VATICAN TOUR Get ready for a tour that will guide you through what Benedict XVI called the Via Pulchritudinis: “the way of Beauty” that leads us into the divine. Walking with a private guide through the Vatican Museums you’ll be welcomed by some of history’s most renowned artists: Giotto, Botticelli, Perugino, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Bernini. Five centuries worth of art collecting, from the times of Ancient Rome to the cutting edge of religious contemporary art, strolling through the Museums is the best way to comprehend the bond between Christianism and Western culture, between God and man, in an experience that will show you the glory of Art at the service of Faith. It’s a true treasure hunt through seven kilometres of art… On this private tour you’ll get to visit: Pius Clementine Museum: the nucleus of the papal collection, its host to the greatest sculptures of the Greek and Roman art (Apollo of the Belvedere, Laocoonte, Torso of the Belvedere) that inspired the figures of the Sistine Chapel. Gallery of the Tapestries: home to some of the best tapestries in the world, woven in Bruxelles copying the drawings of the school of Raphael and originally hung in the Sistine Chapel. Gallery of the maps: thanks to the knowledge of the cosmographer/astronomer Egnazio Danti, the 40 maps on this gallery show its spectators an image of XVI century Italy. Raphael’s rooms: the former apartments of Pope Julius II and Leo X are decorated with the frescoes of the young artist that bear witness to his uncanny ability to paint into images abstract and universal concepts, thus giving life, colours and movement to the invisible. In his famous masterpiece, “The school of Athens”, he portrayed the most prominent artists of his time such as Bramante, Michelangelo, Leonardo and even himself! You will go into the Sistine Chapel, the highest expression of the Italian Renaissance Art. Here the best painters of the Tuscan-Umbrian school first and then the genius of Michelangelo painted, like the pictures in a book, the truths of the Holy Scripture with forms of incomparable beauty. Through the Genesis, the stories of Moses, the life of Jesus to the Last Judgment, you will read a veritable “theology concentrate” in images. To this day, the Conclave is held in the Sistine Chapel where the cardinals vote to choose the Pope. Marvel at the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and then remember that Michelangelo started working in the Sistine Chapel when he was 33, never having painted before in his life… You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church… After the tour of the Vatican museums you will go with your guide to St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Here the greatest artists ever created a piece of Paradise, in their effort to glorify God and show the might of the Catholic Church and its Supreme Pontiff, the Pope. Michelangelo built part of the Basilica and designed the cupola, later built in only 22 months. Bernini became one the Baroque’s most important representatives with his work here, which he developed as a visual explanation of the mysteries of faith. The Pietà, the Baldacchino, the Cathedral of St. Peter, the tombs of the popes and the 10.000 m2 of mosaics make of St. Peter’s a museum in its own right. You could spend a whole week here and still run out of time to see everything properly! But with our guides, you can be sure you’ll get the best experience possible. The embrace of the church… You will end the tour in St. Peter’s square, worldwide famous for the pope’s speeches, in the virtual embrace of the colonnade by Bernini, while in the presence of 140 statues of Saints that tower over the pilgrims that come every day to St. Peter’s. In this candid forest of columns you will find the Swiss Guard, the Pope’s personal army, give a dash of colour to this marble-filled square.
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