Courtyard of the Pigna

Courtyard of the Pigna: Our most recommended tours and activities

Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

1. Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel: Tour

Discover one of the greatest art collections in the world on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.  Your local guide will take you to the most interesting galleries within the museums – the Rotunda, Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps. Each of these rooms contains ornate ceilings with the walls decorated with ancient statues, frescoes, and tapestries. Of course, the greatest gem of the Vatican collection is not a painting on any wall, but an entire ceiling and wall completely frescoed by the greatest genius of the Renaissance period – Michelangelo Buonarotti. Learn all about how Michelangelo dedicated himself to painting the Sistine Chapel, working day and night, and even sleeping in the chapel. Discover how he expressed his frustration with his employers as your guide lets you in on private the jokes hidden within his work.

Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Reserved Entrance

2. Rome: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Reserved Entrance

Take in the highlights of the Vatican Museums, from the Sistine Chapel to lesser-known gems of the collection. Visit the Hall of Maps, Pinecone Courtyard, Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Candelabra, and Raphael Rooms. Choose to add an open-top bus tour of the Vatican Gardens or an Italian breakfast. Redeem your voucher at the activity provider's office. Be taken by their staff to the Vatican Museums to get your official reserved ticket. Enjoy exploring at your own pace. Admire the immense art collection amassed by the Catholic Church, including Roman sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces. Visit the Sistine Chapel. Admire the details you have heard about, including Michelangelo’s boneless self-portrait, in which he expresses to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again. See what it takes to create a fresco and appreciate the work up close. Depending on the option chosen, then take a panoramic open-top bus around the Vatican Gardens. Listen to the multi-lingual audioguide to learn their secrets. Marvel at the elegant fountains and the sculptures as you tour the gardens.

Rome: Early Vatican & St Peter's Guided Tour with Breakfast

3. Rome: Early Vatican & St Peter's Guided Tour with Breakfast

 Have the Vatican to yourself on this exclusive early morning tour that whisks you through closed doors for a buffet breakfast in the peaceful Pinecone Courtyard, before anyone else enters the museums. Feast on an Italian-American breakfast buffet of cooked-to-order eggs, meats, cheeses, muffins, croissants, fresh fruits, cereals, and pancakes made by the Vatican's pancake chef. Dine in the Pinecone Courtyard, alongside one of the Vatican Museums' most beautiful works of modern art, and experience tranquility rarely seen by Vatican visitors. Follow your guide to explore the Vatican Museums. With only 13 people per group, take the time and space to appreciate the art. See rooms such as the Hall of Maps, Gallery of the Tapestries, and the Gallery of the Candelabra. Your guide will bring works of art to life, pointing out things you would have missed on your own. Continue to the legendary Sistine Chapel. Then, skip the ticket lines to enter St. Peter’s Basilica. See the altar and marvel at Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture.

Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

4. Rome: Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica Tour

Experience all the wonders and history the Vatican has to offer on this guided tour. Step inside the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with skip-the-line entry. Once inside, your expert guide will show you the best of the Pinecone Courtyard and Gallery of Tapestries. Marvel at Michelangelo’s most famous masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, and learn all about its history from your guide. Continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is larger than the Statue of Liberty. Gaze up into its massive dome and see its iconic sculptures, mosaics, and hidden details. When you finish, you are free to remain inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Experience more of this amazing church at your leisure or return outside to St. Peter’s Square to admire Bernini’s clever optical illusion and the basilica’s heavenly facade.

Semi-Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter Guided Tour

5. Semi-Private Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St Peter Guided Tour

Avoid the rush and spend the morning exploring the Vatican City before the crowds arrive! With exclusive skip-the-ticket-line access, you'll go inside the Sistine Chapel and Upper Galleries of the Vatican Museums with your group. With over 2,000 rooms, it’s impossible to see the entire collection of the Vatican. But your tour will take a carefully planned route to see the highlights of the 9 miles of galleries. Marvel at the Pinecone Courtyard and Hall of Maps, before going into the Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Candelabras. Your guide will bring the art to life, pointing out things you never would have noticed on your own. A highlight of the tour comes when you go to the Sistine Chapel. Guided tours are not permitted within the chapel so, with the aid of photographs, your guide will fill you in on details before. Admire Michelangelo’s boneless self-portrait, in which he expressed to the world that he would rather be skinned alive than paint the Sistine Chapel again! Exit by a special access door that leads straight into St. Peter’s Basilica. See the incredible altar and Michelangelo’s beautiful La Pietà, before ending outside on St. Peter’s Square.

Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-The-Line Tickets

6. Rome: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Skip-The-Line Tickets

Design your own itinerary with a full-day skip-the-ticket-line ticket, map, and a brief orientation, so you can enjoy the highlights of the Vatican museums’ famous collections at your own pace. Start by exploring areas most tour groups never see, like the paintings in the Pinacoteca gallery and the Etruscan museum, or spend more time admiring the scenery in famous areas like the Pinecone Courtyard and Gallery of Maps.  No trip to the Vatican is complete without visiting its shining star: the Sistine Chapel. Your ticket includes entry to the chapel and your orientation provides information on what to look for when you visit this incredible treasure.

Rome: Vatican Early Entrance Private Tour

7. Rome: Vatican Early Entrance Private Tour

Enjoy a private tour of the Vatican. Thanks to a new partnership in 2022, you can now be among the first to enter into the Museums, with access reserved for only a handful of other tour operators. Take advantage of exclusive access and viewing of the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel 30 minutes before other tours and 1 hour before the general public. Explore the highlights of the papal palace, from the Greek statues of the Lacoon to the Tapestries and the exquisite Raphael Rooms. Tailor your visit to include the aspects of the collections you want to see, whether in the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, or St. Peter’s Basilica. Your personal guide will not only enlighten you with the Vatican’s fascinating history, but share bits of papal gossip and little-known stories about the popes and artists represented.

Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

8. Vatican: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums Tour with Breakfast

Start your day at the Vatican early and skip the notoriously long ticket lines by following a special route through the museums that gets you to the Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel just as it opens for the day. Enter before most of the crowd does and spend a peaceful half-hour soaking up Michelangelo’s masterpiece along with stunning frescoes by other important Renaissance artists. Continue on to one of the Vatican's tranquil courtyards and sit down to enjoy a large buffet breakfast including hot and cold dishes, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head back into the museums for a tour of the most famous artifacts, including the Belvedere Torso, the Apollo Belvedere, the Laocoön Group, and the Raphael Rooms, widely considered to be among the most beautifully-frescoed interiors in the world. Visit the Gallery of the Candelabra with ancient Greek and Roman artworks. Learn about Raphael Sanzio at the Gallery of Tapestries, one of the most spectacular rooms in the museums. To complete your experience, you'll head into St. Peter's Basilica via a special access tunnel straight from the Vatican Museums. There's no better place to cap off your morning than at this sacred space.

Rome: Vatican Gardens Bus Tour and Vatican Museums Visit

9. Rome: Vatican Gardens Bus Tour and Vatican Museums Visit

Explore the green heart of the world’s smallest state on a guided minibus trip to the Vatican Gardens. Admire the lush cultivated areas and discover every single corner. Finish off your experience with a visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Meet your guide and uncover the secrets of this rich verdant space that occupies one-third of the Vatican city's 44 hectares. Hear about how the gardens have been enriched by the initiatives of various Pontiffs and experience a unique encounter with nature, art, and the Christian faith. Find out about the artists, architects, and creators who took care to create this harmonious location. If you're looking for the complete Vatican experience, this tour is perfect for you, with Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel visits to explore all of Vatican City's beauty. See the Hall of Maps, the Pinecone Courtyard, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Gallery of Candelabra, and the incredible Raphael Rooms. Enjoy the definitive highlight of your visit, the Sistine Chapel. Take some time to admire the details, including Michelangelo’s interesting self-portrait.

Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Vatican Museums Ticket

10. Rome: Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Vatican Museums Ticket

Discover Rome at your own pace with a combined 24 or 48-hour ticket for the official hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus, and a skip-the-line entrance ticket to the Vatican Museums in the Vatican City. Have fast-track entry to the Vatican Museums which means more time exploring the world’s most extensive collection of art, and less time waiting in the famously long lines. Once inside, wander the galleries at your own pace, and see masterpieces of art by celebrated artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and more. Marvel at the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, and see ancient cartography in the Hall of Maps. Go to the Pinecone Courtyard and the Gallery of Candelabras. From the open-top bus, you will enjoy privileged views of the Eternal City’s main sights, including the Spanish Steps, Colosseum, and Imperial Forum. Why not throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain or sip an authentic Italian coffee in Piazza Navona – the choice is yours. Hop on or off at any of the stops listed below: • Via Marsala • Santa Maria Maggiore • Colosseo • Circo Massimo • Piazza Venezia • Vaticano • Fontana di Trevi • Piazza Barberini

Other Sightseeing Options in Courtyard of the Pigna

Want to discover all there is to do in Courtyard of the Pigna? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Courtyard of the Pigna

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 10,693 reviews

We enjoyed our tour and breakfast. Our guide Sabrina is the best. Very knowledgeable and funny. Highly recommend this tour.

Highly recommend, skipping all the que and getting shown around is a must. There is so much to see a guide is needed.

On time start, knowledgeable guide, help with my knee issue, delicious breakfast. Highly recommend.

Our guide, Emma, did an excellent job! Very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Wonderful tour.

Extremely organized, efficient, and thoughtful full tour!!