See the top sights in Vatican City with the insights of your art historian guide to help put the art and architecture into historical perspective.
Enjoy skip-the-line entry to the Vatican Museums to begin your tour, giving you more time to see what's inside the museum rather than waiting in line outside. Learn about some of the famous pieces that started the collection, such as the classic Roman statue of the Apollo Belvedere and the Laocoon. See lesser-known wings of the museum, including the Pinacoteca or 'Picture Gallery,' as well as must-see sights like the Raphael Rooms.
Make your way from the Vatican Museums to admire Michelangelo's masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Then walk to the extraordinary St. Peter's Basilica next door. The vast interior of the church holds a number of famous pieces of art, including architectural elements designed by Bernini as well as Michelangelo's moving statue of the Virgin Mary holding the body of Christ, the 'Pietà.'
After your visit to St. Peter's Basilica, venture back outside to take in the massive church from St. Peter's Square. Hear stories about the history of the Catholic Church and the lives of the popes, many of whom had a huge, long-lasting impact on both the political and artistic history of Italy. Learn how papal history has influenced religious and European history over the centuries.
Take advantage of the small-group nature of the tour to ask questions of your guide at any point along the way.