“The morning has gold in its mouth”, according to an Italian proverb, translated literally. No truer words could describe Italy with Us’ exclusive morning tour of the Vatican’s glimmering treasures. Visit the world’s smallest country yet the richest in artistic and religious masterpieces.
THE ORIGINAL & THE BEST. WE WERE THE FIRST TO CONVINCE THE VATICAN MUSEUMS TO OPEN THEIR DOORS!
The museums were once the pope’s quarters, filled over the centuries with Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts, Flemish tapestries, pictorial maps and precious religious objects. And let’s not forget the magnificent frescoes of the 16th-century masters Michelangelo and Raphael. An Italy with Us guide, certified by the Vatican, is essential for highlighting the most significant works and navigating the vast collection covering about seven kilometres of galleries, chapels and rooms.
During this tour, the guide typically whisks visitors through the art-filled halls to arrive at the Sistine Chapel before the crowds. Michelangelo, the genius behind the ceiling, repeatedly refused the commission before finally succumbing to a generous offer with a clause that gave him complete artistic freedom. And let freedom ring! The stories from the book of Genesis unfold above you, including the iconic Creation of Adam displaying the nearly touching fingertips of God and Adam. Gaze upon the altar’s Last Judgement, a cauldron of saints, sinners and sharp commentary on Vatican power plays.
Backtracking through the museums, the magnificent collection will astound you. In the Raphael-decorated papal apartment, ancient philosophers ponder and pontificate in his acclaimed School of Athens fresco, as well as some Renaissance-era interlopers to be discovered. Examine closely the ancient Greek and Roman statues that were Michelangelo’s marble muses for the Sistine Chapel’s figures. And just as the crowds are starting to surge, escape into the magical Hall of Animals, which is closed to the general public. Italy with Us is among a select few agencies permitted by the Vatican to enter this veritable stone zoo.