Rome Vatican tours - semi private tour

Vatican tours include skip the line tickets to the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica. Semi-Private tours with max of 8 people , led by archaeology and art history guides

Highlights and what's included

  • Only 8 people per guide for a more intimate and personalized experience
  • Highly Qualified Expert Vatican Tour Guides
  • Skip the line tickets to Vatican museums and Sistine chapel
  • See Renaissance masterpieces by Michelangelo and by Raphael


Avventure Bellissime’s tours of the Vatican, Rome offer the traveller the benefit of skipping the queues and touring the historic site’s museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica within a small, private group of up to just 8 other tourists.
You will be in the hands of our expert guides who all have a background in either art history or archaeology.

Why book an Avventure Bellissime tour?
Our tours offer you a more personalised and in-depth experience. Lasting for four hours instead of the usual three hours, you will have all the time you need to experience the beauty of the Vatican and its masterpieces and to soak up the atmosphere of this special trip.
Our experienced guides go the extra mile, using ipads to illustrate our stories and explanations. Since you are in a small group, our guides also have far more time to interact with you and answer any questions you may have.

Let’s take a look at what your tour will include:

Renaissance Rome:
The tour focuses on the Renaissance period during which the Sistine Chapel, Raphael Rooms and Saint Peter’s Basilica were built. Here we will spend around 20 to 25 minutes so you have plenty of time to absorb the atmosphere of this unique building. Our guides will also tell you about the Popes of Rome, their enclave and the fascinating story of how they are elected to office.

Michaelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
You will learn about the life and times of Michaelangelo at the Vatican, his relationship with Pope Julius II and relive how he worked alongside fellow artists to create their masterpieces including his pieta. You’ll also hear about the intense rivalry he experienced with his contemporary artists.
Along with our expert guides, you will tour the Sistine Chapel spending as much time as possible viewing and discussing one of the most famous works of art in the world.

Saint Peter’s Basilica
We will then move onto visit Saint Pater’s Basilica – the world’s most famous and largest Catholic Church. It is home to masterpieces by Michaelangelo and Bernini. We’ll also go back to the story of the Basilica’s namesake – Saint Peter and the life story of the simple fisherman who became the first Pope of Christianity.

Other Vatican highlights
We will also have time to take in the Belvedere courtyard, the impressive Pio Clementino museum with its beautiful Greek and Roman statues. Our guides will also show you the stunning candelabra gallery and the tapestries gallery as well as the astonishing Raphael rooms, the Borgia’s apartment and examples of Bernini and Bramante’s work.

Saint Peter’s Square
The final part of the tour will focus on Saint Peter’s square – home to important Papal ceremonies. Here you will have time to admire Michaelangelo’s Dome and Bernini’s colonnades.


  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick up and drop off

Other info

  • This tour is of an historical area and is not fully accessible for wheelchair users. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for wheelchair users.

  • At times, St. Peter’s Basilica closes without notice. No refunds are available as these events are beyond our control.
  • There is a dress code for St Peter’s Basillica. No shorts or sleeveless tops are allowed.
  • Please wear comfortable footwear as this tour involves a lot of walking.
  • The cost of the tour does not include gratuities or hotel pick up and drop off.
  • Tour operates with a minimum of 4 participants.

Meeting Point

The meeting point for our "Vatican & Sistine Chapel Tour" is outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums, where you will find our guide holding a sign with the name of the tour written on it. The tour operates with a min of 4 people and a maximum of 8 people

Leave a Review

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(33) Average Rating:


Reviewed by Marco Vinaccia on
Had a great time on this tour. Francesca is an excellent tour guide who is very knowledgable and animated. The tour was very well structured and navigating around the masses of tourists was no easy thing but Francesca was great at this.

The content was great and I learnt so much through easy to follow explanations in each section of the tour.
Reviewed by Renae Stokke on
Our guide, Francesca, was a fantastic guide and provided interesting facts throughout the 4-hour tour. She maneuvered our tour through the crowds well and kept us moving at a perfect pace. She provided us plenty of opportunities for great photo taking. She was so knowledgeable and enhanced our visit greatly. She spoke great English and was easy to understand. This is really a great tour and I highly recommend the company for the Vatican tours.
Reviewed by EM on
This was our third Avventure Bellissima tour during our recent trip to Italy (we also did one in Venice and one in Florence). I enjoyed the tour--although not quite as much as the other two, but that's probably because I'm not a "museum person"--and our guide Barbara was great. My husband, who is a "museum person" said it was his favorite of the three.

I would highly recommend Avventure Bellissima if you are planning to visit Italy. They were responsive, professional, and everything went very smoothly.
Reviewed by Ed & Michelle on
My wife and I participated in the Small Group Vatican & Sistine Chapel Tour.
Our tour guide was Claudia.

This was our 2nd time on a Vatican tour. We considered this tour, led by Claudia, as much superior than the last.
Claudia’s intimate knowledge of the Vatican landscape, building layout, and her ability to adapt based on other tours and passing crowds made our 4 hours very productive.
Claudia has a great command on the English language, and a subtle yet tasteful sense of humor. She demonstrated an extensive historical knowledge of the origins and development of the Vatican and the artisans who sculpted and painted innumerable works of art displayed throughout. Combined with her knowledge of religion she tied everything together in a comprehensive walking journey through time.

