3 Unique Experiences to Have in the Vatican

As incredible as the Vatican is, what if we were to tell you that you could add more to your museum experience? With everything from breakfast, dinner and the incredible Bramante Staircase, today’s post covers the unique experiences you can potentially have within the Vatican.

Italian breakfast with coffee, fruit and pastries

Breakfast at the Vatican

If you’re going to have the full throttle experience of exploring the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica, you might as well throw breakfast in there too, right? Right. Having breakfast somewhere as special as the Vatican isn’t exactly a common occurrence, so you might as well take advantage! Just to be able to say (read: brag) that you did. When in Rome, right?

Breakfast at the Vatican is no joke either – they tend to go all out. It’s usually had outside the Pinecone Courtyard, which is an ideal scenic breakfast spot. They serve a range of different options, such as bread, sweet pastries, cold meats, fruit, yogurt, and even pancakes if you’re so inclined! There’s also a selection of juices, cool mineral water, herbal teas and freshly brewed coffee. Breakfast is had at the very beginning of the tour, meaning that you’ll be well-fed and energized for exploring the Vatican. If this experience has piqued your interest, check out our breakfast options.

Italian dinner buffet

Dinner at the Vatican

If a big breakfast isn’t necessarily your thing, fear not! There are also dinner tour options available within the Vatican. As the museums are exceptionally large and involve lots of walking, stocking up on a delicious dinner before the tour is an ideal solution, right? An easy upgrade to a fascinating tour, dinner is served in the stunning Pinecone Courtyard. There’s a wide selection of dishes to choose from, such as traditional kinds of pasta, cheeses, cured meats and a range of salads to have on the side. Perfected with hot savory dishes and lots of different desserts, you’ll be energized and satisfied after an evening meal at the Vatican. And yes, we promise that the potential food coma is worth it! Decide for yourself if you’d like to have a delicious dinner in the Vatican.

Bramante Staircase, Vatican Museums

Image credit: Which Way to Rome

A Visit to the Bramante Staircase

The original Bramante Staircase is a spiral staircase within the Vatican Museums. Designed by Donato Bramante (hence the name), it was built in 1505. It’s distinctive double helix design allowed for two routes to go up and down, ensuring easy and speedy access for anyone who used them. It was originally built to allow Pope Julius II to enter his private residence via his carriage, to avoid the trouble that came with climbing the stairs in Papal vestments. Located behind a red rope, the Bramante staircase is not usually open to the public but can be visited on some of our extended Vatican tours.

There is also a modern version of the staircase, which was inspired by Bramante’s original. Designed in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo, it served the same function as the original – to avoid traffic when ascending and descending the stairs. 49 feet (15 meters) wide, it’s completed with an ornate metal frame, and a canopy above to let light in. All visitors leave the museum via this staircase, as it’s located at the end of the museum.

With all of this in mind, a unique experience in the Vatican seems completely worth it, right? If you're interested, you can see all of our Vatican tours on the website!

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