Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel: Skip-the-line e-Ticket and Audio TourRome, Italy
Experience at your own pace the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel with a skip-the-line e-ticket combined with an immersive self-guided audio tour on your smartphone. Receive your ticket by email, download the audio tour on your smartphone and enjoy a hassle-free visit in one of the world’s busiest attractions and set out on a riveting journey through religious history and art.
Starting your tour, you’ll enjoy the marvelous view and enter the pinecone courtyard. Once you’ve marveled at the alluring beauty of the bronze pinecone statue, you will re-enter the Museums to enjoy a fascinating tour throughout the centuries. You’ll explore sites of mesmerizing beauty, such as the Greek Cross Room, the Gallery of the Candelabras, Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of the Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries, and the contemporary art apartments among many more as well as the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll marvel at Michelangelo’s masterpiece “The Creation of Adam”.
This product offers an unmissable opportunity to gain valuable insights into the exhibits through an engrossing storytelling concept combined with fast-track entry to the Vatican Museums.
Experience at your own pace the Vatican Museums & the Sistine Chapel with a skip-the-line e-ticket combined with an immersive self-guided audio tour on your smartphone.
1. The Laocoön | inv 1059The Laocoön group is an emblematic work portraying human agony. A distressed figure is presented wrestling with sea serpents, which swirl about his tortured limbs.
2. The School of AthensThe School of Athens, one of Raphael’s most famous frescoes, is a celebration of the great philosophers who defined Western thinking. Who’s who?
3. The Creation of Man by MichelangeloWhen the Sistine Chapel ceiling was commissioned to Michelangelo, many would have expected him to fall flat, being less accustomed to painting than he was to sculpting. Yet, it proved to be his greatest triumph!
A hot-headed priest
The Laocoön | inv 1059The plan was perfect. After a decade of toil trying to overtake the city of Troy, the Greeks finally concocted a viable plan of attack. Thanks to the clever idea of Odysseus, a master craftsman built a large wooden horse, which was hollow and big enough for fifty men to hide inside. It would be placed outside the walls of Troy to make the Trojans falsely assume that it was a harmless gift and when the Trojans wheeled it in their city, they would unknowingly let the enemy in. And this is how things happened; a man named Sinon explained to the Trojans that the horse was a peace offering left by the Greeks, who finally realized they could never cease Troy, so they sailed away leaving him behind as a human sacrifice. All Trojans were delighted apart from a priest named Laocoön, who was the only to debate against the obvious naivety of accepting gifts from the Greeks. At the request of Athena, so angered by his stubbornness, Poseidon sent his sea serpents to devour Laocoön and his sons. The scholars of Rhodes immortalized the dramatic height of this scene in stone during the middle of the first century BC.
A last minute change
The School of AthensInterestingly, there is one man, who originally was absent from Raphael’s preliminary drawings for the School of Athens. If one were to consult the preliminary drawings for the School of Athens and compare them to the fresco, one figure would be missing from the cartoon. It is the seated figure writing behind a desk representing Heraclitus, a quite pessimistic and obscure thinker, known as the “Weeping Philosopher”. Ironically, he is portrayed after Michelangelo! The great philosopher and the Renaissance painter were quite similar in many ways, as they were both melancholic and tended to avoid the company of others. Why was Raphael’s famous rival included in the painting as well? After seeing Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine, Raphael decided to insert his portrait in the painting. Was it a way to show his true admiration or an act of wry humor?
The fresco technique
The Creation of Man by MichelangeloEvery inch of the Sistine Chapel is painted in fresco. The word fresco refers to both technique and result. This type of wall painting is created using a fresh and humid preparation layer. The coating was made of lime or gypsum mortar, and artists had to add the colors while the coating was still wet. Through a series of chemical reactions, the color pigments mixed with water would merge with the coating. This is what made fresco most resistant. Painting fresco is a difficult feat to accomplish because the amount of time available to complete the actual painting is greatly reduced by the drying speed of the coating—on average, 6 hours a day. Once it is dry, no more chemical reaction can be induced. Let’s note here that Michelangelo did his frescoed ceiling alone and without electricity!
Select date and participants
Our stories are zany and so is the team of creative writers, thinkers, doers & explorers behind them: a dedicated art conservator, who if left unattended will be found making stuff out of paper and fabric, a caring archaeologist with long Renaissance curls who loves art and baking & a passionate travel writer suffering from incurable wanderlust and a healthy obsession with Thomas Pynchon. To this, add a gifted graphic designer, who playfully experiments with designs, colors, hairstyles, and fashion transformations daily, and a world-class network of travel experts and accredited tour guides who share our crush for ingenuity and create distinctive tours and travel stories that bring the world closer to you!
Contributors and Bibliography
Tour author: Ami Badami
I am an internal and authorized tour guide for the Vatican, Vatican City Europe, and professional artist. In the mornings I take people through Michelangelo’s masterpieces….the evenings, embark on my own artistic journey.
|Starting point||Viale Vaticano, 100, 00192 Roma RM, Italy|
|Know before you book||
|Know before you go||
|Opening hours||Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm. The entrance doors close at 4:00 pm. Last Entrance into the Sistine Chapel is 5:30pm. The last Sunday of the month the Museums are free (not recommended to visit at this time). From April to October, the Vatican is also open in the evenings from 7-11pm. Some sections, however, such as the Pinacoteca, are closed. Closed: on Sundays and religious holidays|
|Recommended apparel||Shoulders and knees must be covered to comply with the Vatican dress code|
|Comments||The Vatican Museums entrance is accessible from Viale Vaticano 00165 Roma RM, Italy on the northern side of the city state. Metro: Line A, Ottaviano-S. Pietro Station Bus: 40, 64, 62, 81, stop Viale Vaticano/ Musei Vaticani Tram: 19 to Piazza Risorgimento|
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
After downloading Clio Muse app, you can access this tour and activate it any moment you wish and also repeat it any time. To best enjoy our multimedia self-guided tour (comprising maps, video, audio and text) we recommend the use of headphones.