Bramante Staircase: one of the wonders of the Vatican

The Vatican City boasts countless great museums, with extensive art collections attracting thousands of visitors everyday. Inside these galleries we can admire classical sculptures and masterpieces of the Renaissance art. Among these few are able to admire Bramante Staircase, a revolutionary piece of architecture that is hidden inside the Vatican walls.

Inside the Vatican Museums a vast number of art pieces and amazing architectures can be admired, belonging to different persiods, cultures and countries from all over the world. One of the biggest exhibition spaces inside the Vatican is the Pio-Clementine Museum, built in the 18th century as ordered by Pope Julius II to host countless Ancient Greek and Roman collections belonging to the Papacy.  Among these priceless pieces lies an uncompared Renaissance architecture, commissioned by the same Pope Julius II at the start of the 16th century to link the Belvedere Palace of Pope Innocent VIII to the city of Rome. Tucked inside the large square tower belonging to the Pio-Clementine Palace we can see a breathtaking spiraling structure, carved in stone by a famous architect from Tuscany, Donato Bramante.

The amazing thing about the “Bramante Staircase” is its shape: centuries before the DNA was discovered, Bramante created a staircase with the shape of a double-helix, something its contemporaries had obviously never seen before. His creation soon gained a huge popularity among the public. The purpose of this staircase, though, was very practical: it was once an entrance from street level to the Papal apartments, but it was built to accommodate even horses and mules carrying large items back and forth from the Papal Palaces.

Not only is this staircase beautifully designed and carved: climbing it to the top will allow you to gain a breathtaking view across Rome and the Vatican estate. Today, though, Bramante staircase is closed to the general public. Only visitors who has been granted a special access have the privilege to walk this precious staircase. If you want to be among those few priviledged visitors, do not hesitate to check out our “Tours of the Vatican with Restricted Areas” and discover how to visit the Vatican with a Private Guide, entering most of the restricted areas of the Museums!


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