Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante) Tours
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The Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante), designed by Donato Bramante in 1505, is an innovative double-helix spiral lined with Doric columns that connects the Vatican’s Belvedere Palace to the city of Rome below. It was commissioned by Pope Julius II and inspired Giuseppe Momo’s impressive 1930s staircase at the Vatican Museums exit.
Many visitors mistake Giuseppe Momo's 1930s staircase for the historic Bramante Staircase, but the original was built more than 400 years earlier and is closed to the general public. Only private groups led by an official Vatican-approved tour guide are authorized to visit the elegant Renaissance staircase.
Some small-group guided tours of the Vatican Museums—among the most popular attractions in Italy—include access to the Bramante Staircase. Book in advance to avoid long ticket and entry lines. Extended tours generally also include stops in the Painting Gallery (Pinacoteca), Gallery of Tapestries, Gallery of Maps, Gallery of the Candelabra, the Sistine Chapel with its frescoes by Michelangelo, and the Raphael Rooms before moving on the St. Peter's Basilica.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is a security check at the entrance to the Vatican Museums, so items like pocket knives, corkscrews, and umbrellas must be left at the coat check.
- If your Vatican tour includes entry to the Sistine Chapel, be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
- Vatican tours generally require quite a bit of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- The Bramante Staircase is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Vatican Museums are located adjacent St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. The closest metro station is Ottaviano on Line A.
When to Get There
The museums are most crowded at midday, so opt for a morning (or early-access) tour or plan a visit in the offseason winter months if you prefer a quieter experience.
Visiting the Vatican’s Painting Gallery
Most Vatican Museum tours include a stop in the Painting Gallery, a highlight of the museum complex. Here you can view one of the world's best collections of works by Italian masters such as Giotto, da Vinci, Raphael, and Caravaggio.
Address: Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Rome, Italy
4 Tours and Activities to Experience Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)
Skip the long lines and enjoy no-wait access to the Vatican Museums on this half-day tour. Visit the Vatican Paintings gallery, St. Peter's Basilica, and the spiral Bramante Staircase. Also, see Raphael’s Rooms, with frescoes painted by renowned Renaissance artist Raphael and the Gallery of Tapestries. Step inside the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous 'Creation of Adam' and 'Last Judgement' paintings.
Explore Rome’s food scene on a half-day excursion. Meet your English-speaking guide in the old Jewish Ghetto and embark on a culinary adventure. Learn about the neighborhood’s role in shaping Roman cuisine and sample traditional specialties like supplì. Visit delis and butchers, enjoy local wines, beer, and charcuterie included in the tour price. Cap off your fun and affordable outing with a pizza-making lesson.
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hi, I'm Sara, a tour guide madly in love with art, culture, Rome and nature! I want to show you some of the most important, and iconic, Roman sites with a particolar attention to small and hidden treasures (alleys, small but beautiful palaces, and so on). I will offer you a vegan break in one of the ancient pastry-shop of the center (even non-vegan guests are welcome, of course! I only want to offer a cruelty-free option to those that love animals).
Benefit from exploring Rome's city center on a half-day walking tour with a private guide that features top attractions and classic street scenes. Take in landmarks such as the Pantheon, Campo de' Fiori, Piazza Navona, and the Piazza Farnese — the Palace of Pope Paul III. Walk at a leisurely pace that is suitable for most people, and have time to snap photos and ask any questions to your guide.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante)?
The best ways to experience Bramante Staircase (Scala del Bramante) are:
- Vatican Museums Tour with Bramante Staircase, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's
- Rome Food Tour with Pizza-Making, Trattoria Tastings & Gelato
- Strolling around Rome's city center enjoying art, culture and a vegan break!
- Private Walking Tour Highlights of Rome
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