Explore the Vatican and St. Peter's Dome
The tour begins bright and early in St. Peter's Square, where you'll meet your guide. This art historian will lead you across the piazza into Vatican City. Your first stop is the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, designed by Michelangelo. It's the highest point in Rome (per the law!). There are 551 steep steps leading to the top of the Dome, but you'll take the elevator part way and then climb the remaining stairs at a leisurely pace, with plenty of breaks.
When you gaze at the 360 degree view from the top of the Dome, you can see Vatican City, the seven hills of Rome, and beyond.
After descending the Dome, you'll enter the church of St. Peter's Basilica itself. Explore the amazing architectural features, like the papal tombs and the niches, decorated with sculptures by the likes of Bernini and Michelangelo.
At 11:30 AM, your tour group will regroup and head to the Vatican Museum. You'll skip the line to enter and then embark on a 2 hour tour of the museum. The Vatican's art collection is one of the most important in the world, not to mention gigantic—it occupies more than 1,200 rooms!