It's always a good reason to visit the Dome, before or after your Vatican Museums tour !
In the morning, you will skip probably long lines, but in the afternoon you will be surprised by a charming romantic light that caresses the facades of Palaces and Basilicas ... and suddenly you will be inspired by "La Bella Vita" !
Stairway to Heaven
To visit the Dome, there are two parts: the first part, above, can be reached by elevator (and a small staircase) or by 231 steps, you will see, it's NOT strenuous, exhausting or claustrophobic.
See the pictures above, from here you will see not only the Interior of the Basilica but even tieback of the Apostles and Saints. There is also a bathroom, a very small refreshment stand, and a gift shop.
The second part is optional. It means taking the next 320 stairs to the tippy top, since there is not an elevator.
You will find a narrow single-file staircase that slowly spirals up, with the roof sort of slanting in towards you as you go. And at the very end, as it gets narrower and narrower, you will have a corkscrew staircase, with a rope to hang onto! Don't worry, there are windows along the way, although seems a little bit claustrophobic.
The stairs to go down are in another part so you will not run into people on your way up.
There is always a good reason to visit the Dome, before or after your Vatican Museums tour !
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di Susanna Milani, P.I.11676951004