Why Choose It?
- Come face-to-face with all the classics for the complete Vatican experience.
- Wander the Vatican Museum's fabled halls one hour before general opening.
- Hone in on the highlights of the Vatican's vast collection.
- Soak in the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica without the crowds.
Explore the Vatican‘s exceptional collection before the masses arrive. Your VIP entrance and knowledgeable, licensed guide will open the door to a whole new world of discovery. After this three-and-a-half hour tour, you’ll feel you’ve truly experienced the Vatican as priceless art meets intriguing history to create this once-in-a-lifetime experience. All at your fingertips. All waiting to be explored.
Enter the Eternal City’s epicenter at 8:00 am sharp, one hour before general opening, and accompany your expert guide on a journey through the Vatican Museums‘ expansive collection. Among the treasures you’ll encounter are Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the immersive frescoes in the Raphael Rooms, the beautifully detailed Flemish artworks of the Gallery of Tapestries, and the lifelike statues of the Gallery of the Candelabra.
Embark on an artistic odyssey through the Vatican Museums
Our Early Morning Vatican itinerary is specifically designed to lead you through the seemingly overwhelming amount of art in the Vatican Museums in a manner that allows you to appreciate each period—Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque—with comprehension and contemplation.
Every step through the Vatican Museums is a step through history. Your expert guide will bring history to life with anecdotes about the artists, legends from the sculptures, tales about the paintings, and curiosities that line each gallery.
Meet the Laocoon – a statue exuding emotion
Discovered in 1506 and dating back around 1,500 years earlier, the Laocoon statue is one of the ancient world’s undisputed masterpieces. Mentioned by Pliny the Elder, a victim of Vesuvius in 79 AD, the statue depicts the famous scene from the Trojan War in which Laocoon, a Trojan priest, is punished for revealing the Greeks’ trickery to his fellow Trojans warning them not to let the their wooden horse into the city.
Claimed by a sea serpent along with his two sons, the statue powerfully captures Laocoon’s agony – a desperate father struggling in vain to save his children. But this isn’t the only statue from antiquity in the Vatican Museums; lose yourself among the busts of the emperors who ruled Rome and the pantheon of gods they worshipped.
Explore the Vatican Museums’ famed galleries
Your Early Morning Vatican tour grants you exclusive access to the Vatican’s most prized highlights, some of which are off the museum’s beaten path. Surround yourself with the stunning statues of the Gallery of the Candelabra. Nourish yourself with the knowledge of how geographers once understood their world in the immersive Gallery of Maps.
Lose yourself in the intricate, immaculate Flemish fabrics that adorn the wall of the Gallery of Tapestries. Then make your way to marvel at the masterful frescoes of the Raphael Rooms which many say rival those of Michelangelo. And when you come face to face with Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, you can be the one who has the last say.
Enter another world in the Raphael Rooms or Cabinet of Masks
Created at the same time that Michelangelo was working away on the Sistine Chapel, the frescoes that decorate the Raphael Rooms are truly a sight to behold. Transport yourself back to the world of the great Greek philosophers as you lose yourself in the School of Athens. Rediscover the Old Saint Peter’s Basilica in the background of the dramatic Fire at the Borgo. Lay your eyes upon the battle that brought Christianity to the world’s stage in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
The Cabinet of Masks, which derives its name from the mosaics of Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli occupying the center of the room, can claim one of the Vatican’s most stunning collection of statues. Among the sculptures on display are the Three Graces, a nympha highly praised by Goethe, and various statues of Aphrodite -the goddess of love.
Marvel at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
Revere Michelangelo’s ultimate work, the Sistine Chapel, in the peace and introspective quiet it deserves with hardly any crowds. Your specialist licensed guide will bring the frescoes of the private papal chapel to life, shaping a once-in-a-lifetime experience amidst the world’s most stunning pieces of art.
Learn the story behind Michelangelo’s creation of the Last Judgement, identify key figures and scenes on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling – even see if you can spot Michelangelo himself who painted his self-portrait into the torso of Saint Peter.
Finish your adventure in Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saint Peter’s Basilica is your grand finale. Come and see how this former Circus of Nero became the largest Catholic Church in the world as you admire the incredible mosaics, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and Bernini’s Baldachin in all of their glory.
Finish outside the basilica in Saint Peter’s Square, where the Pope holds his audiences. Here in the shadow of the Vatican’s ancient Egyptian obelisk, you can take time to reflect on an incredible morning of exploring all the Vatican has to offer.
The Vatican Early Morning Tour is regarded as “one of the best experiences in Rome.”
*Please note, shoulders and knees need to be covered during the tour. No vests, shorts, or skirts above the knee will be allowed inside the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica.*
- Itinerary:Vatican MuseumsLaocoon StatueBelvedere CourtyardGallery of the CandelabraGallery of MapsGallery of TapestriesRaphael Rooms or Cabinet of MasksSistine ChapelSaint Peter's BasilicaSaint Peter's Square
- Included:Early entry priority ticketsExpert, licensed guide
- Wheelchair accessible:Not for small group tours. Guests with limited mobility are encouraged to visit our private tour page.
- Meeting Point:Vatican Museums entrance viale Vaticano (This is the address to be given to the taxi)
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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!
