• Tour code: 5660CUPOLAMOSAIC
  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

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Enjoy a unique, in-depth Vatican experience on this private tour that includes visiting the cupola of St Peter’s Basilica and the usually-closed Vatican Mosaic Studio (Studio del Mosaico). With an informative private guide, you’ll ride up to Michelangelo’s enormous dome for an up-close look at his mosaic design and an unbeatable view of Rome. At the fascinating and rarely visited Mosaic Studio, learn about the expert artists who work on the restoration of the historical mosaic pieces. Skip-the-line entry to the very popular St Peter’s Basilica is the icing on the cake! Select a departure time when booking.


  • 4.5-hour walking tour of the Vatican with a private guide
  • Bypass the queues with skip-the-line entry to St Peter’s Basilica and its cupola
  • Marvel at the magnificent art and architecture of the church
  • Take in panoramic views from the cupola
  • Gain exclusive access to the Mosaic Studio
  • Meet the diligent master craftsmen who restore the Vatican’s elaborate mosaics
  • Private, small-group tour limited to 10 people, ensuring an in-depth, personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Vatican Private Tour of St Peter's Basilica including the Cupola and Vatican Mosaic Studio

Admire the 'cupola' (dome) of the Basilica from inside!

Your private tour starts in the heart of the Vatican, where you’ll meet your guide at St Peter’s Square. Begin your walking tour at the Mosaic Studio, a workshop typically closed to the public where skilled artists use traditional techniques to restore and protect the Vatican's many mosaics. Learn how they keep the historical pieces in prime condition, and hear about the gifts often given by the pope to dignitaries who come to the Vatican on official visits.

Next, walk over to St Peter’s Basilica, home to Renaissance treasures like Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture. Go straight inside with your skip-the-line entry to ride the elevator up to the cupola, Michelangelo’s famous dome that dominates the Rome skyline. Look down at the nave below, and enjoy an up-close look at the mosaics that line the cupola’s interior. Then climb 300 steps to the upper level, the highest viewpoint in Rome, for unparalleled views of the city.

Return to ground level to continue your walking tour with your private guide, listening to tales about the Vatican’s long history and many popes. Your tour ends at St Peter’s Square, from where you can explore more on your own.

Please note: The order of your tour may vary based on events taking place at the Vatican on the day of your tour. The afternoon tour begins with the St Peter's Basilica portion. Click on the 'View additional info' link to see a map of the meeting location.

View additional info

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