives its name from the stunning mosaic floors which were meticulously brought over from Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli. Your LivTours tour guide will tell you tales of the statues of the Three Graces which include depictions of Aphrodite and Nymph.  After you have finished visiting the Cabinet of the Masks, your guide will lead you through the Hall of Animals, Gallery of Statues, and Hall of Busts, which hold precious masterpieces hidden to the general public.

Walking through the Gallery of Tapestries, you will see the work of some of Raphael’s students, and continuing to the Gallery of Maps, you will be surrounded by 120 meters of handcrafted maps that fill an entire hall. You and your semi-private tour will also spend some time in the Raphael Rooms, created exclusively by the great master painter, where you will see one of his most famous works, the School of Athens. Spend a minute trying to find Raphael’s signature, which consisted of painting himself into his paintings. 

Now it is on to see the greatest works of art ever created – Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The Chapel observes silence so your expert guide will give you all the info you need to truly appreciate your experience before even entering. Once inside the small chapel, with only a few other priority access tour groups around you, enjoy the detailed depictions from the Book of Genesis such as the famous The Flood, the Creation of Adam and The Fall. Looking straight ahead and you will see the stunning portrayal of The Last Judgement, where Christ is surrounded by sinners and believers. The Sistine Chapel covering over 8,000 square feet of ceiling was never meant to be an ordinary fresco, but a religious and political statement of the times, leaving us with an incredibly intricate view of the Renaissance world.

Your guide will lead you and your semi-private group into St. Peter’s Basilica, which holds a wealth of art including la Pietà, The Pity, by Michelangelo, the only signed piece of art by the world-renowned artist.  Carving this piece at the tender age of 25, take time to enjoy the pious beauty of Mary holding her dying son. You will get a chance to enjoy works of art by Baldacchino and Bernini, as well as Michelangelo’s majestic dome from below. Travelers are free to climb to the top after their tour!


  • Musuem Skip-the-line Early access
  • Pinecone Courtyard
  • Octagonal Courtyard
  • Room of the Animals (Secret Room)
  • Hall of Busts (Secret Room)
  • Cabinet of the Masks (Secret Room)
  • Muses Room
  • Round Room
  • Gallery of Candelabra
  • Gallery of Tapestries
  • Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Borgia Apartments
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Saint Peter's Basilica

  • Places of worship have strict dress code requirements for entry. All participants are required to have shoulders and knees covered (no tank tops or short dresses) to enter.
  • There is no photography allowed inside the Sistine Chapel.
  • St. Peter’s Basilica is an active church and can be closed unexpectedly for liturgical ceremonies. If closed, the time inside the Vatican Museums will be extended.
  • Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum.
  • LivTours is proud of our collaboration with the Vatican Museums, which allows us to access one entire hour before the museums are open to the general public. We are however aware that the Vatican Museums are selling at maximum capacity to accommodate an extremely high demand in what is already high season. We have absolutely no control or insight into the number of collaborations the Vatican Museums deals with nor how many people it chooses to give early entrance to. Access into the museums a full hour before entry during high season is nevertheless highly recommended considering the immeasurable crowd sizes admitted once the doors open to the public.
  • Due to these unprecedented times and ongoing safety and regulation changes, some sites may have limited accessibility if the venue can not guarantee social distancing which may lead to unforeseen tour modifications. Thank you for your understanding.
  • LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel and especially in these new times, we are proud to be at the forefront of the innovation, changes, and challenges that are presented to us during this post-pandemic time. At the moment, due to COVID-19 safety regulations, the museums and sites visited on this tour require wearing a mask while on the site. Please bring one for every participant over 6 years of age.


All LivTours Semi-Private Group Tours are limited to 6 guests per tour guide. Our commitment to maintaining our uniquely tiny group sizes can sometimes be a little tricky, mathematically speaking. For example, we want to ensure that traveling families and friends can tour together so on rare occasions we may add one or two guests in order to not split groups. On that same note, you may also find yourself on tour with less than six people! We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.


Must show Vaccination or Negative test for Italy & France Tours

For all France and Italy tours that include an indoor activity, a museum or an archeological park visit, it is now National Law in both countries, to present a covid-19 vaccination card OR negative covid-19 test result from the past 48 hrs accompanied by your personal ID to the local authorities for all adults over the age of 12. Lack of ability to present such documentation may result in loss of tour and funds lifting LivTours from all responsibilities.

St Peter's Basilica Direct Access

The passage between the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica is currently closed due to covid-19 physical distancing measures. This means that in order to enter the Church your tour will need to go around the Vatican State walls. Our top-rated guides will do their best to include a tour of the Basilica, but this may not always be possible due to the distance between the sites. In the eventuality this would not be possible, our guides will ensure a complete orientation of the Basilica so that you will collect the information prior to your visit. Please be aware that this alert may have expired by the date of your tour.

Definitely worth the early morning start

"We thought we might have trouble getting to the meeting point so early in the morning but instead it was easy and went very smoothly. Once we had met our guide and the other people in our group (5 of us in all) and walked to the entrance to the museum, a line had formed that went all the way down the street. We just walked right in, ahead of everyone else, so were able to see the museum and the Sistine Chapel in relative peace. After the entrance was opened up to the general public, it was pretty crowded and overwhelming. We were so glad we had booked this tour and gotten in early."

Marilyn - USA

Great tour

"This was a really great tour with an even better tour guide named Santi. There were just 6 people in our group. We saw and learned about tons of masterpieces in the museum and got into the Sistine Chapel before the general public did so it was a much better experience. Santi took us into rooms that were locked so we felt like VIPs. He also got us into the church through a back door so that we didn't ever have to wait in lines or bother with security. Believe me, this is really a great selling point during the tourist season here!"

Max - USA

A tour worth booking

"We were really happy, on many levels, that we had booked this tour to see the Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Church. First of all, the area is huge and holds so much history and beauty that it would really be a shame not to get the most out of it. With our fantastic guide, Davide, we were shown the most important parts of the museum and given more information than we will be able to remember (although extremely interesting!) He gave us a wonderfully thorough introduction to the Sistine Chapel and Michaelangelo so that when we entered, it took our breath away! There's alot of walking to do but with a guide, you are given frequest resting places and bathroom stops. And I haven't even mentioned the crowds and the long lines that we merrily skipped right by! Yes, it is definitely worth booking this tour!"

Janet M. - USA


By selecting BUY AS A GIFT, you can purchase this tour as a gift for someone you care for. You will receive a gift card voucher that then can be redeemed by the person/people who will enjoy the tour.Date and Time are values that cannot be selected at the moment. You will in fact receive a gift card voucher with instructions on how to redeem the tour and then select date and time.You can create a shopping cart with multiple tours as gift cards. You may not compose a shopping cart of gift cards and actual tours with date and time.This option can also be used as an opportunity to book a tour open-dated for yourself, in case you are still in the pre-planning phase of your trip.For more information please read here.