Skip the Line: Private Group Guided Tour of Rome, the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and st Peter's Basilica by Private Vehicle from Hotel
- Sistine Chapel: Gaze at the splendor of Michelangelo's masterpieces in the Vatican's best-known gallery, including The Creation of Adam on the ceiling and The Final Judgment.
- Vatican Museums: Marvel at the magnificent works in the Vatican's 53 other galleries; you'll find paintings like Raphael's Transfiguration, sculptures like Sleeping Ariadne (also known as Cleopatra), the Historical Museum, and more.
- St. Peter's Basilica: Soak in the magnificence of this 15-story structure, meticulously appointed with Baroque stuccos, mosaics, and statutes. You'll find Michelangelo's Pieta in the first chapel on your right.
- The Colosseum: Explore this massive, free-standing stone amphitheater, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and famous for its gladiator fights, animals hunts, and other bloody spectacles that entertained the people of Rome.
- The Roman Forum: Stroll through ancient Rome's commercial, political, and religious center as your guide explains the role of its most important buildings and monuments, including the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Julius Caesar, and the Rostra, where the empire's greatest orators addressed the masses.
- Private group: Share your experience with only people you know, whether it's just the two of you, the whole family, or any group of up to 20.
About This Rome Tour
In the first chapel to your right as you enter St. Peter's Basilica, you'll find the sculpture that carved out a permanent place for Michelangelo in the pantheon of great artists: the Pieta. The work is renowned for Mary's youthful look, the peaceful expression on Christ's face, and the extraordinary detailing etched into the marble. But one detail draws your attention right away: the bullet-proof glass that encases the statue.
On May 21, 1972, a Hungarian-born geologist from Australia named Laszlo Toth went to St. Peter's Basilica and made a beeline for the statue of the Pieta. According to sources, Laszlo was obsessed with the prophesies revealed by the Virgin Mary to three children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. He wanted the Pope to reveal the prophecies, but the Pope had refused.
Shouting "I am Jesus Christ, risen from the dead," Laszlo – who was 33 years old, the traditional age of Jesus' death – attacked the statue with a geologist's hammer. Before bystanders could wrestle him to the ground, he got off fifteen blows, breaking Mary's arm at the elbow, knocking off a piece of her nose, and chipping one eyelid.
Many of the pieces were picked up by spectators, and most were eventually returned to help in the restoration. The nose was reconstructed from marble removed from her back.
Laszlo said he attacked the eye because the statue couldn't see, the mouth because it couldn't speak, and the arm because it did not act. He spent two years in an Italian insane asylum, and was deported to Australia upon release. Details of his life from then on are sketchy; he apparently died in an Australian nursing home in 2012. But he did leave one positive legacy: It was during the painstaking, 10-month repair that restorers found Michelangelo's previously unknown monogram – an "M" made from the skin lines on Mary's left hand. Pieta is the only work he's known to have signed, and it appears he signed it twice.
Pain of the poet
Besides being one of history's greatest sculptors and painters, Michelangelo was also a prolific poet. He wrote several hundred sonnets and lyric poems, many of which were eventually set to music. In one humorous verse, Michelangelo complains about the kinks in his neck from looking up. He wrote it while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which, contrary to popular belief, he did standing up, not lying down.
Pick-up is included from select hotels. Please specify your hotel name and location during check-out. Please meet in the lobby at least 15 minutes before your designated tour time with a printed copy of your voucher.
Your Skip the Line entrance to both the Vatican and also the Colosseum and Forum are not included, as fees will depend upon the number of travelers in vehicle. These can be purchased separately at check out. Lunch is on your own. Please plan to bring local currency to buy your meal and snacks.
As in many cities, keep your wallet or purse secured and leave the bling behind. Flat shoes make walking on cobblestones much easier.
Backpacks, tripods, and big umbrellas cannot be taken inside the Vatican Museums for security reasons. To reduce any disruption of your visit, we recommend that backpacks are not taken on this tour.
Wheelchair users can join the tour as long as they are able to manage vehicle steps and are accompanied by an able bodied companion. Involves approximately 1.5 miles of walking over uneven, cobblestone surfaces with inclines and long periods of standing.
Private Tour, Family Friendly, Cultural, Scenic, Shopping
Vehicles for 6, 10 and 15 person options are available at checkout.
English speaking Licensed Guide
Skip the LIne Vatican Museum Entrance
Skip the Line Colosseum Entrance
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
If your mobility is limited, it may be too challenging for you to maintain the pace needed to see all the sights fully. If you use a folding wheelchair, we can accommodate you with at least 7 days notice, providing you have someone along to assist you.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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