Semi-Private Early Morning Vatican 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. 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 Belevedere 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 alter 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.
- 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.
- 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 ToursFor 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 AccessThe 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.
Only way to visit and learn about the Vatican
"Here's a fact you may not know: in italian, the Vatican museum is actually plural: museums. That's because there are so many different eras and artistic periods represented with so many art pieces, sculptures, curiosities and masterpieces that it's like several museums all in one. You wouldn't try to see several museums all in one day, right? So if you think of it this way, having a guide to help you navigate the many galleries and show you the very best works -- not to mention having an expert to fill you in on what you are seeing so that you can appreciate it all that much more -- is really the only way to see the Vatican museumS. We made this discovery (and boy were we happy we did!) on the absolutely amazing small group tour we booked with LivItaly. We had an awesome guide who knew exactly where to go so that we got the very most out of our visit without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, despite the grandeur of the museum and the whole Vatican complex. Really, we can't recommend this tour highly enough!"
Robyn - Australia
"Great small group tour with a brilliant guide. It was the highlight of our trip!"
Philippa - UK
"I was in Rome as a teenager on a study abroad program. This time I was with my wife and son and (obviously) in a totally different frame of mind than the first time around. We wanted our son (age 12) to enjoy and be inspired by all that is the Vatican so we booked this tour and we were so glad we did. We were in a group with another family with a pre-teen (so 6 of us total) and our guide, Davide, who was out of this world. Both kids really connected with him and hung on his every word. The early entrance allows for you to get in before the masses which is an opportunity that is priceless! There's alot to see and learn about so having a guide makes a huge difference. If you want an awesome experience, this is the tour for you! "
Jerry and family - 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.