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.

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Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog.

With love,

the Stefano Rome Tours team


Florence Day Tour and Shore Excursion

We at Stefano Rome Tours are glad to introduce you to one of our other tours outside Rome: our popular Florence Day Tour, offering you a day to explore marvelous city which was once home to the Renaissance and is today one of Italy’s most precious tourist destinations. If you are on a cruise docking in Livorno Cruise Port,  Florence is the top shore excursion destination in Tuscany



If you are visiting Rome for a few days, then why not get that little extra out of your holiday and come with us to see the beautiful city of Florence?

It is only nine hours from the time of picking you up to dropping you off, so you will be back by around 5.00pm and in time for a siesta, before dining out at your favorite Roman restaurant and/or enjoying the capital’s sights. 

After you are picked up from your accommodation in Rome or Livorno Cruise Port, we will make our way to the Tuscan capital via the picturesque countryside.


Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence


.On reaching Florence, or Firenze as it is called in Italian, we will initially stop off at Michelangelo Square (Piazzale Michelangelo), which offers probably the best view of the city and the surrounding Tuscan hills.

This enticing panorama will give you a sweet taster of the good things to come on the tour.

Now from here, we will continue to the old part of the city, which is mainly pedestrianised and where most of the well-known sights are located.


Florence Ponte Vehccio

Florence Ponte Vehccio


As noted below in the ‘Tour Highlights’, we will be visiting all the major attractions that make Florence such a mecca for discerning tourists, such as the Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio.

Furthermore, we will see works from some of Italy’s finest artists and architects, including Brunelleschi, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Giotto, Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Vasari.


Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo's David

Piazza della Signoria, Michelangelo’s David


Our Tour of Florence really is an excursion not to be missed, and we always recommend that you book in advance to ensure you have a reserved place.

Please remember there is a dress code on entering churches in Italy, so please make sure that your shoulders and knees are all covered.


Florence Tour Highlights

Michelangelo Square :: Church of Santa Croce :: Academia Gallery /  Michelangelo ‘David ‘:: Piazza della Signoria :: Duomo :: Ponte Vecchio

Pick up time: approximately 8.00am
Return time: approximately 5.00pm

Florence Day Tour from Rome and Shore Excursion from Livorno tour details can be found here:


Thank you very much and we look forward to see you i Italy!

~The Stefano Rome Tours Team