Jewish Vatican Tour
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours. *Indicative Starting Time: 10 am or 2 pm
Sunday – Friday
Semi-private tour; private tour available upon request.
*Starting time contingent on the availability of tickets
Along with the Jewish Ghetto, the Jewish Vatican tour is my favorite itinerary in Rome. It is educational, entertaining, and packed full of fascinating secrets. My Jewish Vatican tour is also suitable for all ages and can even be tailored to very young children.
This two- to three-hour tour introduces you to the hidden Jewish influences inside the Vatican. My vast experience and extensive studies have brought to light many secrets and rumors — some of which I am in the process of publishing. On this utterly unique tour, I will share these discoveries with you.
Meeting at the Vatican Museum’s entrance, we’ll step inside to explore its collection
As we wander the fabled halls of the Vatican Museums, I’ll introduce you to some of the finest treasures of the Vatican’s vast collection. We will explore the Gallery of Maps, Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Statues, and Hall of Busts, coming face to face with breathtakingly beautiful sculptures, frescoes, and tapestries.
The Vatican Museums are pregnant with Jewish symbolism, though this only becomes apparent when you scratch beneath the surface.
Why is the Virgin Mary represented above with the Choshen Mishpat? Discover this and much more as we explore the Vatican Museums.
Provided it is open to the public, we will visit the Lapidarium: a section of the Vatican Museum showcasing fascinating inscriptions from Rome’s ancient Jewish community.
Rescued from the Jewish Catacombs of Monteverde, these inscriptions offer an invaluable window into Romano-Jewish life of the 3rd and 4th centuries CE.
Your Jewish Vatican tour then takes you inside the Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo’s masterpiece
Everybody has heard of the Sistine Chapel. Few, however, know that the Great Master immersed himself in Jewish learning. And that in designing the chapel’s ceiling he drew heavily from his knowledge of Jewish symbolism.
Michelangelo’s studies of the Talmud, Torah, and Kabbalah, inculcated by his patron Lorenzo de’ Medici, manifest themselves across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. That’s right: Kabbalistic ideas appear all across the most famous artwork at the very heart of Catholicism.
I will share with you all the secrets of the Sistine Chapel’s complex symbolism. Then, from the Sistine Chapel, we will walk to St. Peter’s Basilica where you will gain further insight into the Jewish influences on ostensibly Christian works of art.
Finally, we’ll explore St. Peter’s Basilica before finishing our tour in the square
St. Peter’s Basilica is a paradox: the world’s largest church within the world’s smallest state. Paradoxically, it also displays an abundance of Jewish artworks and symbolism.
As well as its many treasures, I’ll bring you face to face with Michelangelo’s Pietà. Most people assume this statue represents the Virgin Mary. On my Jewish Vatican tour, you’ll discover another – more likely – theory.
Come and join us on this unexpected tour through the heart of Christianity as we discover the Vatican from a Jewish perspective.
Need convincing? Take a look at what my clients have to say about me on TripAdvisor!
Click here for the meeting point >> Viale Vaticano 100: outside the entrance to the Vatican Museums
Look for the sign saying “Roman Jews”