Make your own way to the tour start point in the Vatican City and meet your expert guide. Then, walk into the Vatican Museums through a special, reserved access, breezing past any long queues and skipping even the priority lines through this official Vatican Museums tour partner entrance.
Follow your guide into the world-famous museums, the home of a vast collection of priceless art treasures amassed by popes since the 16th century, including classic statuary and Renaissance masterworks.
Experience the Gallery of Tapestries and Gallery of Maps, and stroll down the exquisite Gallery of the Candelabra, a showcase of Roman statuary and candelabra, as your guide recounts their history.
Pose for photos at the magnificent sculpture in the Pinecone Courtyard, and then wander through the four Raphael Rooms to admire their vast frescoes, before entering the jaw-dropping Sistine Chapel, the Vatican’s crowning glory.
Behold Michelangelo’s spectacular The Creation of Adam ceiling fresco, painted between 1508 and 1512, and soak up The Last Judgement behind the altar, another of his masterpieces.
Next, enter St Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in all Christendom. Walk around inside and admire its majestic dome and two extraordinary art treasures — Michelangelo’s glorious La Pietà and Bernini’s stunning bronze altar canopy.
After free time for lunch (own expense) or a stroll, make your own way (own expense) to the start point of the next tour — your afternoon skip-the-line visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill.
Avoid the main entrance lines to the Roman amphitheatre and explore the first and second stories as you hear gruesome tales of the gladiatorial fights, mock sea battles and executions staged here to entertain emperors and up to 500,000 baying spectators.
Then, walk to the nearby Roman Forum, once the hub of Roman political and commercial life, and home to fascinating ruins. See sites including the Temple of Julius Caesar, and then walk up Palatine Hill to enjoy sweeping views of the ruins and Nero’s Circus Maximus chariot stadium.
Your tour then ends here, when you say goodbye to your guide.
Please note: During the low season the order of the sightseeing above will change, with the tour of the Colosseum and Forum taking place in the morning, followed by the tour of the Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica in the afternoon.