Pinacoteca Vaticana

Pinacoteca Vaticana: Our most recommended tours and activities

Skip the line Vatican Museum Sistine & St.Peter Private Tour

1. Skip the line Vatican Museum Sistine & St.Peter Private Tour

Enjoy the best of the Vatican collections on a guided tour that is tailored to meet your special needs. With your expert licensed tour guide have the best experience, visiting the masterpieces of the renaissance art as well as the modern art. Explore the highlights of the Vatican museums. Head to the Pinacoteca gallery with paintings and tapestries dating back from the 11th-19th century. Marvel at ancient statues like the colossal “Laocoon”in the Pio-Clementine museum.  Follow your guide to the 'Julius II' rooms where important political decisions were made. Discover frescoes by Raphael and his pupils. Stroll through the Carriage Museum which contains the pope's saddles, carriages, automobiles and sedan chairs. Be lead through the Borgia’s apartments decorated by Bernardo di Betto called “il Pinturicchio” and his assistants which now house part of the Vatican Museums’ Collection of Modern Religious Art inaugurated by Paul VI (1973).  Gaze up at the masterpiece of the Sistine chapel. The last stop is Saint Peter's Basilica. View Michelangelo's “Pietà” which he created at 25. Be enlightened with the history of the largest catholic church in the world.

Vatican: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Small Group Tour

2. Vatican: Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Small Group Tour

Skip the lines and visit the Vatican Museums on a small group tour with an expert guide. Learn in-depth knowledge about the Sistine Chapel and see it for yourself without the crowds. Visit the the Pinecone Courtyard, the Hall of the Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, the Pinacoteca, the Round Room, Belvedere Courtyard, Room of the Muses and Candelabra Gallery. Your guide will provide information about the Sistine Chapel before entering, as it is forbidden to talk once inside. Marvel at the beauty of Michelangelo's most important masterwork without the crowds, as you’ll be visiting at the end of the day. Enjoy this full experience in intimate groups of 10 people tops led by a five star guide.

Vatican: Michelangelo v Raphael in the Vatican City

3. Vatican: Michelangelo v Raphael in the Vatican City

On this theme tour of the Vatican, your guide will regale you with stories of the rivalry between Michelangelo and Raphael.  Your tour will begin with skip the line entrance to the Vatican Museums. This theme tour will focus on the artworks of Michelangelo and Raphael, but will also refer to some of the attractions along the way to help you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the period to which they belonged. The Raphael Rooms were once the papal apartments of Pope Julius II, who liked to stoke the rivalry of the geniuses under his patronage, to get the most out of them! While he had Michelangelo decorating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he had his greatest rival decorating the walls of the grand rooms of his apartments! Your guide will explain the commission Raphael was given when painting these walls, and the messages and themes he was asked to portray through his art, for the benefit of ambassadors and visiting dignatories to the Holy See. Your guide will also point out Raphael's portraits of some of his famous contemporaries in his frescoes here, including the Pope, Michelangelo and himself! The Sistine Chapel was built by the uncle of Julius II, when he was Pope Sixtus IV. It was therefore very dear to his heart, so he hired the greatest artist of the day to take on the almost impossible task of painting the entire ceiling. Michelangelo displayed an obsession bordering on madness to complete this great undertaking, taking 4 years to complete the work, and today you can still gaze upward in awe at his greatest masterpiece. Your guide will explain to you the challenges he faced, his encounters and arguments with the Pope, the theme and purpose of the scenes he painted, as well as his own unique portaits and messages, hidden cheekily in small details that would have been very difficult for viewers to see from the ground! St Peter's Basilica contains mosaic copies of some of Raphael's great paintings, the originals of which you will see in the Pinacoteca, and also Michelangelo's famous and very moving statue of Mary with the body of Jesus on her lap - the Pietà. There are also wonderful stories of the time both artists spent in the Basilica - both served time as the maestro, or chief architect, during the course of the 120-year project to complete the rebuilding of the ancient structure. You will stand beneath the dome which stands over the altar of St. Peter, while your guide explains how Michelangelo solved the problem of how to cover the vast transept with a dome that would not collapse on itself - a problem his predecessors were unable to solve, leading to a period of 18 years in which the Basilica was in use but could not keep the rain out!  With treasures in the Pinacoteca, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica, by two of the most naturally gifted - yet very different characters - artists of their own, or any, generation, you will never be bored on this fascinating study of art and history in the Vatican!

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What people are saying about Pinacoteca Vaticana

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 38 reviews

This tour was WELL worth the money! Our tour guide Antonio was amazing and got us through the crowds very quickly. He was courteous and friendly and very knowledgeable about the history of everything we saw. Just wonderful! Grazie mille!!!

Claudia was perfect as a guide and historian also added many wonderful anecdote’s that were pertinent to each individual room & Fresco . She had our interest the entire time. Highly recommend… Thomas

Our guide was amazing!! He was so informative and very engaging. He gave so much detail, I would highly recommend him.

Fabulous tour with a true historian and ultimate insider. Thanks so much Rudy!

Antonio was an outstanding guide. Very knowledgeable!!