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Relax during a 1.5 hour journey by minibus to the center of Rome. Your guide will give you a map and help you to plan your approx.3.5 hours of free time in Rome. After your free time, re-board your minibus for a transfer to the Vatican. Your private Vatican tour begins at the Porta di Bronzo, the Bronze Gate, on Viale Vaticano. Once inside, visit the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica, as well as special sections closed to the general public.
First visit the Cappella Niccolina, the private worship place of the Pope. Three walls are covered with frescoes representing scenes from the lives of St Stephen and St Lawrence, two archdeacons who had been widely venerated in Rome since the early Middle Ages. Next, admire the Carriage Museum, founded by Paul VI in 1973 which contains saddles, carriages, automobiles and sedan chairs used by the various popes, continue your exclusive tour to the Room of Tears, this is where the new Pope is elected. When one of the cardinals obtains 50% plus one of the votes, he is declared Pope; he must accept the assignment and choose his Papal name. Please be advised on April 5 and April 19, the "Room of Tears" is unavailable for visitors, however this visit will be replaced with another section closed to the general public.
Then, he goes to a special dressing room to don the Papal clothes. In this room, he becomes the Pope and, due to the strong emotions experienced there, this room is called the Room of Tears. Proceed to the Pinacoteca, commissioned by Pius IX in 1931 to house a collection of paintings. Many of the paintings on exhibit were taken to Paris by Napoleon in 1797, but returned to Italy after the Congress of Vienna (1815). The works, covering from the Middle Ages to 1800, are set in chronological order in eighteen rooms. Among the masterpieces you will see the Raphael’s Crowning of the Virgin, Madonna of Foligno and Transfiguration, Leonardo’s St Jerome, and the Deposition from the Cross by Caravaggio. Proceed to the Sala degli Ori where precious Etruscan jewels dating back to the 8th century BC are displayed. Finally, continue to St Peter’s treasure room.
- Not recommended for guests with collapsible wheelchairs or those with walking difficulties, due to walking involved and uneven ground.
- The order of the sites visited may vary.
- Have shoulders and knees covered for visiting religious buildings.
- Comfortable shoes, water and a sun hat are recommended.
- No flash photography in the Vatican Museums.
- Due to new traffic regulations, should the bus not be allowed to pick up guests close to the St. Peters Basilica or Vatican Museum, guests will be required to walk approximately 0.6 miles to the nearest pick-up location.
- For smooth operation, this itinerary may operate in reverse order.
- Tour does not operate on Catholic holidays.
- This tour is exclusive to a max of 20 per group.
- Please be advised on April 5 and April 19, the "Room of Tears" is unavailable for visitors, however this visit will be replaced with another section closed to the general public.