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For More Information(0039) 338 7791615
Mon - Sat / 08:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Why Choose It?
- Indulge in early morning access to the museums but with a special twist.
- Witness the ritualistic unlocking of the world’s most revered museums.
- Revel in the sensory experience of walking through the galleries at an unusual stride.
In the museum and art showcasing industry a lot of contemplation goes in addressing questions such as ‘How to look at art?’ and ‘How to experience a museum?’Is there a right way to do it? Or are there many ‘ways of seeing’ (as famous art critic John Berger would put it).
We offer you to experiment with your own ideals of how to experience a museum by deciding to witness a very special, intimate event that occurs every morning at the Vatican which is the unlocking of the museums through the sacred key set that opens every door.
The clavigero is the term for the custodian who has been handed this important task. Gianni Crea has been handling this responsibility with a set of close to 3000 keys for the past six years. It is a delicate job to carry out, with around five hundred doors to be opened.
As you follow the clavigeri during this solemn rite, notice how the experience of the Vatican museums transforms as you flow from room to room, not exactly to stop to learn about the art but to perform a ritual, and so notice how the art and the architecture, the colors, the images, the sculptures and the textures you encounter all pass by like a stream and mesh into one another.
Witness in silence the doors of the museum being opened at 6 AM
You meet and acknowledge the clavigero, and then step back to let him and his team (called the clavigeri) carry out their daily ritual- using the sacred keys to first open the entrance to the museum, initiating the daily invitation to the world to have the opportunity to see what it holds inside. You are present for this moment, it is meant to be soaked in with absolute awareness of this unusual situation.
Traverse through the museum to watch each room come to life
Every gallery and every room is ‘awakened’ by Gianni Crea and his team of custodians, and are greeted and acknowledged for their presence and grandeur. You too, play a central role in the awakening of this museum. At a particular stride and rhythm you will witness every space of the museum, your eyes gliding over all that makes the atmosphere of each room different from the rest: The Atrium of Four Gates; Scala Simonetti; the Pio Clementino Museum; Galleries of the Candelabra; Galleries of the Tapestries; Galleries of the Geographical Maps; the Raphael Rooms; Scala San Pio V and at last, the Sistine Chapel.
Meditate, replenish your energy levels and continue on your way
This tour will end at the Sistine Chapel as those are the last doors to be unlocked. You enter and are immediately immersed in a whirlpool of rich color and imagery, each wall painting and fresco intersecting to create a dome of color that envelops you. You have the space to actually wander around the chapel undisturbed by masses of tourists, to soak it in, to be able to rest in a contemplative mood while gazing over the space.
Once you exit, you can replenish yourself outside with a breakfast in the Pinecone courtyard whilst still taking in the morning light and the different movements in the crisp, morning air. You can then decide to revisit the museum for a second round, and go back with the curiosity of uncovering what it was that particularly caught your eye during the clavigero tour.
*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:Gates to museums openGuided through the entire museum for the opening of the doorsMoment of contemplation in the Sistine ChapelBreakfast in the Pinecone CourtyardVatican Museums AccessRaphael Rooms
Included:Private licensed guideKey Holder (special opening)Private Access (special opening)
Meeting Point:Vatican Museums entrance (under the statue of Michelangelo and Raphael)
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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!
- M2233BTrobertlTerrific Trastevere Food Tour with Luca! Luca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature.... read moreLuca took my wife and myself on a wonderful food tour through Trastevere. The things we saw and ate and learned were excellent. The best part was Luca's friendly nature. By the end of the evening we felt that we had spent a nice time with a new friend. read less - 10/03/2022
- Darren RA must do experience This cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through... read moreThis cooking class was a highlight of our trip. We got to meet a young chef, Sara. She had us decide what to cook. Then we walked through the market to pick out some of the ingredients, the meats and such. Then we went back to their excellent small group kitchen. We had a wonderful time learning from Sara. She taught us to make ravioli and saltimbocca and tiramisu. It was fun and relaxed and extremely delicious. We thought the whole experience was splendid. 10 out of 10. read less - 9/26/2022
- genevieverbBest Food Tour We Took! My fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of... read moreMy fiance and I capped off our first full day in Rome with this lovely food tour. Luca was friendly, excited, and knowledgeable. We got to try a ton of different food and even returned to one of the restaurants later in the week. The tour groups are kept small, so our group easily got to know each other throughout the tour. We were especially pleased with how accommodating it was: My fiance is a vegetarian and can be a bit of a picky eater, so he had low expectations going in and this ended up being his favorite activity all week! We actually had a couple of vegetarians in our group and there was always an equally hearty substitute whenever necessary. Super pleased with this experience and with Luca! Best part of our week! read less - 9/21/2022
- Emily WWorth every penny. What an evening! This was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and... read moreThis was without a doubt the highlight of my trip. A great evening with plenty of incredible local food and drink and a really good way to meet and get to know other travellers. The small group size made it much more personal and conversation flowed all evening! Sara (our guide) was absolutely amazing - so friendly and chatty, and so full of knowledge about the local food and Rome/Trastevere's history. She could not have been better.
I'll be coming back to Rome and will definitely be booking this again. Thank you so much, Sara, for making my first trip to Rome that much better! read less - 9/21/2022
- mrsmac0912Delicious food from fabulous foody Luca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our... read moreLuca Boccia was PHENOMENAL!
His knowledge of Italian cuisine was exceptional, especially welcomed because it included more than just the well known dishes. He was funny and friendly, making our time together unforgettable.
Most appreciated was his offer to remain a resource for the duration of our visit with DELICIOUS recommendations off the tourist path.
Well done Luca!!! read less - 9/11/2022
- uscimcA Must Do Tour of Sistine Chapel Amazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a... read moreAmazing! This was my third time to the Vatican but this time I took my adult/teen children and wife and we used a tour guide. It was a small group of 9. Just 2 families. She was great. She does this 4 days a week and all the guards knew her by name. If you want to see the Sistine Chapel, then you have to go early. We were one of the first to enter and with her connections basically did not wait on anything. We also entered a section in the Vatican Museums usually off limits to the public, a section with many animal statues and other mosaics. She gave us so much history and culture. My children said it was AP World History made real. You could tell she truly loved what she did. read less - 8/29/2022
- dvorahl2022Best tour ever. Martha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was... read moreMartha was our guide. She is the best. They way she explained all , answered our questions give us all the information in every place all was wonderful. It was a very hot summer day and she always looks for ways to give us the information under the shade before we went into the sun. I highly recommend this company and Martha as well. It was very easy to make the reservation and pay. We took the private tour and was perfect. 3 hours that feel like Half hour . We didn’t do any limes to get into the places. Know that if you go by yourself or in other yours you could be up to 2 hours under the sun to get into the coliseum or forum. I highly recommend the private tour. read less - 8/05/2022
- michelleSheiowitzGreat Food Stroll with Luca We did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour... read moreWe did the Trastevere Food Stroll with Luca B and he was great! Brought us to great authentic locations and provided his expert advice! We would highly recommend this tour and Luca!! read less - 7/30/2022