Semi-Private Early Morning Vatican Tour
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’ Semi-Private Early Morning Vatican Tour is ideal for travelers who want to get an early start to their day. Once you’ve seen the crowds during the day, you’ll understand that entering the Vatican Museums a full hour before they open to the general public is a true VIP experience!
If this tour is unavailable on your dates of travel, we highly recommend the Early Entrance Breakfast in the Vatican & Museums Highlights Tour!
- Enter the Vatican Museums one hour before it opens to the general public
- Be one of the first of the day to visit the Sistine Chapel & Raphael Rooms
- Enjoy a VIP tour of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica
- Get a personalized semi-private tour with a maximum of six people guaranteed
- Get an overview of hundreds of years of art history in just one tour
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 Semi-Private Early Morning Vatican Tour will begin near the Vatican Museums’ entrance. Here you will meet your professional and charismatic tour guide. The first site you will visit upon entrance is the world-renowned Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Since this Chapel is the number one attraction inside the Vatican, LivTours believes it is important to give guests the time and space they need to fully appreciate it. Stand in amazement as you gaze onto Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring ceiling frescoes. Wonder over the breathtaking “The Last Judgement” before the major surge of crowds.
Your guide will be sure to make the most of this first hour by also visiting the Raphael Rooms before they open to the general public. Guests will be privy to some of the most important works of art in the entire museum – all without the rush of crowds around them. With your tour guide by your side, you’ll learn all of the intriguing stories and meaning behind the paintings that adorned the walls of the pope’s private apartments.
The tour will continue to the Pinecone Courtyard and Octagonal Courtyard. Learn about the greatest statues of antiquity, from the mysterious composition of the Greek statue of the Laocoon, to the Apollo Belvedere and the Belvedere Torso which despite it’s ruined state, inspired generations of artists. Then stop to admire the art and the decoration of the Gallery of the Maps and the Gallery of the Tapestries.
Once you’re done visiting the highlighted sites inside the museums, your guide will take you through the Sistine Chapel one more time before heading directly into St. Peter’s Basilica (please see current Alert message). This VIP access saves time and allows you to skip-the-line. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking space which is the largest Catholic church in the entire world. A few of the glorious works of art that you will get to see up close include Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s Baldacchino. Before you leave St. Peter’s Basilica, your guide will tell you about the Papal Tombs and share how to access the dome of St. Peter’s. Conclude your Early Morning Vatican Tour by walking around Bernini’s celebrate Piazza San Pietro Square and taking in the grandeur that is St. Peter’s.
- Fully guided experience
- Pinecone courtyard
- Octagonal Courtyard & Belvedere Palace
- Muses Room & Belvedere Torso
- Lacoon statue
- Apollo of the Belvedere statue
- Gallery of Candelabra
- Gallery of Maps
- Gallery of Tapestries
- Raphael Rooms
- School of Athens painting
- Sistine Chapel
- Michelangelo's ceiling
- St. Peter's Basilica
- Bernini's bronze altar canopy
- St. Peter's square
- 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 allowed in the Sistine chapel, and all other artwork can only be photographed without flash.
- 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.
- Saint Peter’s Basilica is closed on most Wednesdays mornings due to the weekly Papal Audience. If you book this tour for a Wednesday the time inside the Vatican Museums will be extended.
- 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.
- 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.
Thank you Patrizia
"We really enjoyed Patrizia on our tour this morning. Excellent work, she was aware that I had difficulty hearing her immediately and got me to move closer & asked the people behind to keep back. She shared so much history and information without it feeling like she was lecturing.. I enjoyed her and her tour very much and will happily recommend LivTours to everyone I know."
R. Mac - USA
don't hesitate to book this tour
"We couldn't have been happier with our tour at the Vatican. Laura Sensi was our guide. She was very detailed and made it fun and informative. Got so much more out of it than we would have done on our own. Don’t hesitate to do this one!"
Nathan P. - USA
Great tour, great guide
"We booked the small group tour of the Vatican with LivTours. Luisa was the best guide we have ever had. Her knowledge of the Vatican was fantastic and she made our experience a 10/10."
Sean - Ireland
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.