Rome, Italy The Vatican Masterpieces City walk by Tara Anbudaiyan

The smallest sovereign state in the world is vast in its treasures. Start your day with a hearty breakfast, skip the lines with our recommended small-group tour of The Vatican and find delightful souvenirs at a nearby market. For more information and other itineraries, visit the link in my bio to Compass & Key, a new online travel guide featuring free itineraries for wandering the world.

Context Tours: Arte Vaticana

Given the popularity of the Vatican, it is recommended that you book a tour IN ADVANCE to skip the lines and allow for a deeper understanding of the treasures inside. Compass & Key recommends the 4-hour Arte Vaticana Tour through Context Travel, which is led by a historian in groups of six or less. They suggest reserving an early afternoon tour on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, when crowds are a bit more manageable.

Context Tours: Arte Vaticana

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Ristorante Coromandel

 
Your tour of the Vatican and its surrounding area will be 4-5 hours, so start your day right with a hearty breakfast. If you are staying in a recommended hotel in the Centro Storico, visit Ristorante Coromandel for a varied breakfast menu.

Ristorante Coromandel

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source: Triposo

 
If you have booked a tour through Context Travel, you will start at the Vatican Museums. After breakfast in the Centro Historico, walk 30 minutes to the entrance to the Vatican Museums and meet your tour to skip the line and begin exploring the incredible treasures inside. Your docent will focus on the important pieces in the vast collection. The Vatican Museums are the museums of the Vatican City and are located within the city's boundaries. They display works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.

Vatican Museums

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source: Triposo

 
The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, and most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

Sistine Chapel

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source: Triposo

 
Spend the final 45-60 minutes of your Context Tour in the heart of the Vatican State, St. Peter's Basilica. You will have time to take in all the splendor after the tour ends, including the ancient doors leading into the church. Don't miss the Porta Santa, which is opened only every 25 years during Holy Years. You can also climb Michelangelo's dome for breathtaking views of Vatican City and Rome, but it's only accessible via several hundred stairs. The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

St. Peter's Basilica

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source: Cola-di-Rienzo

 
An excellent range of Italian food products (think gifts) and a fine coffee shop. There are locations throughout Rome but this location is the original opened in 1932.

Castroni, The Original

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