Sistine Chapel Tour

Sistine Chapel Tour

Sistine Chapel Tour

Our  Sistine chapel tour will focus on the most famous and grandiose religious monument hidden in the heart of the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

The Sistine Chapel is located inside the Vatican museums that are among the most visited museums in the world.

Over 7 millions tourists flock to discover the splendor of these 12 museums annually. The museums are compromised of no less than five galleries and 1.400 rooms, inaugurated in 1771. They consist  of an extraordinary collection of works of art, mainly paintings and sculptures, collected over the centuries by the popes.

After visiting the Sistine Chapel , we will pass through a door (for tour guides only) that will get us directly to St. Peter's Basilica. The tickets, purchased for this tour,  will allow us to skip the lines. This will give us more time to enjoying exploring this memorable sight together.

Saint Peter is the largest basilica in the world. Construction began in 1506, but was not completed  until 1626. It contains wonderful masterpieces like the Pietà by Michelangelo or the canopy over the main altar by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Upon entering the church, you will overwhelmed by the beauty of its hundreds of giant mosaics and the atmosphere that reigns in this amazing house of worship.

Tour length: 2/3 hours.

 


Suggestions: Vatican dress code – no bare shoulders, skirts and shorts under the knees, no weapons ad no big bags or backpacks.

Borghese Gallery

Borghese Gallery

This 16th century Villa, surrounded by a wonderful park, was built by Borghese family. The Borghese Gallery houses probably the collection you have heard most before coming to Rome. The great masterpieces are the works of Raphael, Caravaggio and Titian and the wonderful sculptures of Bernini like David, Apollo and Daphne and the most celebrated sculpture Paolina Bonaparte by the 18th century Italian artist Antonio Canova.

Please note: advanced booking required. Reservation is mandatory for entrance to this museum as the Galleria Borghese only allows entrance to a certain number of visitors at a time.

 

Tivoli

Tivoli

Hadrian’s Villa

The astonishingly grand 2nd-century AD Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa), 6 km (4 mi) south of Tivoli, was an emperor’s theme park, an exclusive retreat below the ancient settlement of Tibur where the marvels of the classical world were reproduced for a ruler’s pleasure.

Hadrian, who succeeded Trajan as emperor in AD 117, was a man of genius and intellectual curiosity, fascinated by the accomplishments of the Hellenistic world. From AD 125 to 134, architects, laborers, and artists worked on the villa, periodically spurred on by the emperor himself when he returned from another voyage full of ideas for even more daring constructions (he also gets credit for Rome’s Pantheon).

After his death, the fortunes of his villa declined. It was sacked by barbarians and Romans alike; many of his statues and decorations ended up in the Musei Vaticani, but the expansive ruins are nonetheless compelling.

It’s not the single elements but the peaceful and harmonious effect of the whole that makes Hadrian’s Villa such a treat. The vast estate is a fascinating succession of baths, theaters, temples, libraries, guest pavilions, nymphaeums, and open-air gymnasiums. The most famous “sight” in the Villa is the Canopus, an artificial valley with a long pool modeled after an Egyptian canal on the Nile, surrounded by colonnades and sculptures. Hadrian did not live long enough to enjoy his creation. He fell ill and retired to Baia near Naples, where he died in AD 138.

Oleanders, pines, and cypresses growing among the ruins heighten the visual impact.

Villa d’Este

Villa d’Este, created by cardinal Ippolito d’Este in the 16th century, was the most amazing pleasure garden of its day and still stuns visitors with its beauty.

Inspired by the recent excavation of Villa Adriana and a devotee of the Renaissance celebration of human ingenuity over nature, Este (1509-72) paid architect Pirro Ligorrio an astronomical sum to create a mythical garden with water as its artistic centerpiece. To console himself for his seesawing fortunes in the political intrigues of his time (he happened to be cousin to Pope Alexander VI), he had his builders tear down part of a Franciscan convent, then divert the Aniene River to water the garden and feed the fountains – and what fountains: big, small, noisy, quiet, rushing, running, in which sunlight, shade, water, gardens, and carved stone create an unforgettable experience

There are fountains of all shapes and sizes, from the tiny cascades that line the stone staircases leading down to the fish ponds at the bottom of the garden to the massive organ fountain that once played music. To this day, several hundred fountains cascade, shoot skyward, imitate bird songs, and simulate rain. The villa is listed as a Unesco world Heritage site.

Suggestions: Confortable shoes, a hat, sun cream in Summer. It can get very hot in Summer, it is better to visit Hadrian’s villa early or in the afternoon.

 


Photo reference: Paliano, Jastrow, Szilas et al., Wikimedia Commons and Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via flickr