Online Private Experience: Behind the Scenes at the Vatican

Virtually experience the excitement of going behind the scenes and gaining access to the vast Vatican art treasures.

Travel to the Vatican from Home

Take a trip to the Papal States within Rome with one of the Vatican’s most highly qualified specialist scholars. The Vatican’s masterpieces are well known throughout the world – Saint Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel, Apostolic Palace and the papal art galleries – although the details and their history often remain elusive. In introduction to the Vatican, we will go on a behind the scenes visual excursion to unravel major historical and artistic moments in the history of the Vatican.

Highlights of this online art history experience:

  • Be transported to Italy and the Vatican museums from your own home!
  • Q&A with a world-class expert and art historian scholar
  • Learn and discover little known mysteries inside the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
  • Go behind the scenes of the Vatican
This week’s focus:

We will go inside the papal art galleries at the Vatican Museums to look at some of the artistic and architectural masterworks. Papal collections of pagan art for art’s sake – Focus: Transformation
Papal commissions of religious art for Christianity’s sake – Focus: Propagation

Your Vatican Masterclass Expert

Dr Longhurst holds a Pontifical doctorate summa cum laude from the Angelicum, Rome, in theological aesthetics – an interdisciplinary field of study which explores the dialogue between religion and the arts. His expertise revolves around how religions use the arts to propagate their messages and how artists draw from religion as inspiration for their artworks.

dr christopher longhurst

He’s worked as an educational expert (opperatore didattico) in the Vatican Museums since 2001, and for ArtViva as a docent since 2005, as well as being a KACIID Fellow. His current research includes the Church’s patrimony of the arts, interfaith art, in particular, how aniconic Christian imagery and Islamic non-figural imagery interact in concrete cases to construct inter-religious meaning and understanding.

Virtual Locations:

The Vatican City, Sistine Chapel & St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy


The Vatican Art and Architecture, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo & Raphael

Michelangelo’s Pieta & Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

The Spiral Staircase, Raphael’s Transfiguration, Pinecone Courtyard, Laocoön
Apollo Belvedere, The Rotunda Room and Porphyry Basin
The Tapestries Hall, The Maps Room, Raphael’s School of Athens

Exclusive online masterclasses & experiences are perfect for:

  • Families stuck in lockdown or home-schooling kids!
  • Fun activities for distanced friends and family to come together online
  • Gifts for a special occasion – book an online birthday party with us!
  • Team-building activities & incentives for colleagues and businesses
  • Online Curricula for schools, colleges & universities

If you would like a custom experience fill in the form below to arrange according to your needs, timing and budget

Click here for this week’s schedule

More Online Experiences:

If you’re in lockdown or unable to travel for a long time why not take a look at our other live classes to keep you occupied and having fun. Enquire using the form below to book your private experience at a time and budget to suit you and your friends/family.

Online Cooking Class: Florentine Steak Experience.

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Or discover them all here!

Tiered Pricing

We have to support our wonderful experts and local partners here in Italy during this difficult time. Please consider buying a family access if you are a group of people. However we understand it is a difficult period for everybody and have an easy access cheaper ticket for those who need. If you cannot afford to pay at the moment feel free to fill out the form, introduce yourself and we’ll invite you without charge.

 Or you can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign here!

Request a Private Online Masterclass Experience

All of our online masterclass experiences can be hosted privately just for you and or your group. We can customize the virtual experience however you like. Whatever you are looking for we can create and design something specifically for you.

Go ahead and leave us some details below with what you are looking for and we’ll be in touch.

Explore our Private Online Virtual Masterclasses & Experiences

  • Enjoy exploring the world from your own home at a time that suits you.
  • We have amazing experts from around the world. World leaders and passionate locals, all great story-tellers, ready to engage and enthrall you

Great for Families & Kids

  • Make homeschooling fun! Our amazing experts are available for 1 to 1 exciting learning time.
  • Bring to life incredible stories from ancient Rome, learn to make pizza & handmade pasta, or virtually travel on the Venice lagoons!
  • Family-friendly guides are great at bringing learning to life. Our online experiences are designed for children, teens & multigenerational families. Fill out our inquiry form, tell us about yourself and we will get back to you.

Have fun with distanced friends & family

  • If you’re separated from friends or family, plan a get together with a fun online experience on a topic or activity of your choosing!
  • Italian fine wine tasting with a sommelier, a fun relaxed masterclass with a Michelin chef, or a visit to the Vatican with a world-leading expert, we will work with you to create a private experience for your holiday, a special occasion, team building or just for fun. Enquire using our form.

