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Overview

Meet your expert Art Historian guide on the threshold of St. Peter's Square and make your way across marble paving to the first steps which lead up to the top of Michelangelo's Dome. There are 551 steep steps in total and of course this is too much exertion for most, so we take the elevator which cuts the step count by a sizable 171, leaving 380 (although some say 330...). We take our time and enjoy plenty of staircase breaks on the way around and up to the top of the dome!

At the summit, your guide will point out all the historical landmarks in all directions, be they in the Vatican City or the wider city of Rome. There are a great many so be prepared for detail! At this point, take as many photographs as you can, you are a very long way up and it's been a once-in-a-lifetime climb so don't hold back!

Easy does it on the way down to terra firma and then take a brief break before entering St. Peter's Basilica - an absolute triumph of art and architecture unmatched anywhere else in the world, where Bernini's sculptures and Michelangelo's art rise above the perceived necropolis of St. Peter himself. Your guide will also lead you through an underground level known as the Vatacombs, a rarely seen area of the Vatican where you can walk amongst tombs of former popes.

We take another short break for a drink or snack and head over to the Vatican Museums. Priority access is guaranteed and you will see all the major highlights therein.

Here, your guide covers the most important rooms, galleries, and individual masterpieces. Receive a comprehensive background on the Sistine Chapel from before it was commissioned to the finishing touches, learning to distinguish between truth and legend.

This is a fully private walking tour of the entire Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, and a trip to the top of Michelangelo's dome.

KNOW BEFORE YOU BOOK

Private Vatican tour guide #1
Dome Climb: part staircase / part elevator!
Incredible views from the top!
Private Vatican tour guide #2
Fast track Vatican entrance
Vatican Museums tour
Sistine Chapel tour
Papal sarcophagi tour
St. Peter's Basilica tour
No photos inside the Sistine Chapel
Does NOT include St. Peter's Tomb / Scavi / Necropolis - please book separately through the Vatican
Not wheelchair accessible

Important Information

Remember to use promo code ROME2019 when you book this tour to get 10% off!
On days immediately surrounding religious holidays at the Vatican, alterations to tours may become necessary due to partial closings of areas normally included in this tour. In the event that the Papal tombs beneath St. Peter's Basilica are closed, the tour of the Basilica itself will be extended and no refunds made.