Dreaming of Italy with Adventures by Disney, Day 3 – part 2

Tonight as the “WOW of the trip, one might argue it was one of the biggest Disney Differences we experienced.. As described, Adventures by Disney describes this evening as, “PRIVATE AFTER-HOURS VATICAN MUSEUM VISIT- Experience an amazing visit to the Vatican Museum on an exclusive after-hours tour. The collection spans 25 centuries and is home to masterpieces by the greatest artists in history. Your local expert will also escort you into the Sistine Chapel for an intimate look at Michelangelo’s magnificent achievement.” That description barely scratches the surface of the priceless and private experience we had. The only guests on this tour was our group of nearly 35 and our private tour guide, Cristina. As Roman Catholics- this trip could be life changing…

We arrived at the doors, which are massive…

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We all received new headsets, and were on our way. We walked through long, ornate hallways and got a neat perspective from the inside looking out-

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We then climbed up a long staircase and into a room with 2 sarcophagus inside. One was the Sarcophagus of Helena (the mother of the emperor) and the other is Constantine.

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We then entered a red room with Red porphry bowl from Nero’s Domus Aurea (Nero’s Bathtub) surrounded by bronze and marble statues.

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While you are exiting, you pass the Belvedere Torso…

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Next we were lead into an outdoor area filled with beautiful marble statues and a huge elephant ear plant at the center.

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This entire area is in pretty close proximity to each other…


Every hallway we walked through was filled with priceless art work arriving at the infamous Vatican tapestries. They were first shown in the Sistine Chapel in 1531, and arranged for the exhibition in this Gallery in 1838.

Each one more beautiful than the next, more detailed than the next…

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We then entered the Gallery of Maps which takes its name from the 40 maps frescoed on the walls, which represent the Italian regions and the papal properties at the time of Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585).

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We continued on our way to the Sistine Chapel walking through the most amazing “minor” chapels and hallways one will ever be able to see and experience. These include the “Raphael Rooms”.

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and then…

For those who have visited the Sistine before- keep in mind, there were less than 40 people in the Chapel. We were permitted to take pictures, video, and truly soak in the magnitude of this magnificent space. When Mike and I were here in 1998- no pictures at all and we had to keep walking through with hundreds of people. Total time inside then, maybe 10 minutes. Tonight, we were inside what felt like close to 30 minutes, if not more.

Cristina spoke about all of the art work and history surrounding us and pointed out things you just couldn’t and wouldn’t have time for unless you were fortunate enough to have a priceless experience like this one was. In particular, The Last Judgement that is painted behind the alter. It is stunning and filled with intricate detail. Most guests focus on the infamous ceiling- which I will admit to back in 1998- but having this opportunity you can truly take almost every brush stroke in and properly appreciate it all.

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On the way out, we pass by more priceless artifacts and through elaborate hallways…

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Now the sun has set, looking outside…

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Even our final staircase down was beautiful!



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1 Response to Dreaming of Italy with Adventures by Disney, Day 3 – part 2

  1. Pingback: A Magical Mediterranean Cruise, Day 5- Rome with DCL’s Imperial and Renaissance Rome Excursion | What's Up With The Mouse?

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