Sadly, the 4 hours passed much too quickly; yet left us with a much better appreciation of this wonderful city. We most definitely considered this an afternoon well spent.

Please extend to Claudia our many thanks for her entertaining professionalism in making this the highlight of our 2-week stay in Italy.

Again, on behalf of the both of us, we would like to commend Avventure Bellissime on the quality and professionalism of your organization and we look forward to our next adventure to Italy where we would not hesitate to engage with you for future tours.
Reviewed by John Belbin on
Firstly we want to point out that our guide for this tour, Sergio, was simply excellent. Such a knowledgable and passionate person who was the highlight of the day. Acknowledging that the Vatican Museum is certainly impressive and huge and there are so many interesting pieces of work there, we did not enjoy the experience as much as we would have liked. There are simply far too many people allowed into the museum at the one time and this makes it very unpleasant with continual pushing and shoving and simply not enough room and therefore time to really appreciate what is there.
Reviewed by Jenny on
One of the highlights of our entire vacation! We were lucky enough to have Luca to ourselves for the tour due to cancellations. In mid-July the Vatican is heaving with tourists and Luca was able to keep our spirits up with his great humour and knowledge of the sites. Thank you so much, we had a fantastic time
Reviewed by Shirley on
Hello, My sister and I just returned from a 14 day trip to Italy. We were in Rome 7 days and Florence 7 days. We had 3 Avventure Bellissime tours and so here are my reviews:

Rome: 4 hour Vatican tour on Friday, May 15--reservation number 34833. We loved this guided tour. The guide, who I thinks name was Sergio, was excellent. His personality, passion and knowledge made this experience memorable and a great pleasure. Highly recommend this guided tour and this guide. Best way to visit the Vatican in my opinion.

