Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Private Viewing and Small-Group Tour of the Vatican's Secret Rooms
Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours
See the Vatican like a VIP with a once-in-a-lifetime private Sistine Chapel viewing and tour of the Vatican Museum’s secret rooms. The small-group tour gives unprecedented access to rooms that are usually off-limits to the public. Skip all the lines to see secret spots like the Room of Gold plus classic sites like Raphael’s Rooms, and end with a Sistine Chapel after-hours visit — just for your group of 15 people. It’s a great way to see Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” fresco minus the crowds and earn bragging rights for life.
Skip-the-line Vatican tours are so popular, even the priority lines are long! But this exclusive VIP tour includes access through a reserved entranceway, ensuring that you will not wait in any long lines. Spend three hours here on a small-group tour, accompanied by a Vatican guard to unlock doors to secret rooms. You’ll discover the Vatican as only VIPs like presidents and royal families usually do.
Due to the nature of this special-access tour, the itinerary changes each time. Access to the secret rooms varies and is based on availability, but most tours include the impressive Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante), which is actually a ramp on the corner of the Pope’s Palace. You’ll also most likely visit the Room of Gold (Sala degli Ori), an opulent, rarely seen room that holds a dazzling collection of papal gold jewelry and precious Etruscan jewels.
The Niccoline Chapel (Cappella Niccolina) is another secret room most likely seen during your tour. Every bit as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel, this secret room is adorned with gold brought back from Christopher Columbus’ travels, and frescoes by Fra Angelico, a Renaissance painter whose mesmerizing artwork pre-dates Michelangelo’s.
In addition to the closed rooms, see many of the Vatican Museums’ classic attractions. As your expert guide entertains you with tales of Vatican art, power and treachery, admire the statue of Apollo Belvedere and other renowned monuments. Visit Raphael’s Rooms, the public part of the papal apartments in the Palace of the Vatican, and stroll through the Pinecone Courtyard.
Your tour ends on a high note with private access to the Sistine Chapel for your small group. After the doors close to the public, you’ll have 30 minutes inside this incredible (and empty!) chapel. Speaking is typically forbidden, but during this private experience, your guide will explain Michelangelo’s stunning ceiling fresco, which depicts scenes from Genesis, and his wall fresco The Last Judgement.