Ultimate Super-Vatican: Vatican City & the Keys of Heaven

  • Port

    Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

  • Activity Level

    Moderate

  • Excursion Type

    All

  • Wheelchair Accessible

    NO

  • Cost

    USD USD USD USD

    Price over $151
  • Minimum Age

    Information not currently available.

  • Duration

    Approximately 10½ Hours

  • Meals Included

    No

Experience the splendor of the Pope's private Summer Estate, recently open to the public by special concession of Pope Francis. Here, the splendor of art and the glory of nature co-exist in a perfect equilibrium. Built atop the villa of Emperor Tito Flavius, in the hills south of Rome, the estate overlooks the lake of Castel Gandolfo. The 135-acre complex has been a second home for all Popes since 1626. An eco-vehicle will drive through the estate, introducing you to its fascinating gardens, majestic fountains, and a flowerbed where the Pope's Coat of Arms is depicted in colorful blossoms.

Stop by the Roman ruins to admire the Emperor Domitian's theatre.

A second exclusive stop in the vicinity of the Pope's farmhouse will allow you to taste one of the organic products produced here for the Vatican State -- milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fruit, olive oil or wine. You will also see a 500-year-old oak tree.

After some free time to shop, explore and purchase lunch (at your own expense) in the quaint village of Castel Galdolfo, re-board your motor coach.

You will drive to the Vatican City. En route, enjoy a photo stop at the Colosseum (time permitting) and a comprehensive panoramic drive past Piazza Venezia, Lungotevere, the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Circus Maximus and Castel Sant'Angelo.

Upon arrival at the Vatican Museums, you'll be whisked through the fast lane to visit one of the most impressive collections in the world, embracing art from every period. Your guide will walk you through a portion of this incredible facility.

Reaching the Sistine Chapel, you will have the chance to look up and marvel at the masterpieces of the great Michelangelo, including his frescoes of The Creation on the ceiling and The Last Judgment on the altar wall.

Finally visit St Peter's Basilica -- by far the largest church in the world. Of outstanding interest here are Michelangelo's Pietà, the bronze statue of St Peter, and Bernini's canopy over the high altar. After an incredibly interesting day, you will drive back to the ship in Civitavecchia.

Notes:

Lunch is not included. The visit to the Vatican Museums is not a private visit. Modest attire is required for visiting churches or cathedrals; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; shorts and capri pants are not allowed. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience; each guest is responsible for returning his/her headset after the tour. Missing headsets incur a €50 fee. You must pass through metal detectors at the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica. Large bags or umbrellas, bottled water, video cameras, knives or scissors must be checked at the security checkpoints. Large backpacks or bags cannot be taken inside Vatican Museums. Flash photography is not allowed in the Vatican Museums. Photography and video are not allowed in the Sistine Chapel. You will encounter lines and delays -- your patience is appreciated. Tour groups are not allowed inside St Peter's Basilica during religious services; however, entry will be allowed on an individual basis to view the interior quietly and reverently. Only a certain number of visitors are allowed inside St Peter's Basilica at any one time; group access can be delayed. If your guide determines that the wait to enter St Peter's is longer than 45 minutes, you will forego the inside visit your guide will provide you with a full explanation and description while outside. More time for shopping or exploring independently will be substituted. The basilica can close for security reasons at any time; this is particularly relevant on Wednesdays when the Pope chooses to hold a mass service in St Peter's Square. Tour requires extensive walking (more than a mile) on even and uneven terrain and cobblestones with more than 250 steps at the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Inside the Vatican Museums, the wheelchair accessible route differs from the route taken by the group, meaning that guests using a wheelchair will miss some of the guide's commentary. The eco-friendly vehicle used for the visit of the Pontifical Villas is not wheelchair accessible. Please note that the Pontifical Villas are still used by the Pope and are therefore subject to closure without prior notice. Tour duration varies and is sometimes 30 - 60 minutes longer than the published duration. On Sundays, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are closed; a visit to the Roman Catacombs will be substituted. The photo stop at the Colosseum is traffic and operational conditions permitting. Tour does not operate on Sundays in January, February, March, July, August, November and December. Tour does not operate on religious holidays. Ongoing restoration and/or maintenance work may be underway at any venue during your visit. On April 14, 2018 the tour route and duration may be affected by the Grand Prix street closures; your patience with any delays is greatly appreciated.