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Behind the scenes at the museum.

Visiting some of the world's top sites can sometimes be a disappointing experience. It’s difficult to imagine yourself back in Renaissance Rome and to really soak up the atmosphere of such incredible Italian treasures as the Sistine Chapel when you’re squeezed amongst tourists of all nationalities.

If your dream is to have the time to gaze at Michelangelo’s ‘Creation’ without being politely moved on, take a look at what Martin Randall (020 8742 3355, www.martinrandall.com) has to offer. The company is running small-group ‘Connoisseur's Rome’ tours next November, specifically focusing on places that are very rarely open to the public, reports the Daily Mail. The tour includes a private evening visit to the Sistine Chapel with guide, and an out-of-hours guided visit to the world famous painting and sculpture private collection of the Galleria Borghese. Admittedly the tour doesn’t come cheap but the total price of £2,350 includes return flights, five nights in a top hotel, some meals and admission fees to galleries and services of guides.

Alternatively, art lovers can check out Special Tours (020 7386 4690, www.specialtours.co.uk) who are offering a Canaletto's Venice tour next March. The highlight will be a private evening view of the interior of St Mark's Basilica where you can enjoy its dazzling mosaics specially illuminated for your small group. Venetian ‘palazzi’ are renowned for opulence and the tour also includes dinner in a private palazzo. The price with return flights, six nights in a luxury hotel and most meals is £2,595, but some would consider the experience pricelsss.

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