The Best Cheap Vatican Tours in Rome, Italy (Skip the Line)
Rome, Italy's capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and is one of the many popular tourist attractions in Rome. It's home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Its Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed "Laocoon and His Sons" as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo's ceiling. A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy's hot-blooded capital is one of the world's most romantic and inspiring cities. Few cities can rival Rome's astonishing artistic heritage. Throughout history, the city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing the top artists of the day and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement. With so much to see and do, the Vatican City in Rome is a great place to experience, and there are several options for exciting tours to help you make the most of your time here.
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Take a 3-hour tour of one of the holiest sites in Christendom on this guided walking tour of the Vatican Museums. This exceptional tour includes, among other galleries of the Vatican corridors, a tour of the Pine Courtyard, Belvedere Courtyard, the Gallery of the Maps, Candelabra Gallery, Pio Clementino's Rooms, the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms during the early morning tours, and a comprehensive visit of the Sistine Chapel. Vatican City is one of the most interesting and beautiful sites in the world; your expert guide will take you to some of the major attractions, as well as to some lesser-known spots that other tourists often miss. You will receive a broad base for understanding the remarkable history, architecture and politics of the Vatican. The walking tour goes beyond the gold, pomp and stateliness, revealing a history filled with dark tales of deceit and lust. Get a taste of it all as you uncover the nitty-gritty and the high and mighty, the dirty politics and the ethereal beauty of this most remarkable of Renaissance creations. A world of discovery awaits you.
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After choosing between the morning and the afternoon tour, climb aboard the comfortable air-conditioned coach near Rome's Termini railway station. As the bus meanders through the streets of the Eternal City, take in the views and learn about the places you're about to see from your local guide. Pass through aesthetically pleasing Piazza del Popolo and cross the Tiber River, getting a view of the imposing Castel Sant' Angelo. Hop off the coach and skip the usually long line to get into the Vatican Museums, home to some of the world's most renowned and recognizable art works. Follow your guide down Guiseppe Momo's bronze spiral staircase to the art and linger in the great Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Map. Learn about the Flemish tapestries that grace the walls and about how they were based on paintings by students of Raphael, the Renaissance-era painter whose wall frescos of angels and cherubs are also in the museum. Then head to the Sistine Chapel, the room that Michelangelo painted and, perhaps, boasts some of the most famous images in the history of painting. Look out particularly for The Last Judgment and The Creation of Adam. After lingering in the Sistine Chapel for a while, head over to St. Peter's Basilica, the most important Catholic church in the world. And don't miss another Michelangelo masterpiece: his amazing sculpture of La Pieta. Also don't miss Bernini's Baldachino, used from bronze stripped off of the Pantheon. Learn about the history of the church from your guide and hear little-known stories about the building and its construction
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Attend a Papal Audience with Pope Francis I at the Vatican! Tickets may be free but they are extremely hard to come by, so booking in advance is essential. By booking ahead, you're ensuring you won't waste any time trying to get tickets while you're on vacation in the Eternal City. Depending on the season and weather conditions and the number of devotees visiting that day, the audience can take place in the Audience Hall, St. Peter's Basilica or St. Peter's Square. Start this unique day with a comfortable coach tour that traverses Rome. As you pass by legendary landmarks, learn about the history of the city from your guide. See the ancient Aurelian Walls, the villa Borghese, and Piazza del Popolo with its twin Baroque churches and the Egyptian obelisk at the center of the public space. Then cross over the Tiber River and pass by the imposing Castel Sant' Angelo, the tomb of Roman Emperor Hadrian, before arriving in Saint Peter's Square.
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Your Vatican experience starts in Vatican City, where you'll meet your host and walk to your reserved doorway that provides you with the fastest skip-the-line entrance at the Vatican Museums, avoiding the other priority queues. Just show your ticket to the guard, and your host will leave you to explore the museum complex's 9 miles of rooms and galleries at your leisure. You may stay as long as you wish. The most popular spaces include Raphael's Rooms, a series of four connecting rooms adorned with Renaissance works by Raphael and his students; the Gallery of the Candelabra, home to carved marble candelabras and sculptures; and the Gallery of Maps, where you can marvel at dozens of intricate maps of Italy from the 16th century. Most explorations of the Vatican Museums end at the crown jewel, the Sistine Chapel, a particularly sacred site, as it's where new popes are elected. Of course, you're there to see Michelangelo's legendary frescoes, The Creation of Adam on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the wall.
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Vatican skip-the-line tours are in such demand that even the priority-access lines are long. To ensure you won't spend time waiting in queues, your VIP tour provides admission through a reserved entrance, plus gives you access to secret rooms unlocked by the Vatican guard who accompanies you. It's a rare chance to see the hallowed halls of the Vatican the way that only dignitaries and royalty typically do. The nature of this exclusive tour means that the itinerary changes each time based on the availability of the secret rooms, but most tours include the Bramante Staircase on the corner of the Pope's Palace. You'll likely also see the lavish Room of Gold, home to an impressive collection of papal jewelry and precious Etruscan jewels, and the Niccoline Chapel, a room that compares to the Sistine Chapel with its gold brought back from the travels of Christopher Columbus and its frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Renaissance painter who pre-dates Michelangelo. Additionally, your tour includes artwork like the Apollo Belvedere statue and rooms seen on regular Vatican Museums tours such as Raphael's Rooms, the Pinecone Courtyard and the public area of the pope's apartments. As you explore, listen to stories from your guide about the Vatican's renowned art collection and scandalous history of power and treachery. Finally, arrive at the Sistine Chapel, where you have private access after the chapel closes to the general public. Talking in the chapel is typically prohibited, but during your 30 minutes inside your guide is allowed to tell you about Michelangelo's two famous works as you look at them-his wall fresco The Last Judgment and his legendary ceiling fresco, The Creation of Adam, which depicts scenes from the Book of Genesis.
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