Vatican Tours

Vatican After Hour Tour

Experience the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel in the serene still of night and all to yourself.

  • Availability

    On Request

  • Duration

    2 hours

  • Start time

    On Request

  • Private tour

    On Request

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Why Choose it?

  • Be among the few people on the planet to have visited the Vatican entirely alone.
  • Create unforgettable memories of having the Vatican entirely to yourself.
  • Explore with a passionate expert guide who will tailor the tour to you.

Tour description

Enjoy the ultimate experience of being alone with Michelangelo’s masterpiece - the Sistine Chapel. Once the day's crowds have dispersed and the Vatican is shrouded in silence, you'll be left to appreciate this mesmerizing work of art in the company of an expert art historian and in the intimacy of your own private tour.

Our exclusive Silver Partner Collaboration gives you complete run of the Vatican Museums. What's more, you'll be granted exclusive access to rooms that are normally kept closed to the public. The Niccoline ChapelCabinet of Masks, and Bramante Staircase are just some of the restricted access wonders you’ll explore. Read on to discover more.

Enter the Vatican Museums just as they close to the public

Stepping inside the Vatican Museums at 3:30 pm, you will enjoy full VIP access that allows you to visit parts of the Vatican’s vast collection that few people ever get to see. Your passionateprofessional guide will reveal all the secrets and symbols behind its world-defining artworks. And because you'll be alone, you'll have the personalized attention to ask any question about any of these masterpieces that has been burning away in the back of your mind.

Explore the Pinecone Courtyard

Deriving its name from the giant statue of a pinecone at its head, the Pinecone Courtyard is truly a sight to behold. Designed by Donato Bramante, who laid the design foundations for Saint Peter’s Basilica later realized by Michelangelo, it once formed part of the Belvedere Courtyard.

Boasting stunning views of Saint Peter’s Dome and a curious spherical structure by the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, the courtyard originally connected the palace of Pope Innocent VIII with the private papal chapel - known more commonly as the Sistine Chapel.

Explore the Vatican’s Gallery of Maps

As we wander the storied halls of the Vatican Museums, we will come upon galleries whose collections guide us through art, history, and space. The Gallery of Maps, with its bright golden ceiling, is illuminated with wall frescoes depicting how people of the 16th century understood their world. Their artist was Ignazio Danti, a Dominican friar, who topographically mapped Italy and its islands in such detail they still resonate with us today.

Step inside the Gallery of the Candelabra

We visit the Gallery of the Candelabra, famous not so much for the beautifully decorated ornament which gives the gallery its name, but for the plethora of ancient statues that congregate upon its floors. Lined with luminous marble and divided into six sections, the Gallery of the Candelabra is a treasure trove of ancient artworks, just waiting for you to explore it alone.

Lose yourself among the Gallery of Tapestries

We then come to the aesthetically awe-inspiring Gallery of Tapestries. Lining the walls of this stretching medieval corridor are Flemish designs so intricate they need to be seen to be believed. Narrating various episodes in history and liturgy, from the assassination of Julius Caesar to the Resurrection of Christ, they house a wealth of secrets which your expert guide will unlock.

Surround yourself with the stunning frescoes of the Raphael Rooms

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel draws almost all of the Vatican’s crowds. But while he was working away on painting its ceiling, his contemporary rival, the famous Raphael, was decorating a papal residence with some unparalleled frescoes of his own.

Several frescoes line the walls of the Raphael Rooms (though not all were painted by him - some were the work of his pupils). Your tour will explore the most enchanting, allowing you to lose yourself in their powerful scenes while your guide injects them with the historical context that visitors without a guide never get.

Meet famous figures in the School of Athens

The Raphael Rooms contain one of the world’s most famous frescoes, the School of Athens, which decorates the walls of the Segnatura. Amalgamating all of antiquity’s great thinkers in one scene - and inserting contemporary artists for good measure - Raphael created an artwork that raises philosophical questions about our pursuit of knowledge while indulging the eyes with the intricacy of its designs.

Marvel at Nero's Bathtub

Recovered from the emperor's Golden Palace, part of which survives beside the Colosseum, this giant porphyry bath is now one of the Vatican Museums' centerpieces. Standing on an ornate, ancient mosaicked floor and surrounded by statues of emperors and gods - including a remarkable bronze Hercules, its size and splendor are breathtaking and give a real sense of the emperor's opulence. 

Go behind the scenes to explore the Room of the Masks

The Room of the Masks is a true Vatican treasure, containing ancient mosaics so splendid they once decorated an imperial villa. The room takes its name not from any actual masks, but from the design of one of these mosaics. It was brought to the Vatican from the emperor Hadrian’s residence at Tivoli, Villa Adriana, and is so remarkably well preserved you would be forgiven the stones were embedded yesterday.

Acquaint yourself with the Pope's private Niccoline Chapel

The Pope’s private chapel is a true artistic masterpiece. The pinnacle of 15th-century Christian humanism, its scenes depict episodes from the lives of many famous saints. The stories of Saint Steven and Saint Laurence play out mesmerizingly before you - their protagonists even after nearly 600 years, so lifelike they could be in the room with you.

Visit the Sistine Chapel after-hours and be alone with Michelangelo

Your two-and-a-half hour two concludes at the apex of the Vatican's collection, the resplendent Sistine Chapel. Most visitors in Rome experience the Sistine Chapel when it's packed to capacity, but our Meeting Michelangelo tour lets you come face to face with his magnum opus, in the still serenity of the evening.

Nourish yourself on your expert guide’s knowledge as they breathe life into its lifelike frescoes. Put the scenes of its ceiling into context, understanding more than just the Creation of Adam but the subtleties of Michelangelo’s decorative program.

Finally, come face to face with the Last Judgement, one of the most powerful artworks of the ages, and leave feeling like you’ve experienced the Vatican like few others on earth.

included:

Private guide
VIP entrance ticket
Special reservation after closing time

itinerary:

  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Raphael Rooms
  • Laocoon
  • Torso del Belvedere

Wheelchair accessible:

Yes. (Itinerary may differ).

meeting point:

Your hotel or accommodation.

see on map

excellent guides

Our guides are fluent in English and have a contagious passion for the inspiring cultural heritage of our Italian cities. Experts in their fields, they will immerse you in the hidden histories and intriguing lives of history's great protagonists. So much to see, so easy to miss out: with the help of our guides, visit the most absorbing sites and uncover the stories that have changed the world. Don't miss this fascinating journey!