World Renown Mosaic Studio in the Heart of The Vatican

Hidden between two arches, in the shadow of the Sala delle Audienze of the Pope lies the small Studio of the Mosaic, one of the many treasures of the Vatican that is overlooked by most visitors. This studio contributes greatly to the art production and restoration of  the Vatican.

In the 16th century under Pope Gregory XIII, Venetian  mosaic craftsmen were called to Rome to teach the mosaic technique to the locals . By doing so they helped establish the first permanent team of Roman mosaic craftsmen.

Originally the mosaic studio was created to decorate parts of the Basilica such as the Gregorian Chapel and the Dome of Michelangelo, however the technique proved to be one of the most successful decorative styles and was extended to all the cupolas of the Basilica.

After two centuries of hard work, the Roman studio surpassed the Venetian production by creating over 26,000 color tonalities. In order to obtain a vast variety of shades, the craftsmen melted pre-existing colors together in a kiln built in the 1700’s inside the Vatican and that’s when the Studio became a permanent installation.

Around 1770 another revolutionary discovery reaffirmed the importance of the Studio worldwide. Two of the most prominent mosaic painters, Raffaelli and Aguatti, invented the filate enamels. This technique consists of re-melting the tiles, creating a malleable substance that can be stretched very thin to form minuscule pieces, sometimes smaller than 1 millimeter.

From that moment on, the mosaics produced in the Vatican were more beautiful and elegant than ever before. These small tiles could also be used to decorate jewelry and small everyday objects, setting off the commissions of the high aristocracy of Rome and the world to create one of a  kind gifts.

In fact to this day, the Studio of the Mosaics still executes works of any size on private commissions, many of which come from the United States.

The same exclusive group of artisans who work on commission from the pope also create unique mosaics  for the public which of course come with a hefty price tag.

If you want to   be one of the few people that discovers the beauty of this fascinating art studio join the exclusive private tour of the Vatican offered by StefanoRomeTours!

You can see the artisans at work and ask them questions, touch the precious pieces of glass kept in the laboratory chromatically organized, see the kiln of the 1700’s and visit the unique show room of some of the best works of the private collection. If you can’t afford a commission work this tour will at least give you a once in a lifetime experience at a much lower price!

Do you have a favorite piece of Mosaic Art you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Sharing is fun! If you enjoyed this article, please share with others who would enjoy it as well.

Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

With love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team


The Spectacular Viterbo, Calcata and Sutri Tour

While Rome is one of the world’s most exciting city to visit,  spending a day in the relaxing Roman countryside can be one of the most rewarding experience of your holiday in Italy.

The enjoyable one day Viterbo, Calcata and Sutri Tour  that we offer at Stefano Rome Tours will take you to some of the most picturesque locations in Lazio, and on your journey to these interesting sites you will also see some breathtaking Italian scenery.


Our personal service means that you will be picked up by our professional English speaking driver at your hotel at 9.00 AM and then you will be returned home, after an exciting day, at around 5.00 PM.


To view the video on our YouTube channel please CLICK HERE







Our first stop on the tour is one of the best preserved medieval hill towns in the country, the quaint village of Calcata, which lies perched high upon a volcanic rock.

The village is a now a bustling center for artisans and creative intellectuals, and it is hard to believe that the village was condemned in the 1930’s for fear of landslides.

With its cobbled streets, great collection of art galleries, craft shops and ancient relics, this truly is a unique location.




Sutri - the Ancient Amphetheater

Sutri – the Ancient Amphetheater


Our next stop is Sutri, about a 30-minute drive north west of Calcata and it’s an Etruscan archaeological site.

This beautiful village has around 5,000 inhabitants and attractions include an Etruscan necropolis, an excavated Roman amphitheatre with dozens of rock-cut tombs, a Mithraeum found in the crypt of the village’s church, the Church of the Madonna del Parto, as well as a Romanesque cathedral, which has seven naves divided by twenty columns, all of a different origin.

The cathedral was built over the ruins of an early Christian basilica and was consecrated by Pope Innocent III in 1207. After visiting the attractions of Sutri, we head north to the ancient city of Viterbo.




Viterbo, Italy

Viterbo, Italy


A charming ancient city, Viterbo is also the capital of the provincial area and lies between Lake Bolsena and Lake Vico.

First of all we will luncheon in the city and after settling with a full stomach of tasty Italian food, we will be well prepared for visiting the city’s best sights, including churches, palaces, castles and ruins.

In fact, Viterbo is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval towns of central Italy, and on entering the historic centre, via the ancient gates of the 13 Century city walls, you will be able to see why for yourself.

Places of interest on the route include the Papal Palace, the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, Piazza del Gesù and the square’s simple but quaint 11th Century church, and the Fontana Grande, to name but just a few.

This is an ideal tour for those who wish to follow a splendid and varied itinerary that lasts a good day!


Don’t forget: In order to be able to enter any of the churches, you will have to have your shoulders and knees covered, otherwise you will be refused entry! Furthermore, we are glad to inform you that on this tour there are no additional fees for entrance tickets.

Tour Highlights:
Calcata :: Sutri :: Viterbo

Pick up time: approximately 9.00 am
Return time: approximately 5.00 pm

Full tour details can be found at on our website at this link:


Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. We look forward to show you beautiful places in Italy!

with love,

The Stefano Rome Tours team