Disembark day offers a wonderful opportunity to see St. Peter's Basilica and Square, Vatican Museums and the VIP Hidden Section Cabinet of Masks. This tour will end at Rome’s City Center.
Your tour’s first stop is the spectacular Vatican Museum, a complex that houses one of the most impressive and varied collections of art in the world. Continue on to the Sistine Chapel, small and elegant but huge in artistic significance, and home to the masterpieces of the great artist Michelangelo. The Cabinet of Masks is one of the best hidden treasures of the Vatican Museums. You will have opportunity to discover this amazing little hall thanks to an exclusive pre-booked reservation. The Cabinet of Masks is based inside the square tower of the Belvedere Palace, once the luxurious residence of Pope Innocent VIII. Originally designed for defense purposes, but also offering a breath-taking view over the city of Rome, it was first used as the papal chapel (to be later replaced by the Sistine Chapel) and then as a museum hall (1780). It takes its name from the magnificent ancient Roman micro-mosaic floor, removed from Emperor Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli (near Rome). The floor consists in 4 panels, 3 portraying theatrical masks and 1 a countryside landscape. Micro-mosaic is a special technique developed by extremely expert ancient Roman artists, that is considered as precious as jewelery, in view of the very small tiles (called tesserae) of glass or enamel-like materials. It was a considerably expensive decoration that could only be found in the houses of very rich Roman families. Amongst the sculptures on display there are female subjects as the group of the Three Graces, and statues of Aphrodite, the goddes of beauty and love. The “oddest” artwork in the Cabinet of Masks is for sure the Sedia Stercoraria (from Latin stercus = dung), literally the “Dung Chair”. Step outside into the fresh air and stroll through St. Peter’s Square, this striking plaza frames the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, located on the site where St. Peter was martyred and buried. This tour is only available to guests whose cruise ends in Civitavecchia and have post cruise hotels booked.