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Bramante Staircase Tour: access restricted areas of the Vatican Museum

The Bramante Staircase Tour combines a visit to the Vatican Museums with access to the restricted areas of the Bramante Staircase, the masterpiece designed by the architect Donato Bramante, and the Chapel of Nicholas V.

Vatican Spiral Staircase seen during the Bramante Staircase Tour

Highlights of this tour

  • Vatican Museums
  • Sistine Chapel
  • Bramante Staircase
  • Chapel of Nicholas V


  • Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun
  • Starting Time: 11:30 am – 2 pm


  • approximately 3 Hours

Stroll through the Vatican Museums Galleries

First, reach the entrance to the Vatican Museum, where we will meet to start a journey through art and history!

Enter the site with skip-the-lines tickets, and start your stroll through the maze of galleries full of incredible masterpieces. Admire the impressive collection of artwork hidden inside the Pope’s Palace while you walk through the main galleries of the Vatican Museum:

  • the Gallery of Tapestries
  • the Gallery of Candelabra
  • the Gallery of Maps
  • Raphael’s Rooms

Access the Bramante Staircase

Then, head to the Bramante Staircase, which will be unlocked exclusively for you by a Vatican guard for a VIP experience!
Admire the unique double-helix Bramante Staircase, an impressive work by the Architect Donato Bramante, commissioned by Pope Julius II. You will learn that The Bramante Staircase was once an entrance to the Papal apartments, built in 1512 to accommodate horses. During your visit you will have time to admire the view of this helical stairway and take picture.

Discover the Chapel of Nicholas V

Then, reach the Chapel of Nicholas V, a private chapel of the Pope, which predates the Sistine Chapel. Adorned with stunning frescoes by Fra Beato Angelico, the Chapel of Nichola V went through restoration works from 2006 to 2009, and remained closed to the general public.

Marvel at the Sistine Chapel

Finally, end your Bramante Staircase Tour in the Sistine Chapel. Marvel at Michelangelo’s stunning work “The Last Judgment”. Take your time to admire and glimpse hidden details highlighted by your private tour guide.

Contact me!

General Information About This Tour


Bramante Staircase Tour lasts nearly 3 hours and covers:

    • Upper Rooms and galleries (including the Galleries of Maps, the Galleries of Candelabra, the Raphael Rooms
    • the Sistine Chapel
    • special access to the Bramante Staircase and the Chapel of Nicholas V, which are usually closed to the public.

Vatican Museum Opening Hours:
9:00 am – 4:00pm (closing time 6:00pm);
Available Monday, Tue, Thu, Fri, and Saturday

Dress code is required inside the Vatican and Rome’s major Churches. Make sure that shoulders, abdomen, or knees are covered. Jeans, and capris are allowed.
We also Recommend comfortable footwear.


Special openings must be organized and booked in full advance. Availabilities depend on the Vatican schedule and calendar.




  • Meet your tour guide easley in front of the entrance of the Vatican Museums. The exact meeting point will be sent to you during the reservation process.
  • Alternatively, pick up service directly at your hotel downtown Rome is available on request.


The Bramante Staircase Tour can be extended with the following options:

  • Morning food tour
  • Evening Food Tour
  • Cooking Class


We had 2 days of walking tours with Nicole. She was the best! She is so knowledgable and provided so much information for us. We have been to Rome several times and always chose a private walking tour. Nicole was one of the best tour guides we ever had. Thanks Nicole for making our trip the most memorable!

Donna Mchale (Chicago, Illinois)
September 13th, 2015

We just arrived home from our 12-day Italian vacation. Hands down, the highlight of our trip was the time we spent with Nicole. She was a fabulous tour guide! Truly, the best one (group or private) we had during our stay. On our first full day in Rome, she met us at our apartment and took us on a 3-hour tour of the Colosseum and Ancient Forum. On our last full day of vacation, we met Nicole again for a tour of the Vatican. Each and every time she took wonderful care of us!

Kwb327 (Washington D.C)
August 1st, 2015

Simply the best way to experience the Vatican in my opinion. Nicole provided a brilliant and fascinating private tour of the Vatican. She had a hard job as our children (9 & 11) were tired, it was hot and busy but she made it so interesting and really engaged with the children understanding completely how much they could take in. They keep talking about the interesting facts they discovered. We knew it would be hard to make such an historic and detailed site interesting but she managed it and the children and we really enjoyed it.

Simon M (Hampton, UK)
August 24th, 2016

Nicole was such a fantastic guide! She is also an archaeologist by trade and as a result has a depth of knowledge which she shares in an easy to embrace manner. She also has access to places others do not. She is young, smart and bubbly. It is obvious she loves what she does and wants to share her perspective. Our two sons in their 20's were fully engaged and entertained by her. We all learned so much even though we weren't looking to.

Bundle11 (New York, USA)
June 7th, 2015

My husband, daughter and I spent a great morning at the Vatican with Nicole. She is a delightful young woman...and also a trained archaeologist with incredible knowledge of Vatican artifacts and artwork. Her enthusiasm for both is contagious! Nicole helped us bypass all of that and we were in in no time! Throughout our tour, she also helped us negotiate our way around large tour groups that clog passageways.

Linda B (Worcester, Massachusetts)
April 30th, 2015

We took a tour of Basilica San Clemente and the Priscilla Catacombs with Nicole and enjoyed it immensely. Not only was she very informative, pointing out all kinds of details we would have otherwise missed, but also very friendly. She spoke clearly and was always open to us interrupting and asking our own questions. When it came to the Priscilla Catacombs, Nicole knew all the staff personally and was able to show us the most important sights and tell stories to bring them to life.

William2424 (London, UK)
March 3, 2015

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