Immerse yourself in the art and culture of the Vatican City on this semi-private tour. Visit the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica with skip-the-line access.
Tour Ancient Rome and the Vatican in a Private Group
Spend a day in the lives of famous gladiators, Commodus and Spartacus, and prominent leaders, Julius Caesar and Augustus, in this first three-hour skip-the-line Colosseum tour. This iconic symbol of Imperial Rome was home to gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions, and dramas based on classical mythology.
Constructed nearly 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum is one of the must-see sites in the city, and Once in Rome wants to share with you the last remaining secrets of this historic piece of architecture, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
After reliving the accounts of a gladiator, walk among great rulers as you make your way to the Roman Forum. Julius Caesar, Augustus and Marc Anthony are only a taste of many famous people who once stood here. Visit the Senate House, where Marc Anthony held his famous speech directed to “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” admonishing the assassins of Caesar, and the place where Julius Caesar’s ashes were buried.
Trek up the regal Palatine Hill, where Rome was founded, according to the legend, by Romulus, the first king of Rome, in 753 b.c.e. This hill was soon transformed into the official residence of Roman Emperors which displayed their glory and power in the incredible structs of their home: heated floors, baths, fountains, marbles, gardens, and more.
After this immersion into ancient Rome, enjoy lunch on your own and relax before heading to the Vatican Museums to continue with the second part of the day. You will have approximately an hour and a half to take a break.
The Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica
A visit to a museum is both an adventure and a game. On this special Vatican tour, discover many intrigues, like when you enter the Vatican Museums, you’re actually entering the Vatican City State. It’s probably the most famous city state in the world, and also the smallest. The popes used to govern a state which was spread over a much larger area, but in 1870, it ceased to exist when Italian troops entered Rome.
Like all independent states, the Vatican City has its own stamps, coins, and radio station, as well as its own laws. There is even a police force and law court who are responsible for enforcing them. The pope (currently Francesco I), is the head of state, and is chosen from among cardinals around the world. The famous Swiss Guards serve as the pope’s personal protectors; you can see them in front of the main entrances of the Vatican.
The pope’s private collection of artwork consists of many historic masterpieces: sarcophaguses, ancient statues from Greece, Egypt, and Rome, busts, tapestries, and frescoes, as well as a variety of paintings made throughout history.
You mustn’t miss the Sistine Chapel which was frescoed by Michelangelo. Follow your tour guide into St Peter’s Basilica, a church that is rich in works of art and monuments: the Canopy by Bernini, the bronze statue of St. Peter, the Pietà by Michelangelo, and more.
Leave the church and turn to the centre where you can see the obelisk that was brought from Egypt. At the end of the tour, walk around St Peter Square to get a glimpse at the magnificent colonnade by Bernini, that appears as though it is wrapping you in an embrace.
Please bring a photo ID and wear comfortable clothes according to weather conditions.