Live Online Curricula for Schools, Universities & Colleges

  • We work with you to develop your own custom multi-session curricula for preschool, kindergarten, middle, upper schools, colleges and universities.
  • Our amazing experts are great at engaging with our dive in deep learning aided by fascinating visual presentations and virtually guided tours.
  • Break out of geographical constraints and jump from viewing masterpieces up close in the world’s greatest museums to going into iconic monuments where history was made.
  • With our interactive conversational Socratic approach, your students will be able to ask our experts questions as they go. Our curricula are also available for parents looking for immersive engaging home-schooling content.

Enjoyable Team Building Online Experiences and Incentives

  • Enjoy connecting virtually with colleagues near and far.
  • Our fabulous experts will guide you through an interactive online experience focused on the topic of your choosing: whether it’s a tasting of fine Italian wine with a noble sommelier, or a fun relaxed masterclass with a Michelin chef, or experiencing the Vatican with a world-leading expert, or having a fun virtual travel disco dance party with a destination of your choice…
  • We will work with you to create a bespoke team-building experience that will be talked about for years to come.
    Enquire using our form above

Date & Times

This private experience can be customised and booked at a time to suit you with sufficient notice.

The times on the booking calendar are a guide and will be confirmed and arranged with you upon booking. Our expert is in Italy (UTC +2) and times will depend on your location and time zone as well as the chef’s availability.

Check your local time at your location with this converter: https://www.thetimezoneconverter.com


Can I visit Italy at the moment?

Keep checking with your government’s official travel advice and your airline, as information and regulations change quickly. Regardless of whether you can physically travel to Italy or not these Live Experiences will transport you there from wherever you are in the world!

What are our Online Live Experiences?

These new experiences are live and interactive guided tours or masterclasses with one of our amazing experts.

Each Online Experience will have a unique link to an exclusive online webinar with our world-class experts, where not only will they take you around the world and back in time through their video, but you can ask questions via chat and even interact directly!

It’s not just a lecture, it’s an interactive experience with a live Q&A satisfying all your questions. You get to be in the same ‘room’ as our experts!

What time of day do online experiences take place?

Please see the Date & Times tab for details. You can use this handy timezone converter link to verify what the start time is in your city/region.


What do I need to bring to an online experience?

All you need is a strong internet connection on your phone, tablet or computer. We recommend getting comfortable with a good coffee of nice glass of wine depending on your preference.

What age group is best suited for this online virtual experience?

This experience is appropriate for all ages. Please be aware, historical art, particularly in the renaissance, often features nudity, as in Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture!.

Can my family join this virtual live experience?

Yes of course! There will only be one login per booking on a device, so make sure you can all clearly see the screen.

Do I need to download a software program or install anything?

The experiences are via Zoom, usually this does not require installation but it can depend on your device.  We will send you everything you need with instructions and the link to access the experience when you book.

Do I need a Webcam or and a Microphone? Will other people be able to see me or and hear me?

You do not need these. You have the option to turn on your video and microphone to ask questions or you may use the chat function. You are welcome to interact during the experience; our expert will guide you.  In the question and answer part of the experience you can ask questions via audio or chat. For some experiences with a small group you may also interact with video if you like. We will always ask permission beforehand.

Can I cancel the Virtual Experience?

Virtual Experiences are non-refundable, but are transferable with sufficient advance notice to another time/day. Please see our terms and conditions.

How many spots should I book?

Please consider purchasing an extra guest spot on the experience. It will greatly help our local businesses. We very much appreciate your support.

Minimum Participants:

To run this virtual live experience we require a minimum of 2 people

6 reviews for Online Private Experience: Behind the Scenes at the Vatican

  1. Patty Mcgouh

    Rose was so helpful in informing me about central USA time. It’s confusing here too. Christopher brought enthusiasm, knowledge, spirit- care. I’m having difficulty with my tip button will will figure it out- it’s non responsive! Thank you Rose , Christopher, Artviva!

  2. Susan Lawrence

    Thank you, the presentation was outstanding!

  3. Susan Svirsky

    Thank you so much, it was wonderful!

  4. Adam

    Thank you so much Christopher and Rose. Please do this again……it is a wonderful presentation.

  5. Judy Strauss

    Thank you! Enjoyed it very much

  6. Sherry

    Thank you Dr Longhurst..Amazing!!!

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