Hidden Corners of Vatican City

Hidden Corners of Vatican City

The Hidden Corners of Vatican City, Rome

Welcome to Vatican City, one of the most iconic and historically significant places in the world. Known as the spiritual and administrative center of the Roman Catholic Church, this city-state is home to some of the most famous landmarks like St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums. However, beyond these well-known attractions, there are hidden corners waiting to be explored by the curious traveler.

The Vatican Gardens

The Vatican Gardens are a serene oasis hidden from the bustling streets of Rome. Covering about 57 acres, these lush gardens are adorned with fountains, statues, and a variety of flora. Access to the Vatican Gardens is limited, and guided tours must be arranged in advance. A stroll through this peaceful enclave offers a unique perspective on the Vatican's beauty and history.

The Bramante Staircase

Designed by Donato Bramante, the Bramante Staircase is a double-helix spiral staircase that connects the Vatican Museums with the Apostolic Palace. It's a marvel of Renaissance architecture and is not open to the public. However, lucky visitors might get a glimpse of it during special tours or events. Its exquisite design and history make it a hidden gem worth seeking out.

The Vatican Apostolic Library

The Vatican Apostolic Library is one of the most important research libraries in the world. While it's not typically open to the public, scholars, researchers, and academics can gain access to its vast collection of manuscripts, rare books, and historical documents. The library's collection spans centuries and is a treasure trove of knowledge.

The Mosaic Studio

The Mosaic Studio, or the "Vatican Mosaic Studio," is a place where intricate mosaics are created for use in the Vatican and around the world. While it's not a traditional tourist attraction, this studio is where the Vatican's beautiful mosaics are meticulously crafted. The artistry and craftsmanship here are truly remarkable and worth admiring.

The Swiss Guard Barracks

The Swiss Guard is the world's smallest army and has been protecting the Pope for centuries. While you won't have access to their highly secure barracks, you can see the guards in their iconic uniforms standing at their posts. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of their training exercises, which take place in a secluded area of Vatican City.

The Apostolic Palace Apartments

While most of the Apostolic Palace is off-limits to tourists, a few select areas are accessible, such as the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. However, the private apartments of the Pope are strictly closed to visitors. These ornate rooms are where the Pope resides, and they are rich in history and art. The apartments are only seen by a handful of people and are a well-guarded secret.

The Vatican Pinacoteca

The Vatican Pinacoteca is an art gallery that often gets overshadowed by the more famous Vatican Museums. This hidden gem houses an impressive collection of paintings, featuring works by renowned artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci. The gallery offers a quieter and more contemplative atmosphere for art enthusiasts.


While Vatican City is world-famous for its religious and historical significance, its hidden corners offer a different perspective on this remarkable place. From lush gardens to secret staircases and off-limit libraries, there's a wealth of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. These lesser-known spots provide a unique glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Vatican. So, the next time you visit Rome, consider exploring these hidden corners of Vatican City for a truly enriching experience.

Rome: Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel Official Guided Tour

Enjoy skip-the-ticket-line entry to see the awe-inspiring art and design of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Uncover the important religious history of these buildings with your guide.

Experience Highlights

Skip the ticket line and gain fast access to both the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Once inside, meet your guide who will conduct your tour and reveal the intriguing story behind the seminal design.

Enter the Pio Clementino Museum and get up close to the astonishing classical Roman and Greek sculptures, before walking through to the Gallery of the Candelabras which is populated with majestic marble structures throughout.

Continue on to see the 40 maps frescoed on the walls of the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, the hanging renaissance artworks at Gallery of the Tapestries, and the four Raphael Rooms. Finally, marvel at Michelangelo's fresco "The Creation of Adam" in the Sistine Chapel.


Meeting point

Enter the Vatican Museums by showing your voucher at the outside entrance. Once inside, follow the sign “GUIDED TOUR DESK” to where your guide will be waiting for you.

Important information

Likely to sell out. Book in advance to secure your spot.

The History Behind the Hidden Spots of Rome

Rome, the eternal city, is a treasure trove of history and culture. While iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Vatican draw millions of tourists every year, there's a world of hidden spots in Rome that hold equally fascinating stories. These hidden gems provide a glimpse into the city's rich history, often overshadowed by its more famous attractions.

The Catacombs of Rome

When we think of Rome, we often envision grand architecture and ancient ruins, but beneath the bustling city lies a vast network of catacombs. These underground burial sites date back to the 2nd century and were used primarily by early Christians. The Catacombs of Rome are an eerie yet fascinating experience, where visitors can explore the intricate tunnels adorned with ancient frescoes and learn about the early Christian communities that sought refuge here.

The Aventine Keyhole

For a unique and romantic view of the city, head to the Aventine Hill. At the Piazza of the Knights of Malta, there's a famous keyhole that offers a stunning and picturesque view. When you peer through this keyhole, you'll see the dome of St. Peter's Basilica perfectly framed by the beautifully landscaped gardens of the Knights of Malta. It's a delightful surprise that many tourists stumble upon, and it's a must-visit hidden spot.

The Mouth of Truth

Legend has it that if you tell a lie with your hand in the Mouth of Truth, located in the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, it will be bitten off! While that's merely a tale, this marble face with an open mouth is a fascinating relic of ancient Rome. The Mouth of Truth was used in the past to test the truthfulness of witnesses, and today, visitors can have fun testing their own honesty by sticking their hand inside the mouth.

The Appian Way

Step away from the bustling city center, and you'll find yourself on the ancient Appian Way, one of the most important and historic roads of ancient Rome. Lined with towering cypress trees and ancient ruins, a stroll along this cobblestone road is a journey back in time. The Appian Way is dotted with archaeological sites, including the Baths of Caracalla and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella.

