Vatican Museum History
The Vatican Museum can be traced back to the early 16th century. It wasn’t until the Lateran Treaty with Mussolini in 1929 that the Holy See, and in turn the Vatican Museum, became the true center of Catholicism and its history. Pope Julius the II, founder of the museums, couldn’t have seen the growth of this magnificent space into what is now 54 galleries including the Sistine Chapel.
Although the acquisition of some pieces are controversial, the Vatican has maintained one of the most impressive art collections on the planet for over 500 years. Preserving and displaying art from every corner of the globe. Including some of the most famous works from the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Matisse, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Pomodoro,
I’m an art and history geek. I especially love Medieval European history. So for me to be in the Vatican Collection, it’s a dream come true. Context Travel is the best tour company in Europe. Touring this collection with them has yielded some excellent results. Check out my experience.
A Guide that Knows Her Art: A New Standard is Set
My guide, Alessandra, was one of the best I’ve ever had. And that’s not an exaggeration. Context Travel not only hires excellent docents but ensures their proficient in the content their presenting. Your guide will have a Phd or Masters level degree. No fresh out of school gap year kids here folks. It’s almost intimidating the amount of knowledge she has regarding not only art at the Vatican Collection, but of the Roman Catholic church and European history. She even carries and Ipad preloaded with extra images and information which took our understanding to another level. She was the ONLY guide I saw who had embraced technology in such a way.
I was also very impressed with how well she knew the museum. Not only logistically but strategically. She knew how to navigate the crowds in such a way our small group was rarely crowded by others. She seemed to not only know every other guide but the security staff there as well.
Alessandra was definitely the highlight of this tour. Her humor, knowledge, and patience truly made me feel like she cared about our experience and the museums rich history.
Small Group Tours: Bringing the Personal Touch to Experiences
Context Travel specializes in small group tours, although they also offer larger group tours. Small tours will have a positive impact on your experience compared to other companies which only offer large tours. Instead of wasting time herding around 20+people, our guide was able to give us individual attention throughout the tour and answer all of our questions in detail.
Our small group was also able to move quickly through the museum and maximize our time. This allowed us to spend more time at the things we wanted to see and less at the pieces we didn’t. This extra mobility was evident when you saw the look of exhaustion and frustration on the faces of other guides and tourist.
Alessandra was able to really engage me and the others on a personal level. I think I can speak for all FOUR of us and say that we walked away feeling like we were all old friends.
The “Million Dollar” Question: Is it Affordable?
I hate to use this cliché but you get what you pay for. The Vatican Collections tour runs $100 per person. Full disclosure, I took this tour on behalf of Context Travel. And after having taken it I would EASILY pay for this without a second thought. You see, many tour companies in Rome are going to charge you around $40+ for this same tour. The difference, you aren’t being guided by an Art Historian, you’re in a group of 20+, and you don’t get extra time to enjoy the pieces you want.
In addition to this tour, Context Travel offers dozens of other tours. Including Walks and Private Tours. Next year I plan to return to the Vatican with Context Travel and take their after-hours tour. More than worth the cost to me.
Context Travel: Setting a New Standard in Tourism
I can make all the grandiose statements in the world but believe me, you’ll have an experience like no other. Context Travel has raised my standard for tours and that’s after over 100 over the years. Personal attention, affordability, and energy are all keys to Context Travels excellent track record and high customer happiness. Follow them on social media to see the positive customer reactions and excellent photography.
So whats your favorite kind of tour? Do you prefer large groups or private? What tour would you like to take? Don’t forget to comment below and share.