Florence: Uffizi Museum Small Group Guided Walking Tour #39657 and Small Group "Skip the line" Florence and David Walking Tour #39657--May 21 & 22. Two great tours with same guide, Antonella. We liked being in small groups and having a great guide. Antonella was so personable, fun and knowledgable. Just loved the experience and wanted more. Highly recommend these guided tours and this guide.
Reviewed by Steve & Evelyn on
Francesca was a wonderful guide. She is so knowledgeable and you can tell that she loves her job. She is very personable and was very considerate of everyone's needs (always finding a shady spot or a seat for the ones that needed it). The tour was fabulous and we highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Brian on
This was an outstanding tour. Francesca was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject matter. She provided a lot of historical context and managed to keep both the kids and the adults in the group interested throughout.
Reviewed by Evelyn on
Great tour to go on. I liked how the group was small (we had 10 pax compared to the rest that had 20 or 30 or more!). It made moving around a lot easier. The guide Martina (I hope I got the name right) was fantastic. She explained very clearly and in detail and showed us places that we would otherwise have missed. I really liked how she went through every detail of the Sistine Chapel so that we can have a better appreciation of the place when we each. Her spirit was up all the time even though it was pretty warm and she had to speak for most of the 4hours. I enjoyed myself very much.
Reviewed by Freda on
Best Tour ever. The key is to have a small group. Francesca was a fabulous guide. Thank you!
Reviewed by Carolynn B on
We really enjoyed our tour of the Vatican Museum and St Peter's Basilica. Our guide "Luka" (please forgive the spelling) was funny and entertaining. for the most part, the pace was very good with just enough time to contemplate the beautiful works we were seeing in the museum. I wish you could add about 30 minutes to the tour to allow a little more time to view the modern pieces at the end of the tour; however, our overall experience was wonderful. We also enjoyed the comments and insights about Vatican City and the Pope and will forever remain in awe of St Peter's Basilica.
Thanks for a 5 star experience,
Reviewed by Stacey D on
We traveled in April with a group of eight, four adults and four kids. Our Vatican Tour was with Luca and it was informative and enjoyable. Luca had a wonderful sense of humor and he really enjoyed giving the tour. It is a long tour, mostly due to the crowds you have to navigate. It was great that he sat us down and gave us a lesson in the Sistine Caple so when we went in we knew what we were looking at. St. Peter's was breathtaking, and Luca's knowledge was so impressive!
Reviewed by James on
Our guide was knowledgeable but didn't stop talking the entire time we were on the tour, which becomes a problem when you are directly linked by ear pieces to every word he says! Some silence by the guide to allow us to appreciate what we were seeing in some sort of tranquility would have been much appreciated. Many on our tour resorted to taking the ear phones out, so missed all the important stuff as well!
This tour could have been conducted a bit faster-the museum didnt warrant the time we spent in it- although interesting, the main reason most people do this tour is to see the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican.
Reviewed by Sree R on
Fantastic tour. Small group. Our guide was very knowledgeable. And funny too. Will update on link as well
Reviewed by Ronald T on
We were very satisfied with our Vatican Tour. Our guide, Barbara, was very knowledgeable and informative. My wife and I have been to the Vatican 3 times, and this tour was by far the best we have taken. We took the time to personally thank Barbara for a job well done. We were completely satisfied with the experience and would recommend Avventure Bellisime to our friends!
Reviewed by Donna M on
I just want to say that Francesca is EXCELLENT!! Also, I have done other “private” tours with this company and have always found them to be the best.
Reviewed by Randy K on
Excellent tour. I really appreciated the knowledge of our tour guide. I found his English hard to understand. But I totally appreciated his understanding of the arts and passionate people of the time.
Reviewed by Michael W. on
Our tour guide was Barbara; She was very cheery, and we were impressed with her knowledge of the Chapel and the Basilica. She was very polite and enthusiastic at every turn. In our case when I experienced the start of too much heat, she immediatly escorted us to the nearest food area where I recovered in 30 minutes and rejoined the group. She always had a smile on her face and this made the tour more enjoyable for all of us.
Reviewed by Greg H. on
We booked the 3 different tours of Rome and absolutely loved Franchesca. She was simply outstanding as a guide, as she has the reference books, iPad pictures, and history for every single historical site we visited. If you can get Francesca, you will not be disappointed. We especially loved her commentary on the Colosseum and Vatican, and totally enjoyed our van tour in the evening and visit to a local restaurant for food and wine. Thank you, Franchesca, for a simply perfect day in Rome. It was educational and more importantly, FUN. Regards, the Hilbert tour group.
Reviewed by Juli & Vesela on
We went on 2 tours with your company during our time in Rome.
First was the Vatican and St Peters tour. Francesca, who took us on this tour was fantastic. She was a wealth of knowledge, which was delivered to us with passion and enthusiasm. I would highly recommend this tour to all thinking of visiting The Vatican.
Reviewed by Michelle & Antonio Chimienti on
My husband and I could not have asked for a better tour company. Our first tour was the Vatican Museum and it was amazing. To say that our guide Sergio was knowledgeable is a major understatement. Sergio was very informative, inspiring and passionate as he guided us through the museum seamlessly. Having a small tour group was much more personable and we easily navigated through the museum.
Reviewed by Mallory & Ed - NYC on
ThSergio - You made our visit special and we were SO grateful to cut the lines. Your knowledge about the history, art and architecture was amazing. Thank you!
Reviewed by Caleb and Maggie on
Our tour guide was Francesca and SHE WAS FANTASTIC! Easily the best tour we had ever been on. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable, but more importantly she was incredibly warm and friendly. She easily made the Vatican one of the high points of our trip. However, be careful in choosing your guide (different guides do different days). Francesca does not serve all of the tours every day and our tour of the Colosseum was abysmal (with Flavia).
Reviewed by Neeta Balsaver on
Our tour guide for the Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour was Francesca. She is very knowledgeable and started the tour with a brief talk and ipad presentation. The treasures and the history in the Vatican and St Peter’s Basillica are very impressive and a little over whelming. But Francesca kept us fully engaged throughout with her depth of knowledge and story-telling skills. Once the tour was over, she even made dinner reservations for us at a fine restaurant.
Reviewed by Frank and Linda on
We had a wonderful tour of the Colosseum and Palatino Hill with Francesca! We learned so much on this tour in early May 2014. Highly recommend! It was at a good pace and a small group. Great experience. Francesca was easy to understand and really knows her stuff! The next day we toured The Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica with Luca! Luca was so passionate and knowledgeable! It's an exhausting tour..... so much to see! But you simply must do all of these! Best tour guides!!!
Reviewed by Candida - 28 August 2013 on
The tour was very very informative. The guide demonstrated to have a lot of knowledge and was well prepared, providing all the necessary answers and centering our attention in the main aspects. this is a good quality as the tour is very long it is important to show what is really relevant.
Reviewed by Celia - 27 September 2013 on
The tour was excellent. Not being a history buff, or interested in catholicism, I only did the tour as a kind of formality since it was my first visit to Rome. Francesca was so careful to explain everything clearly and was so passionate about the subject that the 4 hours flew and it was all pure enjoyment.
Reviewed by Charles - 13 October 2013 on
The tour was very well organized. Our tour guide Luca was both informative and entertaining - not easy to do over a 4 hour tour often in crowded conditions. My wife Olivia posted a review on Trip Advisor for which she is classified as a senior contributor. We considered the extra money spent for the small group tour well spent. Thanks.
Reviewed by Joy - 14 October 2013 on
We enjoyed our tour very much, Claudia was very informative and clearly passionate about her work. She paced the tour perfectly and made sure everyone enjoyed it to the max. Molte grazie.
Reviewed by Deborah - 16 October 2013 on
Wonderful tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable. Sights were beautiful. Will recommend to our friends and family.
Reviewed by Cyntia - 16 November 2013 on
The tour we had yesterday of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's was excellent. Our guide, Sergio, was extremely knowledgeable, and his commentary was always interesting and informative. He responded to all our questions, and tailored the tour to the interests of the group, while allowing ample time to enjoy the works of art.
Reviewed by Donn - 19 October 2013 on
super tour guide was super
thanks so much
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