The Capuchin Crypt

If you're not easily spooked, a visit to the Capuchin Crypt is a truly unique experience. This crypt, located beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, is adorned with the skeletal remains of Capuchin monks. The bones are intricately arranged into decorative patterns and serve as a haunting yet thought-provoking reminder of mortality.

Palazzo Spada's Perspective Gallery

Palazzo Spada is home to one of Rome's most intriguing optical illusions - the Perspective Gallery. Designed by the famed architect Francesco Borromini, the gallery appears to stretch for 37 meters when, in reality, it's only 8 meters long. The clever use of perspective and diminishing sizes of the columns creates this mind-boggling illusion, making it a must-see for art and architecture enthusiasts.


Rome's hidden spots are a testament to the city's deep-rooted history and the layers of culture that have built up over centuries. While the Colosseum and the Pantheon are undoubtedly awe-inspiring, these lesser-known gems offer a more intimate and off-the-beaten-path experience. Exploring these hidden spots is like taking a journey through time, uncovering the secrets and stories that make Rome one of the most captivating cities in the world.

Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Entrance Ticket

Discover the artistic wonders of the Vatican Museums and the iconic Sistine Chapel with this skip-the-line entrance ticket. Marvel at priceless masterpieces, from ancient artifacts to Michelangelo’s legendary frescoes, at your own pace.

Experience Highlights

What's Included

Important Information

Meeting Point: Go directly to the Vatican Museum entrance on Viale Vaticano. Show your ticket (paper or mobile voucher) to security guards at the dedicated GetYourGuide entrance, then scan your ticket at the box office CASSA ONLINE E GRUPPI after security check.

Unexplored Areas of Vatican Rome

Rome, the eternal city, is a treasure trove of history and culture. Within this magnificent city lies the Vatican, a sovereign city-state and the spiritual epicenter of the Roman Catholic Church. While many visitors flock to St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, there are numerous unexplored areas of Vatican Rome waiting to be discovered.

The Vatican Gardens

Hidden behind the towering walls of Vatican City are the Vatican Gardens, an oasis of greenery and serenity. These lush gardens cover approximately 57 acres and are adorned with fountains, sculptures, and a myriad of plant species. The Vatican Gardens are typically off-limits to the general public, but guided tours are available for those fortunate enough to secure a reservation. As you stroll through this picturesque landscape, you'll experience a different, more tranquil side of the Vatican.

The Apostolic Palace

The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope and a complex of beautiful rooms and chambers that are not widely explored. While the papal apartments are generally private, some areas are open to the public. The Borgia Apartment, for instance, showcases remarkable Renaissance frescoes that are often overshadowed by the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel. A visit to the Apostolic Palace offers a glimpse into the daily life of the Pope and the history of the papacy.

The Vatican Necropolis

Beneath the surface of St. Peter's Basilica lies an ancient burial site known as the Vatican Necropolis. This archaeological treasure trove dates back to the early days of Christianity and is believed to contain the tomb of St. Peter himself. Visits to the Vatican Necropolis are strictly limited and require advanced reservations. Exploring this subterranean world is like taking a journey through time, uncovering the foundations of the Christian faith.

The Vatican Library

The Vatican Library is one of the oldest and most extensive libraries in the world, housing a vast collection of historic texts and manuscripts. While it's not entirely unexplored, it often remains overshadowed by the grandeur of the Vatican Museums. Scholars, researchers, and the curious can gain access to its treasures by appointment. Within its hallowed halls, you can find ancient manuscripts, illuminated texts, and priceless books that have shaped the course of history.

The Vatican Apostolic Archive

The Vatican Apostolic Archive is distinct from the Vatican Library and contains an assortment of historical documents and records pertaining to the activities of the Holy See. This archive, which is a critical resource for historians and researchers, contains records dating back centuries. Access is restricted and usually requires a scholarly purpose, but it is a remarkable repository of historical knowledge.

The Vatican Pinacoteca

The Vatican Museums are celebrated for their extensive collections, but the Vatican Pinacoteca often goes unnoticed. This art gallery features an impressive collection of paintings, including works by renowned artists such as Raphael and Caravaggio. The peaceful atmosphere of this gallery allows visitors to appreciate the artworks without the bustling crowds found in the Sistine Chapel.


Vatican Rome is a place of immense historical and spiritual significance. While some areas, like St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, draw the most attention, the unexplored corners of the Vatican offer a chance to delve deeper into the history, culture, and spirituality of this extraordinary place. Whether you're interested in the serenity of the Vatican Gardens or the historical treasures hidden in the Apostolic Palace, these unexplored areas are waiting to be discovered by the discerning traveler.

Book now

Hidden Corners of Vatican City

Renaissance Art Exploration at the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Skip the Line at the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel to delve into the world of Renaissance art. See the famous works of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Raphael.

75.96 $
Hidden Corners of Vatican City

Unravel the Secrets of the Vatican: Museums & Sistine Chapel Tour

Explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with our skip-the-line tour. Gain insights from a knowledgeable local guide and admire masterpieces by artists like Michelangelo and Caravaggio.

86.7 $
Hidden Corners of Vatican City

Discover the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Explore the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel effortlessly with a skip-the-line ticket. Marvel at masterpieces like Belvedere Torso, the Gallery of Maps, and works by renowned artists such as Michelangelo, and more.

39 €
Hidden Corners of Vatican City

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Tour

Immerse yourself in some of the world's most historic artworks on a guided tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. Explore the Gallery of the Maps, marvel at the frescoes adorning the Sistine Chapel, and more.

41.91 $
Hidden Corners of Vatican City
75.06 USD