Your tour begins at 7:30am when you meet your private guide outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums. Enjoy early entry before the general public, ensuring you beat the worst of the daily crowds. From here, you will start exploring the Vatican Museums. Your guide will talk you through the vast collection of art and sculptures housed inside.
You will see the Octagonal Courtyard and its display of an extraordinary collection of antique sculptures collected by Pope Julius II. Your guide will also make sure you see the Gallery of the Candelabra which contains Roman copies of Hellenistic originals from the 3rd-2nd century B.C. as well as some 2nd century candelabra. You will then proceed to the Gallery of Maps, whose walls and ceilings are frescoed with an amazing series of topographical maps of Italy based on drawings by friar and geographer Ignazio Danti. You will be sure to see other stunning sights such as the Borgia Apartments and Raphael's rooms before heading to the Cabinet of the Masks.
You will experience an exclusive chance to see the restricted area of the Cabinet of the Masks - generally off limits to the general public. Here you will admire mosaics taken from Hadrian\'s villa at Tivoli as well as stunning sculptures. Most of these sculptures represent female subjects and include a reproduction of the Three Graces as well as a statue of a nymph.
Your tour continues to Michelangelo's world-renowned Sistine Chapel. Here, your guide will explain all of the intricacies of this truly spectacular site. Finally you will pass through a special passageway to reach St. Peter's Basilica, the biggest and most important Catholic Church in the world. Once inside, your guide will continue to explain the history of the Vatican as well as the art and architecture in this beautiful cathedral. Afterward, your tour will conclude outside St. Peter's Basilica on St. Peter's Square.