A bonus of the Vatican Tour with Tick Italy was it is one of three companies who can access the Bramante Stairs. Oh the privilege of being led through secret doors. I felt the eyes of envy fall heavy upon us as those less fortunate who assumed we were taking a secret passage directly to El Papa himself, gazed on.
Donato Bramante was the architect behind the rebuilding of the Basilica San Pietro... okay... the church of St Peter in the Vatican city... and a few others to boot. Bramante was a good friend of Pope Julius II who reformed the ways of the Church after the ravages of the Borgias. The stairs that bear his name is a spiral access for materials and services required in the building of the church. Whispers suggest it is one of many routes that snuck up a back passage in the Vatican.
At the top of the stairs one can stare out upon Roma. Not too shabby at all.