Why Choose It?
- Save 15% combining 2 tours and 1 cooking class.
- Book with the only operator in Rome offering this experience.
- Tour the Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica 90 minutes before opening.
- Visit the Pope's private apartments in Castel Gandolfo.
- Master recipes refined over generations in a hands-on cooking class on the papal estate.
- Explore the beautiful Barberini Gardens and village of Castel Gandolfo
Combine privileged, earliest access to the wondrous Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica with an exceptional day trip to the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. For lunch, recreate traditional recipes refined over generations in a hands-on cooking class on the papal estate. Using produce sourced straight from the papal farm, blend culture and cuisine to craft an unforgettable day trip.
After your delicious homemade lunch of antipasti, homemade pasta, and dessert, you’ll have time to explore the lush Barberini Gardens and encounter all their ancient and apostolic treasures. Finish your day in the town square of Castel Gandolfo, looking down over the shimmering waters of Lake Albano before being driven back in luxurious comfort to Rome.
Be among the first to step inside the Vatican
Your VIP earliest entrance to the Vatican means you step inside at 7:30 am – an hour-and-a-half before the Vatican opens to the general public. This gives you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to admire Michenangelo’s masterpiece in the peace and reverence it deserves.
Your expert licensed guide will walk you through the highlights of the Vatican Museums’ vast collection, stopping to spend time among its most valuable treasures. You’ll encounter the stunning ancient statues of the Gallery of the Candelabra, the astonishingly detailed maps of the Gallery of Maps, and the beautifully woven artworks of the Gallery of Tapestries. This will take us up to the most awe-inspiring treasure of all: the Sistine Chapel.
Marvel at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
As you step inside the Sistine Chapel, you’ll find yourself face to face with the sublime ceiling frescoes and mural masterpiece, the Last Judgment, painstakingly painted by Michelangelo. The Great Master spent a staggering four years on the first, suspended on his back while he worked away single-handedly.
Experience the Sistine Chapel like few ever do: in space and relative silence as the masses line up outside. Then follow in the Pope’s footsteps as we make our way directly from the Sistine Chapel to Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Explore Saint Peter’s Basilica
After learning about Saint Peter’s fascinating history from your passionate, local guide, you’ll have time to explore it for yourself. As the day’s crepuscular rays creep in through its windows, you’ll walk its historic floors, soaking in the atmosphere and encountering its reputed artworks.
Admire Bernini’s Baldachin, the monument built atop Saint Peter’s eternal resting place, and marvel at Michelangelo’s Pietà, one of the Great Master’s earliest artworks and aesthetically one of his most evocative. Descend beneath the basilica to wander the crypt where dozens of popes are buried. Then ascend as we make our way out of the basilica and into Bernini’s colonnaded square.
Journey to the hilltop town of Castel Gandolfo
Castel Gandolfo has been home to the Pope’s summer palace since the 16th-century. Soak in the scenery of this stunning hillside town and it’s easy to see why. Upon arrival, we’ll enter the papal palace, exploring its small museum and walking through the Pope’s private apartments.
You’ll learn all about the routines and rituals surrounding the Pope’s personal life, as well as the procedure and protocol of his many esteemed visitors. Leaving this beautifully ornate palace, you’ll be transported across the papal estate to our cooking school situated at its heart.
Embark on a hands-on cooking class on the papal estate
Our fluent English-speaking chef will welcome you with a wine and antipasti reception to whet your palette before an unforgettable cooking experience. Under the expert guidance of your chef, you’ll then learn to make a traditional Italian lunch by hand, using ingredients sourced exclusively from the papal estate.
Castel Gandolfo is home to time-honored recipes that have been refined over generations, like the beloved cappellacci del prete (ravioli stuffed with a rich ragù sauce). After consultation with your chef, you’ll master the art of cooking whatever main and dessert is best for the season or the dish your group most wants to learn, indulging on them both afterwards over a home-made lunch paired with select regional wines.
Discover the sculpted Barberini Gardens and wander the town square
The Barberini Gardens are among the most beautiful in Italy, offering sweeping views over Rome and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the distance. We’ve laid on eco-friendly transport to take you through these landscaped gardens. During the journey, your guide will regale you with tales of the area’s ancient history, stopping off at picturesque sites for photo opportunities and to explore ancient wonders such as Domitian’s imperial palace and the Gardens’ mini amphitheater.
Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the quaint town of Castel Gandolfo at the foot of the papal palace. Splurge a little while shopping in the boutiques, or enjoy some time lingering over a cup of coffee or cone of gelato. Enjoy the views of Rome’s rolling hills as we drive you back to the city in comfort.
Your unforgettable experience at the countryside papal home awaits.
- Itinerary:Vatican MuseumsSistine ChapelSaint Peter's BasilicaPapal ApartmentsCooking Class on the Pope's FarmBarberini GardensCastel Gandolfo
- Included:VIP earliest entrance to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's BasilicaTour of the papal home and gardens in Castel GandolfoWine and antipasti receptionCooking class using locally sourced ingredientsOrganic lunch on the papal estateRecipes emailed as PDFsLuxury transport to and from Castel Gandolfo
- Wheelchair accessible:Not for small group tours. Guests with limited mobility are encouraged to visit our private tour page.
- Meeting Point:Entrance of the Vatican Museum
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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!
Myself and my partner visited you this time last year and we're reminiscing about our wonderful experience with you!
I was hoping that I hope get the ingredients & cooking... read moreHello!
Myself and my partner visited you this time last year and we're reminiscing about our wonderful experience with you!
I was hoping that I hope get the ingredients & cooking method of the Pizza and Gelato please!.
Thought it would be something fun to do during self isolation in England
Daniel read less - 4/02/2020
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