Vatican Grottoes

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Vatican Grottoes: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

1. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Dome to Underground Grottoes Tour

Meet your guide in St. Peter’s Square then start the tour by climbing your way to the top of the Basilica’s Dome. Enjoy an exclusive look at the Dome’s impressive mosaics then head further up to the top balcony. From here, marvel at panoramic views across the city, spot the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and other iconic landmarks. Descend into the Basilica and admire its impressive interior and discover why it took 150 years to build. Gaze at the colorful marble, golden ceilings, and intricate mosaics that surround you. Learn about the renowned works of Renaissance and Neoclassic artists that are housed here.  Next, head underground to the Basilica’s historic grottoes and visit St. Peter’s Tomb. Touch the ancient walls of the original 4th-century Basilica and admire its beautiful frescoes. Finish the tour in St. Peter’s Square and soak up its majestic architecture. 

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

2. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica, Square and Grottoes Guided Tour

Embark on a guided tour of Rome to discover the history and the secrets of St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Basilica in the world. Admire the stunning architecture, famous artworks, and visit the Papal Grottoes. After meeting your guide, explore the wonders that fill the Basilica. Follow your guide as you discover the past of St. Peter’s Basilica and marvel at its grand interior, covered in gold and breathtaking colors. See the artworks that were created by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Bramante, a focal point for religion and a representative of the beauty of the Renaissance and Baroque eras. After visiting the Basilica, head to the Papal Grottoes, where the previous pontiffs were buried. Get indications to visit the St. Peter’s Dome on request at the end of the tour.

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Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

3. Rome: St. Peter's Basilica Early Morning Tour

Explore one of Rome's most visited sites away from the crowd and find out why it took almost 120 years to get it done. St.Peter's Basilica is the most prominent building in the Vatican City with a surface area enough to accommodate up to 60,000 visitors, its dome is a dominant feature of the skyline of Rome. The largest church in Christendom, and one of the holiest sites of Christianity and Catholic Tradition, it is traditionally the burial site of its titular, St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome,the first Pope. As you enter Basilica your guide will walk you towards famous Bernini's Baldachin underneet which the tomb of St. Peter is located. For this reason, many Popes have, from the early years of the Church, been buried near Pope St. Peter in the necropolis beneath the Basilica which occasionlly can be visited as well. You will then continue towards another Masterpiece, famous Pieta di Michelangelo. An art historian tour guide will reveal you some of the most important facts about this unique sculture carved from a single slab of marble and commissioned by a french cardinal Jean de Billheres. Not to mention the door on the right side, famous Porta Santa, the holy door which is only opened once every twenty-five years. Save the best for the last, exclusive visit, to famous Vatican Grottoes positioned just below the Renaissance basilica and above Constantine’s 4th century basilica, the grottos contain chapels dedicated to various saints and tombs of kings, queens and popes, dating from the 10th century. This unique guided tour will end on St. Peter's Square a grandiose elliptical esplanade created in the mid seventeenth century by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The square is bordered by massive colonnades that symbolize outstretched arms. Bernini and his assistants sculpted the 140 statues of saints that grace the balustrades on the colonnades. The square is decorated with fountains and an Egyptian obelisk that was transported to Rome in 37 AD.

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Vatican Museum Private Tour with Papal Tombs & Raphael Rooms

4. Vatican Museum Private Tour with Papal Tombs & Raphael Rooms

Begin the tour by meeting your expert private guide and skipping the line to enter the Vatican Museums. Explore one of the largest and most admired art collections in the world, containing a spectacular range of works from antique statues to Renaissance masterpieces. Discover some of Raphael’s most impressive frescoes in the Raphael Rooms, with your private guide on hand to provide context and historical information behind the works on display. Make your way through the numerous galleries before arriving at the Sistine Chapel, the most famous room in the Vatican Museums. Renowned for Michelangelo’s stunning ceiling and wall frescoes, admire "The Creation of Adam" and "The Last Judgment." Learn about the challenge and controversy surrounding Michelangelo’s iconic scenes. Next, continue to St. Peter’s Basilica, the church at the heart of western Catholicism. Discover the key contributions of Bernini to the captivating decoration of the Basilica. Admire Michelangelo’s "Pietà" and learn more about the construction of the Basilica. Complete your Vatican experience as you descend to the Papal Tombs. This is a unique addition to the standard tour, giving you the opportunity to discover the final resting place of many European popes and royals. Take a moment to contemplate the Vatican’s long-lasting significance as your private tour draws to an end.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vatican Grottoes

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What people are saying about Vatican Grottoes

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 1,036 reviews

Absolutely amazing experience and Karolina our tour guide was brilliant very knowledgeable and warm. My favourite tour guide from all Rome experiences. This particular tour is the best option and prepare lot of time for that. Definitely recommend all this experience and it is really must seen . Thank you. Sylwia

One of the Best guide we had in Rome(Marley)full of knowledge, put you at ease and just simply enjoy the tour. Highly recommended.

Fantastic experience. Mario was so knowledgeable and fun. We never had to Wait for anything. This was well worth it!

Our guide was great he was knowledgeable and entertaining. Thank you city tours

Professional but personal, informative and entertaining :)