The most beautiful art and architecture in Rome is held inside its churches. Artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini were funded by the Catholic Church throughout their careers, meaning that many of the world's most important artworks have ended up inside its most important churches. Join us on a full day exploration of these masterpieces - from the Sistine Chapel to Michelangelo's Pietà, St. Peter's Basilica and the frescoes of St. Mary Major.
Our full day tour includes a guided tour of the four Major Basilicas, including St. Peter's Basilica, St. John of Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major. We also include a three-hour guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, and a visit to The Holy Stairs.
With Skip the Line Access at St. Peter's Basilica and No Wait Access at the Vatican Museums, an air-conditioned bus to carry us between sites and an expert, English-speaking guide for the duration of your tour, we take the hassle out of your day so you can relax and enjoy your exploration into the history, culture and art of Rome.
Our day is split into two parts. In the morning we'll take a guided tour of the Vatican Museums. With No Wait Access at the Museums, we won't waste time waiting in line, giving us more time to explore the collection. We'll see the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel among countless other works, before entering St. Peter's Basilica for a fully guided tour. With small group sizes and headsets for every guest, you won't have to strain to hear your guide as they teach you about the art and history behind the sites that you visit.
After an ample break for lunch and a rest, we will go on to St. Mary Major Basilica to explore mannerist sculptural decorations, stunning 5th century mosaics, enchanting frescoes and Bernini’s tomb.
Our next stop is St. John of Lateran Basilica, technically the most important Catholic Church in Rome (and the world!), as the traditional seat of the Pope. Older than St. Peter's Basilica, the cathedral is home to the Holy Stairs, widely-accepted to be the stairs that Christ climbed during the Passion.
The last of the four Major Basilicas is the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where lie the relics of Saint Paul.
Religiously and culturally significant, beautifully decorated and stunningly designed, the four Major Basilicas of Rome are a must-see for any visitor who wants to stretch beyond the Vatican to see more of the splendor of Rome.
St. Peter's Basilica and other religious sites are subject to occasional closures for religious ceremonies. When this occurs, we will provide guests with an extended tour of the Vatican Museums, or appropriate alternative. In these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts. Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. Knees, shoulders and backs must be covered.
Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' or 'No Wait' access.
Yes, the Vatican has a strict dress code. Men, women and children must have their shoulders and knees covered at all times.
The tours meet at a location very close and convenient to the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Full details of the exact location are included on the confirmation voucher you will receive when you book your tour.
It is possible to climb the Dome on your own if you wish, however you will need to purchase a ticket directly on site. Our tours do not include a visit to the Dome. Please note that if you intend to climb the Dome after your tour ends, you should make sure to book a morning tour (not on a Wednesday) as the Dome access is already closed in the afternoon before our afternoon tours reach Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the Basilica is often closed on Wednesday mornings.
A Dark Rome tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.
With Dark Rome it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.