Early Morning Vatican Tour in Rome, Rome

4.9 (17 reviews)

Overview

Discover the museums of the Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel with an early-morning tour of the city's incredible art and history. By visiting the Vatican Museums early, you'll give yourself a one-hour head start on the rest of the crowds! A guide will lead you through the Pio Clementio Museum, Gallery of the Candelabra, Gallery of Tapestries, and Gallery of the Geographical Maps. Learn about the art that has fascinated countless generations and influenced the origins of western civilizations.

Continue through the museums to the Raphael Rooms, where you can admire the frescoes before entering the incredible Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. The Sistine Chapel contains one of the greatest and most famous frescoes in history. Michelangelo’s masterpiece tells several stories, and your guide will help you experience the allure of Renaissance art by divulging secret details and untold facts throughout the tour. 

Your guide will leave you with some free time inside St. Peter’s Basilica to walk around and view the Papal Tombs or climb to the top of the dome for amazing views. Don’t miss Michelangelo’s dramatic statue of the Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica, a depiction of the Virgin Mary holding her dying child in her arms. Conclude your Vatican tour by walking around Bernini’s celebrated Piazza San Pietro.

You can extend your tour with a fresco and mosaic-making class! Learn the beautiful craft of mosaics and create a work of art to take home with you. Let the professionals of fresco making teach you about the mastery and the masters of the Renaissance.

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Traveler reviews

17 total ratings, 15 with reviews
4.9
Feature ratings
Quality of Experience
4.8
Guides, Drivers and Staff
5.0
Transport
5.0
S
Susan K.
Chico, CA | Reviewed on Oct 23, 2023
This tour was very informative and interesting. It was also very crowded, but that was the only way to really see the sights. Read more

This tour was very informative and interesting. It was also very crowded, but that was the only way to really see the sights.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Douglas
Douglas P.
Bay Shore, NY | Reviewed on Oct 13, 2023
Amazing to see. Too much to see. Requires more time. Read more

Amazing to see. Too much to see. Requires more time.

Tips for future travelers

Visit when less crowded.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
knowledgeable , humorous
Transport
Helpful
Robert
Robert T.
Hopatcong Hills, NJ | Reviewed on Oct 05, 2023
Amazing tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica with Giovanna. It's so impressive, with so much more than just the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (which of course was awe-inspiring, as was Michaelangelo's Pieta). Superb time. Read more

Amazing tour of the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica with Giovanna. It's so impressive, with so much more than just the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (which of course was awe-inspiring, as was Michaelangelo's Pieta). Superb time.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
T
Tina A.
Kansas City, MO | Reviewed on Jul 29, 2023
Our guide was very knowledgeable. It was a great tour however if I were to do it all over again I would try to find a shorter tour. 3 hours in the Vatican area is a lot. The amount of people being hoarded through is crazy. After a few hours its just a lot. Read more

Our guide was very knowledgeable. It was a great tour however if I were to do it all over again I would try to find a shorter tour. 3 hours in the Vatican area is a lot. The amount of people being hoarded through is crazy. After a few hours its just a lot.

Tips for future travelers

Maybe ask if you can tailor it down to a shorter experience. I would have paid more for a personal tour guide to walk me through and highlight the areas I needed to experience.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Comfy, on time
Melinda
Melinda F.
Herriman, UT | Reviewed on Jul 12, 2023
Donata did a fantastic job with our tour through the Vatican. She was fun and engaging while sharing with us the cultural and artistic history of the museum. We were able to go through a restricted portion of the museum, and it was wonderful to see some of the sculptures and mosaics without the crowds. Donata did a great job preparing us with things to look for and notice within the Sistine Chapel. Otherwise it can be an overwhelming experience! Read more

Donata did a fantastic job with our tour through the Vatican. She was fun and engaging while sharing with us the cultural and artistic history of the museum. We were able to go through a restricted portion of the museum, and it was wonderful to see some of the sculptures and mosaics without the crowds. Donata did a great job preparing us with things to look for and notice within the Sistine Chapel. Otherwise it can be an overwhelming experience!

Tips for future travelers

Check the Vatican's schedule before booking your tour. On Wednesdays the Pope makes his address from St. Peter's Basilica, so it is closed to tourists during that time. It would typically open about the time our tour was ending, which would have been perfect, but we didn't account for the fact that we were there the day before the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, so the Basilica was closed longer in preparation for that. We ended up killing some time eating lunch before going back through the museum and into the Basilica.

Quality of Experience
The museum was very crowded and most of it isn't air conditioned. Definitely not anything the tour has control over, but it did decrease the quality of the experience.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Donata was fantastic!
Transport
J
Judy W.
Leominster, MA | Reviewed on May 11, 2023
The tour itself was great, but we were not aware that the Vatican could close the church at any time, which happened during our visit. However, we did get to see the Pope, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Read more

The tour itself was great, but we were not aware that the Vatican could close the church at any time, which happened during our visit. However, we did get to see the Pope, which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Allison
Allison H.
Richmond, VA | Reviewed on Apr 25, 2023
We had an amazing small group tour of the Vatican, learning about its history and art. Read more

We had an amazing small group tour of the Vatican, learning about its history and art.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Stephanie
Stephanie H.
Wauwatosa, WI | Reviewed on Apr 19, 2023
Thank goodness this tour was a skip the line tour. You should try to do the tour that is in the morning before it opens. Our tour guide, Barbara, was very good, but the whole experience would have been even better in the morning. It just didn't work out for our timeline. Do the morning tour if you can get it! Read more

Thank goodness this tour was a skip the line tour. You should try to do the tour that is in the morning before it opens. Our tour guide, Barbara, was very good, but the whole experience would have been even better in the morning. It just didn't work out for our timeline. Do the morning tour if you can get it!

Guides, Drivers and Staff
So knowledgeable!
Hikaru
Hikaru P.
Hastings, MN | Reviewed on Mar 19, 2023
With so many visitors and so many things to see, it was a very full three-hour tour. We gained much knowledge about Vatican and the artwork that adorns their buildings. Read more

With so many visitors and so many things to see, it was a very full three-hour tour. We gained much knowledge about Vatican and the artwork that adorns their buildings.

Tips for future travelers

Climbing the dome of St. Peter's Basilica is an experience on its own. The view from the top is very worthwhile.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Giovanna with LivTours was extremely knowledgeable!
S
Shane B.
Broomfield, CO | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2022
What a way to start the day - a black car waiting for us at the hotel curb at 7:30 for our 8 AM early entrance Vatican tour. All of the pre-arranged transfers really made a huge difference! At the Vatican Sarah was another wonderful guide. She gave us a wonderful tour of both the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica, and while there is no way of covering all of the art and history of these two places in three hours, she chose well which pieces to focus on and gave us both historical and... Read more

What a way to start the day - a black car waiting for us at the hotel curb at 7:30 for our 8 AM early entrance Vatican tour. All of the pre-arranged transfers really made a huge difference! At the Vatican Sarah was another wonderful guide. She gave us a wonderful tour of both the Vatican and St. Peter's Basilica, and while there is no way of covering all of the art and history of these two places in three hours, she chose well which pieces to focus on and gave us both historical and religious perspective.

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Chat with our local specialists and let us help you customize your trip with experiences like this.

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Itineraries with Early Morning Vatican Tour in Rome