Jewish Vatican Tour

Sistine Chapel as seen on my Jewish Vatican tour

Semi-private tour (maximum of 6 guests).

Private tour available upon request.

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.

An artwork depicting the Virgin Mary. But why with the Choshen Mishpat?

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.

Visit the Jewish Lapidarium on my Jewish Vatican tour

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.

The ceiling of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel as seen on my Jewish Vatican tour

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.

St. Peters Basilica Jewish Vatican tour

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”

A Master Storyteller

Rated 5 out of 5
20 May 2022

I’ve been to the Colosseum before but never with a guide. Marco’s tour was really something else. As a Roman Jew, born and raised in the ghetto, he offers a unique perspective on Rome’s ancient history. He told us about the Colosseum’s origins (I didn’t know the history of Jerusalem was so intertwined) and gave us the stories and context around inscriptions and artefacts I’d passed by before without realising how significant they were. Marco is a master storyteller and an expert in his field. I can’t recommend his tours enough.

Alexander

Amazing

Rated 5 out of 5
6 May 2022

Marco was an amazing guide ! I can’t imagine touring rome without him. I can’t wait to have the chance to see more of Italy with his guide ! He made the stories come alive. He is so informative. And makes the information easy to understand bc he is so passionate! Amazing tours of the Jewish ghetto and the Vatican!! Can’t wait to come again!

Victoria S

You won’t find a better tour guide

Rated 5 out of 5
29 April 2022

We loved Marco’s combo tour of the Jewish Ghetto and Ancient Rome so much that we immediately booked his Vatican tour for the following day. We lucked out and he was able to add us to a group that had already booked the tour before us. Marco’s encyclopedic knowledge of history, fascinating insights, personality and great sense of humor made for an exceptional tour . I highly recommend Marco!

Joseph H

The only way to go in Rome

Rated 5 out of 5
29 April 2022

If you don’t tour Rome with Marco then you haven’t seen Rome. Marco is like no other tour guide. Marco is captivating, passionate and super friendly. We left the tour after 4 plus hours wanting even more. Marco was also happy to help us in any way we needed while we were there not just for tours.

Eli B

Best Jewish Vatican Tour

Rated 5 out of 5
28 April 2022

Marco was the most amazing tour guide for the Vatican, showing us things we would’ve completely missed without him. Because it was our honeymoon, we were surprised with a special private tour and left with recommendations for the rest of our trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Thank you Marco!!!

Evie G