Rome Walking Tours
Museums and churches

No city in the world offers the depth and breadth of Western art and architecture that Rome does. From the Vatican and its museums through the great palaces and basilicas to some small and more obscure architectural gems, Your Own Italy will take you on a breathtaking voyage through the centuries. You will see unforgettable treasures all in private tours arranged for your group only. Each tour is facilitated by an local expert, licensed, English-speaking guide. See details below and contact us for additional information and customization.
Looking up at St. Peter's dome from the Vatican Courtyard

The art of the Vatican is among the most recognizable in the world, with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo. While leading you through the museums, your guide will convey the tantalizing background of these Renaissance masterpieces. In the stunning Raphael Rooms you will see the famous "School of Athens" fresco that depicts influential thinkers of ancient Greece. In the Sistine Chapel, below the largest and most renowned fresco in the world, your tour guide will explain the intriguing history of how this work came to be and the hidden messages Michelangelo painted into it...

Looking up at the Sistine Chapel in Rome

Stroll through the galleries of the Vatican museums after dark! On select Friday evenings you can enjoy ancient sculptures, iconic paintings, and centuries of history brought to life by your private guide, and in the former palaces of the Pope you'll have the opportunity to view sculptures from antiquity that inspired Michelangelo almost 2,000 years later.

Bird's eye view of St. Peter's Square in Rome

You will visit all four of the great patriarchal basilicas of Rome. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest and most important, has been set aside for use by the Pope as his own parish. The lovely Basilica of St. Mary Major is the largest of the 26 churches in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and has an exciting history, including a miraculous snowfall on August 4. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls is the burial place of St. Paul the Apostle and contains a fascinating series of portraits of every Pope up to the present. Finally, you will be taken to St. Peter’s Basilica and...

Exterior view of Galleria Borghese in Rome

Commissions and acquisitions of masterpieces by Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, and Bernini made the Borghese family the premier collectors of their day, and their former suburban palace turned private museum is now one of the most important, and certainly one of the most elegant, museums in Rome. Handed over to the Italian state in 1902, the present-day museum covers two floors, with sculpture on the ground floor and paintings on the upper. We will spend equal time in each and will also examine the villa's architecture, grounds, and gardens. Over the course of your two-hour visit (which,...

Looking up from the Courtyard of the Vatican Museum

After visiting the stunning Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Maps, and Raphael rooms, you will enter the magnificent helical Bramante Staircase, commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1512 and designed by Donato Bramante as an entrance to the Papal apartments that could also accommodate horses. The Niccolina Chapel, a private chapel of the Pope, is closed to most visitors and decorated with delicate frescoes by the early Renaissance master Fra Angelico. In the Sistine Chapel are the famous wall and ceiling frescoes by Michelangelo, among others, and in St. Peter’s Basilica you will see priceless...

Coffee cup & cornetto in the Vatican Museum Courtyard in Rome

Breakfast will be served outdoors in the Vatican's famous Pinecone Courtyard, when the Vatican Museums are still closed to the public. Following your meal, you will tour galleries of sculptures, paintings and tapestries before entering the Sistine Chapel to contemplate its masterpieces at your own pace, far from the noise of crowds. Among the great works to admire in St. Peter’s Basilica are Bernini’s baldachino and Michelangelo’s Pietà, as well as the monumentality of the Basilica itself viewed from the stunning St. Peter’s Square.