New: VIP Access into the Vatican’s Behind the Scenes Gems

The Bramante staircase, visitable on our brand-new tour (photo credit: Erica Firpo of

There are more than 1,200 rooms in the Vatican complex. Many—including some of the most important and stunning, like the Niccoline Chapel or Cabinet of the Masks—aren’t open to the public.

Until now.

The Vatican’s lovely “Three Graces”

It’s now possible to visit these hidden, locked rooms of the Vatican museums… on our VIP Access: Vatican Behind the Scenes & Sistine Chapel tour.

On this brand-new experience, clients travel with a Vatican guard, who opens locked doors and lifts velvet ropes into normally off-limits rooms and places.

And what you get to see, which other visitors simply don’t, is incredible. Like the Scala del Bramante, the world-famous spiral stairs designed by the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Or the Loggia Scoperta, a terrace with a stunning view.

Or the Gabinetto delle Maschere, with its ancient Roman mosaics, taken from Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, and its ancient statues, including the seminal Three Graces (left).

But the pièce de résistance has to be the Niccoline Chapel. This was the papal chapel before the Sistine Chapel. Frescoed by Fra Angelico, one of the most influential painters of the 15th century, the paintings here are breathtaking and some of the most important of the early Renaissance.

The Niccoline Chapel (photo credit: Erica Firpo of

Oh, and did we mention that you explore all of this with an expert equally well-versed in art history and in Vatican scandal, as well as in a maximum group of just 10 people?

We’re the only ones who offer this particular, and unique, exploration of the Vatican. And we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Here are some more photographs of what you can expect to see in this behind-the-scenes Vatican tour:

The Loggia Scoperta, where you get a great view over the Vatican (photo credit: Erica Firpo of

Ancient statue of Aphrodite in the Gabinetto delle Maschere (photo credit: Erica Firpo of

The Niccoline Chapel

The papal toilet, something else you don’t see in the “normal,” open parts of the Vatican! (Photo credit: Maddie DeWitt of

Bramante's staircase is just one of the many wonders you will see if you be behind the scenes at the Vatican. Find the others on the blog at Walks of Italy.


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