A once in a lifetime tour from Rome specialists What a Life Tours offers guests VIP access to see how mosaics are made in a 16th century Vatican Mosaic Studio that few tourists ever get to see.
The Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour gives visitors a backstage pass to the Vatican Mosaic Studio where they will learn the ancient art of how mosaics are pieced together from start to finish. They will see restorers in white lab coats concentrating intensely, cutting and carving colourful stones, arranging elaborate images, and moulding them together with an extraordinary plaster recipe that has been used for generations: oil and wine.
As one of the few selected tour companies able to offer this rare experience, What a Life Tours has special access to take guests behind the scenes, travelling in small groups of up to 10 people to allow an intimate experience. Guests will be provided VIP badges to pass the Swiss Guards, who are entrusted to protect the Pope, and observe the best artisans of the mosaic world.
The Vatican Mosaic Studio was initially set up by Pope Gregorio XIII in 1576 and brought together the finest in the field to maintain the massive stone-laden walls in St. Peter’s Basilica. Located in Vatican City, the Vatican Mosaic Studio has made Rome one of the three main cities of the mosaic in Italy, surpassed only by Venice and Ravenna. Expanding past restorations and repairs, the studio now crafts micro mosaics that are created and shipped to art lovers around the world.
Pope Francis himself is a loyal customer, living just next door to the studio, and is known for gifting these intricate downsized editions to his most esteemed Vatican guests. Former U.S. President Barack Obama is one lucky individual who is a recipient of one of these original Vatican mosaics.
The Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour offers guests a backstage pass into one of the most private areas of the Vatican where few tourists ever get to go, with incredible insight into how the world-famous mosaics are created.
The Vatican Mosaic Studio Tour costs from £76pp including access to otherwise restricted areas and an expert local tour guide.