The Vatican Museums are one of the largest and oldest museum collections in the world. With over 40 rooms viewable by the public containing thousands of pieces of art, the sheer size of the complex surprises most visitors.
The majority of the museums are rooms of ancient Roman sculpture and Renaissance paint work. You have to go through the Vatican Museums to get to the Sistine Chapel so all tours, including my own, start there.
Once inside, you have a choice of which route to take. Since the year 2000 the museums have been a one way system. Seeing all of the Museums would take about 4/5 hours, half would take 2, the minimum route lasts 1 hour before you can see the chapel. This is the same regardless of what guide or tour you choose.
Entrance and North side of the Museums:Pinacoteca
This Section was built by two Popes; Clement XIV Ganganelli (1769-1774) and Pius VI Braschi (1775-1799):The Octagonal Courtyard
The Chiaramonti Museum is is named after pope Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800-1823) and is one long room linking the Papal Residence to the older Museum and a new wing or Braccio Nuovo:The Gallery of the Busts
Other rooms have been created and updated by Popes:Tapestry Gallery
The Raphael Rooms were a set of Papal Apartments paid for by Pope Julius II (1503-1513) who didn't want to sleep where his Borgia predecessor Alexander VI had slept. They were decorated by Raphael Sanzio and his assistants Giovanni Francesco Penni and Gulio Romano.
The Raphael Rooms
The Borgia Apartments are where Pope Alexander VI (1492 - 1503) slept, they were primary decorated by Pinturrichio and his assistants:
The Borgia Apartments
The Sistine Chapel was built by Pope Sixtus IV, hence the name - there is not another 15 of them, and is the private chapel of the Pope and where most Popes have been elected since 1482. It was decorated by various people including Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Botticelli and later Michelangelo.
The Sistine Chapel
The Vatican Library housed the library and archives of the Vatican State, now are are long corridor leading to exit of the museums.
The Vatican Library
My Tour reviews:
My husband and I went on the tour and enjoyed it very much. It was very professional.
5.0 Stars Marianne Sweeney
A Great Tour
The tour was great, after talking with others on our cruise we got the better deal as they went on the cruise sponsor tour. I do have 2 items to help with improvements. I know you may not be able to do this one and it may be out of your control, but benches would be great when listening to the information on the Sistine Chapel. The second, the guides need better microphone, when they turn their head the mic stays put and you lose volume. My party all agreed that it was a great tour. Debbie.
5.0 Stars Deborah Flanders
Easy to Understand
Dara was a good guide and seemed to know what he was talking about, plus he was easy to understand.
5.0 Stars Jason P
Dara's knowledge was superb and was able to make the information very enjoyable. Hearing some other guides as we went round, his knowledge and expertise was a lot better and without this I think we would have skipped through a lot of the Museums and just gone to the Sistine Chapel as it was so busy.
5.0 Stars Laura Carter
By Far the Best I have Ever Experienced
Having travelled a great deal, I have been on many tours in many places, but this tour was by far the best I have ever experienced! Dara delivered a lot of information in a quick and witty way. I am so glad we didn't try to visit the Vatican without a tour. Thanks so much for a wonderful day!
5.0 Stars April Flowers
It was a great tour except it was too long without being able to sit down or take breaks. (This is a criticism of the Vatican many people have - there should be more benches - Dara).
5.0 Stars Sheila Picard
Excellent Sense of Humour
Very informative and Dara has an excellent sence of humour.
5.0 Stars Billy Kane
Dara was very informative
5.0 Stars Jeff Kennedy
Dara was an excellent guide, knowledgeable and added a nice touch of humour to the tour. We really enjoyed ourselves on the tour.
5.0 Stars Kevin Hall
Tour was good
Tour was good. Dara was informative and accomodating
5.0 Stars Nancy Stanton
|Where is Vatican City|
|Vatican City Map|
|Parts of the Vatican|
|St. Peter's Basilica|
|St. Peter's Square|
|St. Peter's Dome|
|My Vatican Tour Details|
|Skip the Line Tickets|
|Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's|
|Bathroom & Coffee Breaks|
|English Speaking Guides|