Amazing Guide, Amazing Experience We did the early morning Vatican tour with Walks Inside Rome. Our guide, Lea, was great. She took time to learn our interests (geology for my daughter) and... read moreWe did the early morning Vatican tour with Walks Inside Rome. Our guide, Lea, was great. She took time to learn our interests (geology for my daughter) and pointed out items that spoke to that interest. She was easy to understand and speak with and our tour flowed smoothly and never felt rushed or too slow. Lea was amazing and I would definitely book with Walks Inside Rome again. read less - 11/12/2019
Pasta and Tiramisu What a great time we had tonight! Our chef David made the evening, so easy to make Tiramisu and pasta. We all interacted and learned how to make simple good... read moreWhat a great time we had tonight! Our chef David made the evening, so easy to make Tiramisu and pasta. We all interacted and learned how to make simple good food! Next time I’m in Rome we will do his longer event shopping at local food markets then going back to cook a spectacular meal!
Loved it! read less - 11/06/2019
- Elizabeth J
Fun Family Activity This was one of our family's favorite experiences in our entire Italy trip! We loved making pizza and gelato, and Marco did a fabulous job of teaching our whole... read moreThis was one of our family's favorite experiences in our entire Italy trip! We loved making pizza and gelato, and Marco did a fabulous job of teaching our whole family, including the kids. The entire staff was gracious and accommodating and we highly recommend them to anybody visiting Rome! We hope to go back and learn to make pasta next time! read less - 11/02/2019
Such a fun evening! We had a fantastic time on our food tour. Our guide, Valeria, was super fun. Lots of energy, funny stories to tell, information about the neighborhood and life... read moreWe had a fantastic time on our food tour. Our guide, Valeria, was super fun. Lots of energy, funny stories to tell, information about the neighborhood and life in Rome. She was so friendly. She really made the evening for us. The food stops were great too, of course. We tasted Italian cheeses, cured meats, wine and fried cod, pizza, pasta, and gelato. And I might be forgetting something! Definitely no need to go out to eat after this tour! (The cost for all the food and drinks was included in the tour price). Some of the stops were so tasty we revisited them before the end of our trip.
My teenage son and I did four different tours with Walks Inside Rome on this trip and we enjoyed them all, but I think this was our favorite. read less - 10/23/2019
3 hour walking tour of Jewish Ghetto, synagogues, and musuem We flew overnight, arriving in Rome in the morning. Just a few hours later we met Viviana, our guide, for our tour. She was wonderful. We enjoyed... read moreWe flew overnight, arriving in Rome in the morning. Just a few hours later we met Viviana, our guide, for our tour. She was wonderful. We enjoyed every moment, and she brought the entire area to life for us. She is very knowledgeable, and presents everything is such a meaningful way. We began our trip with a highlight we shall not forget. read less - 10/23/2019
- Shanneyvie J
Do it! This was one of the highlights of our trip! Unlike other cooking classes I saw when I was searching for one, this one first meets at an amazing market (I... read moreThis was one of the highlights of our trip! Unlike other cooking classes I saw when I was searching for one, this one first meets at an amazing market (I recommend going early to grab some goodies) second, you choose your meal , it’s what you and your group decide on for the day (btw it’s a lot of food some come hungry) and lastly it is all hands on the chef explains what to do, shows you an example and then it is all you (of course the chef is there to help and guide when needed). Oh o forgot to mention lots of drinking!!! Just do it, you won’t regret it. read less - 10/19/2019
BOOK THIS TOUR!!! Barbara was absolutely fantastic! She was knowledgeable, funny and able to help us navigate in a way that maximized our time and experience. We would wholeheartedly suggest spending the extra... read moreBarbara was absolutely fantastic! She was knowledgeable, funny and able to help us navigate in a way that maximized our time and experience. We would wholeheartedly suggest spending the extra money for the private early morning tour- skipping the horrible lines and minimizing wading through the masses on overcrowded group tours. We were able to see things that other tour guides don’t have access to and learned so much without feeling overwhelmed by trying to figure out what to see as there is SO much! We would absolutely book again with WIR and Barbara! read less - 10/15/2019
A Must Purchase! You'll be in line for HOURS trying to access both of these places, just to save money, but the information you get and the special accesses are 100000% worth... read moreYou'll be in line for HOURS trying to access both of these places, just to save money, but the information you get and the special accesses are 100000% worth the price. Best money I spent the whole trip. My only issue was finding the tour guide in the morning - it's run by a smaller org, not trip advisor, so it was hard to find my guide in the morning, but I got there early enough and called the number on the ticket and found them eventually. Otherwise, HIGHLY RECOMMEND! read less - 10/15/2019
- Scott G
Walking Wine Tasting Tour Luca was a fabulous host and guided us on a walking tour of a series of local wine bars where we enjoyed lively conversation, learned much about the regional Italian... read moreLuca was a fabulous host and guided us on a walking tour of a series of local wine bars where we enjoyed lively conversation, learned much about the regional Italian wines and enjoyed a light meal along the way. We can fully recommend Luca, a native Roman, as he took great care of us, was very knowledgable and well prepared. We will request him specifically for future outings. He even assisted in arranging for the purchase and delivery of a mixed case of wine which we will fondly enjoy upon our return home. read less - 10/07/2019