Inside the cupola at The Vatican, the staircase gets smaller and smaller the further you go. You climb the stairs around and around inside the curving dome until you reach the cupola at the very top.
There are stairs from the depths of the Vatican ~ the excavated Roman cemetery and the Vatican Grottoes which hold the tombs of many popes ~ to its heights, where passage to the outdoor roof of the basilica offers a unique panorama of Rome and a close-up look at St. Peter’s smaller domes and statues.
Inside is a steep shoulder-width spiral staircase that is not for the faint of heart.
The reward for climbing 551 narrow, sweaty, funhouse steps?