We can offer you an amazing VIP afternoon Tour of the Vatican which comes a very close to our After Hours experience, with private access to the Sistine Chapel.
This tour is extremely limited. If you can't find your desired date online, please call or email us for availability.
The main highlight of the tour you will have 30 minutes inside the Sistine Chapel just for our group (max 15 people), where our guide will explain in detail this cavernous and vividly coloured painted chapel which to this day is considered one of man's greatest artistic achievements.
The last entrance to the Vatican Museums for the general public is at 4pm - we enter at 3.30 pm and evade the crowds as we get behind the scenes access to areas of the Vatican Museums for a private viewing Sistine Chapel. These include the Scala del Bramante (Bramante staircase) and the Nicholas V chapel amongst other wonderful spots on this unique tour, before your private access Sistine Chapel.
Forming part of the Apostolic Palace (residence of the Pope), the best known chapel in the Vatican and probably the world, the Sistine Chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV after he restored the old Capella Magna in the late 1470's before beginning the long period of decorating the chapel by patronizing artist of note of the period. The first painting took place between 1477 and 1483, however the most famous painting (those of Michelangelo, were in two periods, between 1508 and 1512 he paints the ceiling and between 1535 and 1541 he painted the last judgement. These last two achievements are seen by many as the epitome of Western European Painting, and the height of the western European artistic renaissance. In such they capture a romantic return to classicism the highlights the Renaissance yet also a physical ability to capture in almost picture perfect form, the reality of the world around us. It is no wonder that this period of art is walks hand in hand with medicinal research into the physical human form that is particularly clear in the life work of Michelangelo.
Nicholas V Chapel
The Niccoline chapel named after Pope Nicholas V who built it for use as a private place to worship, is a jewel of renaissance art that was uncovered after painstaking restoration. Painted by Fra Angelico and his assistants in the late 1440's, it was only after it had been fully cleaned and restored that the quality of the work became clearly obvious.
Scala del Bramante
Although all visitors leave via the double helix staircase built by Giusseppe Mormo, this was only built in 1932 and was only inspired by the original Bramante design. A double helix staircase allows people to descend freely will not encountering those ascending, a one-way staircase system of sorts. The original staircase built in 1512 and designed by Bramante himself, is located in the neighbouring Pio-Clementine museum and is closed to the general public.