Vatican Official Partnership Brings Exclusive Entrance, VIP Access, After-Hours Tours & More for Dark Rome

ROME, Oct. 4, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arrivederci to long lines, limited hours and crowded Sistine Chapel visits. Buongiorno privileged No Wait Access, exclusive tours, early entrance, after hours tours and locked rooms. Experience the Vatican like never before thanks to Dark Rome's new Official Partnership with the Vatican Museums, the first of its kind in Vatican history. Dark Rome gives Vatican Museums' sightseers the freedom to explore one of the world's most famous attractions without typical touring dilemmas. Special partners' privileges start at the door where Dark Rome now has No Wait Access to an Official Partner's Entrance on all its Vatican tours, skipping long lines that see over 5 million visitors annually. Inside, the VIP treatment continues with early entrance and after-hours access to the Sistine Chapel and special access to locked rooms of the Museums. In support of its new partners, Dark Rome will make a contribution toward the preservation and maintenance of the Museums and its treasures.

Why wait in long, lingering lines or get lost in the shuffle of a large group when you can see the sights the way you want? Instead, opt for one of three new tours to suit any traveler's style and budget:

Those kindred to celebrity treatment will enjoy the Vatican VIP Tour ($279USD), a 10-person tour including a 30 minute guided tour of the Sistine Chapel after it closes to the public. Guests also gain access to secret rooms of the Vatican Museums normally closed to the public, like the Bramante Staircase, the Niccoline Chapel, the Chiaramonti Room, the Gallery of the Statues, the Room of the Animals, and the Open Loggia.

The curious set can choose the Extended Vatican Tour ($112USD), where a group of 20 will, in addition to No Wait Access and seeing regularly toured rooms, gain access to locked rooms of the Vatican. At your own pace, take in the Bramante Staircase, a spiral, carved stone staircase built in 1512 in a square tower;see ancient works in the Etruscan museum;and Roman sculptures in the Chiaramonti Museum. Then, take in the esteemed sights of the Vatican Art Gallery, the Pinacoteca, where featured works include Raphael's 'Transfiguration,' Caravaggio's 'Deposition From the Cross' and Leonardo Da Vinci's unfinished'St. Jerome in the Wilderness'– the only work by Leonardo da Vinci still housed in Rome. The tour concludes with a guided tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Or, for those who like to see it first, the Early-Access Sistine Chapel ($62USD) grants entrance 15 minutes before other tour groups and an hour and 15 minutes before the general public. Guests will enter the museums through a special access, Official Partner's entrance and be accompanied directly to the Sistine Chapel. After some quiet time inside Michelangelo's famous frescoed room, ticket holders are welcome to explore more than nine miles of the museums' art however they like. An exhaustive map and guide to the most important sites at the museum will be provided, but the freedom to explore is all yours.

Widely acclaimed throughout the global traveling community, Dark Rome is an innovative company offering tours throughout Italy, including Venice, Florence, Milan and day trips to Tuscany and Pompeii. Its 'skip-the-line' offerings and emphasis on small, single language groups led by fluent, expert guides have made it a favorite for many travelers seeking more original experiences. Dark Rome also offers private tours. Its tours are available directly and through a select group of preferred resellers.

Megan Sterritt
KWE Partners

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[Image] Capella Nicolina
[Image] Bramante Staircase
Source: Dark Rome