Exploring the Vatican on an After-Hours Tour

Exploring the Vatican on an After-Hours Tour

John Miller takes us behind the scenes at the Vatican for a special after-hours experience with Insight Vacations.

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Rome to inaugurate the 2017 spring-summer travel season with Insight Vacations.  A few highlights of my trip were meeting this year’s tour directors and taking a walking tour of Trastevere; but nothing topped the incredible experience I had on one of Insights special “Signature Experiences:” an after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums.

Signature Experiences with Insight Vacations

Insight offers a unique collection of engaging and authentic Signature Experiences on their award-winning guided tours. These experiences take you to the heart of a culture with up-close encounters and visits led by local experts. You can join a cooking demonstration in Tuscany, learn how to make paella in Spain,  meet a dog sled champion in Scandinavia, and much more. In addition to these great Signature Experiences, you can now enjoy an after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums, and even a VIP dinner in one of the world’s most sacred sites (click here to learn more).  Here’s a look at the highlights from my evening at the Vatican, as well as some perks you’ll experience when traveling with Insight.

‘The Art of Touring in Style’

Touring in style means that every moment in your journey is designed with noteworthy authenticity. It also means that you’ll enjoy a comfortable, hassle-free travel experience every step of your way. We arrived at the Vatican by luxury motor coach, complete with on board WiFi and extended leg room.

As the sun set in the Eternal City, we made our way to the entrance of the Vatican Museums and were promptly ushered inside by our guide; there was no waiting in line.

The Sistine Chapel, Without the Crowds

Being among the first few to gain VIP access into the Vatican Museums meant that we had the Sistine Chapel all to ourselves — those of you who have ever visited the Vatican can probably imagine what a special experience this was. We admired Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling above, got an up-close look at the details of our surroundings, and were able to ask questions to our knowledgeable local guide.

Exploring the Vatican’s Ethnological Museum

A highlight of our Signature Experience was a guided tour of one of Rome’s best kept secrets, the Ethnological Missionary Museum. This fascinating exhibition features thousands of religious artifacts that have been gathered by missionaries from around the world. Pieces in the collection come from as far away as the Easter Islands, South America, and Africa, and represent a number of world religions.

Our group enjoyed listening to the museum curator discuss the significance of the Vatican’s ethnographic artifacts, and we were delighted by a reception of wine and hors d’oeuvres in this spectacular setting. We then continued on with our local guide, who was ready to answer questions and offer additional insight before the night came to an end.My evening at the Vatican was one I’ll never forget.

Enjoy this special Signature Experience on the Italian Elegance tour.

VIP access to Vatican Museums is included on the following Insight tours:

John Miller

As former president of Grand European Travel, John travels on the same selection of guided vacations and river cruises as GET's loyal guests. He was first inspired by travel at an early age, when his family moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Those first international impressions have stayed with him over the year. Most recently, John and his family toured Greece to celebrate his youngest son's college graduation. The time together was incredible and everyone had a wonderful experience.

4 thoughts on “Exploring the Vatican on an After-Hours Tour

  • March 23, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Is this really true? No crowds at the Sistine Chapel? I was there in October 2015 and was so discussed with the crowds that by the time we got to the Sistine Chapel it was so packed I could hardly walk through. Was so disappointed that I just walked to the end of the chapel and waited for the rest of the tour and said I’d just have to look it up on the internet. I said I would never go back to Italy.

    Now you have me interested – be honest. How many would actually be viewing in the evening and for how long?
    Also I notice you traveled with an Insight bus. I toured with them to Switzerland just because of the leg room. Is this a joint venture with Insight?

    • March 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Great questions, Ruth. And yes, visiting the Sistine Chapel as an independent traveler can be a stressful experience. We’re proud to offer the Italian Elegance tour from Insight Vacations. This trip includes VIP entrance to the Vatican Museums (no waiting in line!), where a local expert will guide you through the papal collections and Sistine Chapel. You’ll then enjoy a special private dinner and tour of the Ethnological Museum with a museum curator. Group sizes may vary but never exceed 40 people. Click here to learn more about this trip or give our Travel Specialists a call at 1-877-622-9109.

  • April 25, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Is it possible to obtain this vatican experience by purchasing it with the Italian Dream trip?

    • April 25, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Hi Miriam, the Italian Dream trip doesn’t include the after-hours tour we mentioned in this article. However, it does offer an optional excursion to the Vatican and Colosseum, where you’ll get to skip the lines with VIP entry at the Vatican and enjoy a guided visit of the papal collections and Sistine Chapel. The price for adults is currently 79 euros. Please feel free to give us a call (toll-free) at 1-877-622-9101 if we can answer any other questions or assist you with your travel arrangements.


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