Waking Up the Vatican: VIP Early Access with Keyholder

Cultural & Theme Tours in Rome

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4.9 out of 5

Tour description provided by Viator

Make your visit to the Vatican extra special with this Waking Up the Vatican tour. First, follow a keyholder to unlock the Vatican doors long before the museum opens up to the public, avoiding the crowds that pour inside right at opening time. Explore the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, and the Gallery of Maps with a small group, and then end your experience with a banquet-style breakfast in the Pinecone Courtyard.
Meet your small tour group limited to 20 people and your guide in central Rome. The clavigero (key keeper) carries nearly 3,000 keys to the Vatican Museums, and every morning opens the monumental Vatican doors. He uses a key to get into each section of the museum, turning on the lights to each room for the day.On this special VIP tour, head inside the rooms and galleries before the museum is even opened to the public with the clavigero as he finds the right key that opens each area. You’ll avoid the crazy chaos of the crowds as you follow your guide through a carefully planned route. Visit the most famous galleries and rooms, such as the Raphael Rooms, and see a variety of ancient sculptures, paintings, relics, and medieval maps. Your guide tells you the stories behind them and the Vatican itself.Next, continue on to the world-famous Sistine Chapel to catch sight of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Enter the chapel and have the rare chance to admire it with only a few other people. Your guide also goes inside with you for a guided visit—which has never been heard of until now.End your experience at the Vatican Museums with a delicious breakfast in the beautiful Pinecone Courtyard. Enjoy a huge spread of hot and cold breakfast foods, meats, cheeses, pastries, and pancakes. Your breakfast at the Vatican is relaxed, giving you plenty of time to sit out on the courtyard patio.Your VIP early-entry Vatican tour ends inside the Pinecone Courtyard, so you can spend additional time exploring further, if you'd like.

What’s included

  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Guided visit in the Sistine Chapel before it has been opened to the public
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Breakfast
  • Entry/Admission - Sistine Chapel
  • Entry/Admission - Vatican Museums
  • Entry/Admission - Stanze di Raffaello

What’s not included

  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off


  • Likely to Sell Out