Express Early Viewing Sistine Chapel Tour | Semi-Private
Thanks to a very special collaborative agreement between LivTours and the Vatican Museums, our clients have access to an exclusive 8AM first entry into the Museums.
Reserved for only a select number of other tour operators, this privileged entry guarantees you access to the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel before the general public and before other tour operators. This extraordinary experience is not to be missed!
LivTours Early Viewing Sistine Chapel Tour is designed for travelers looking to make the most of their time in Rome with LivTours’ special priority access that allows you to enter an hour before the general public and enjoy Raphael’s frescoes and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel bright and early in the morning.
This early morning tour is an ideal way to see the Sistine Chapel before the general public is allowed into the museums. You and your semi-private group of no more than six travelers will be given direct access to the holy Apostolic Palace a full hour before it is opens to the public.
Enjoy the privilege of taking a tour with one of the Museums’ partners.
- Admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, in the soft morning light
- Appreciate an intimate experience in a semi-private tour of no more than 6 people
- Get exclusive skip the line access into the museums before general public entry
- Experience Raphael's frescoes in tranquility
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 guide will meet you and your semi-private group by the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Your tour will start with a taste of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s background and will tell you how a sculptor from Florence ended up being commissioned to paint a fresco for Pope Julius II, a notoriously difficult pope. Your guide will tell you stories of how Michelangelo considered himself more of a sculptor than a painter, and had little desire to paint what is now considered a Renaissance masterpiece – the Sistine Chapel.
Now on the move, your expert guide will take you on a brief tour of the Vatican galleries before entering into the Raphael Rooms. Thanks to this experience you will be able to get up close to Raphael frescoes, enjoy its beauty and appreciate the intimacy of his work. Next, the masterpiece: the Sistine Chapel.
Once inside the small chapel, fully enjoy the detailed intellectual and emotional depictions as the soft morning light seeps through the windows. Michelangelo chose some of the most prominent stories to tell 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 the 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.
After your Early Viewing Sistine Chapel Tour is over and your guide has showed you out, we recommend you head over to Saint Peter’s Basilica on your own: one of the largest Christian churches in the world. Visit the Basilica at your own leisure and enjoy the extraordinary 96-foot tall bronze canopy over the High Altar design by Gian Lorenzo Bernini which is used during papal mass. Don’t miss the pristine sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding Christ’s lifeless body in Michelangelo’s La Pietà, The Pity, sculpture.
- 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.
- Vatican management maintains the right to delay the opening of the Sistine Chapel for religious reasons, in this case the guide will modify the itinerary and extend your visit of the museums to ensure you make the most of your time before access to the Sistine Chapel is permitted.
- There is no photography is allowed inside the Sistine Chapel.
- Please be aware that the Sistine Chapel is a Holy Place and talking during your visit inside is strictly forbidden, therefore your guide will give you an explanation of the Sistine Chapel beforehand during your tour, in order to give you a comprehensive explanation before entering the chapel.
- Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum.
- Guests with wheelchair accessibility needs will find difficulty with this small group tour. In order to ensure a barrier-free tour with alternative routes, please book the private version of this tour.
- 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 and 30 minutes before other tour operators.
- ABOUT OUR 6 PEOPLE SMALL GROUP POLICY
When you book a LivItaly Small Group Tour, you are guaranteed one tour guide per group of 6 people. Please bear in mind though that in order to accommodate traveling families and friends, we do on rare occasion make the exception of adding an additional one to two guests in order not to split groups who are traveling together. On that same note, you may find yourself on tour with less than six people. As we accept bookings in multiples of six, math doesn’t always work in our favor to help accommodate individual travelers and their families when on the same tour, so we hope you understand and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel, and we are proud to be at the forefront of change and innovation in the industry. LivTours is committed to providing travelers with truly sustainable tours with the lowest possible environmental impact, all while supporting the local industries and people of each unique destination. To learn more about how you can actively support sustainable tourism and how LivTours is contributing, click here.
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.
"We just arrived home from our holiday in Italy and wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our tour of the Sistine Chapel with Alessandro. It was wonderful how much information he was able to share with us in our time together. We’ve now taken several tours with LivTours and they have all been really special experiences. Thank you for the thought and care you put into the tours, hiring wonderful guides, and making the experience special and easy! We will be recommending LivTours to anyone who's traveling to Italy."
Mel D. - UK
Never disappointed with LivTours
"Thank you for providing such great small group tours; I have booked 3 tours this time and have also booked with you on 2 other holidays to Italy over the last 7-8 years and have recommended your company to friends and family . As a solo traveller it has been more difficult to book tours with you on this occasion but I’m sure that is related to recovery from the covid pandemic and hope it will improve in the future "
"Fantastic early morning visit with Laura S, highly recommend. Not our first visit of the Vatican museum, but this tour was made special by the early morning access and professionalism of our guide and Livtours."
By selecting Choose Dates Later / Buy as Gift at booking, any tour can be purchased without fixed dates. This is the perfect option if you want to purchase your tour as a gift for a loved one, or if you are in the pre-planning phase of your vacation. After booking, you will receive a Travel Voucher Code and full instructions on how to schedule your tours when ready. Once your travel plans are confirmed, you can easily use the Travel Voucher Code on the LivTours website to formally schedule your tours. You can find out more here.