Rome has been a tourist hot spot for years! It is a beautiful city, but there is also centuries' worth of history and monuments to explore. You get to indulge in heavenly food, and it's just an overall exciting place.

One of the places you should stop on your tour of Rome is the Vatican, the literal city within a city! From its rich Catholic history to conspiracy theories about the Illuminati, the Vatican is a fascinating place.

However, after you've finished your tour, don't believe for a second that that's the end. There are many hidden areas of the Vatican that tourists don't have access to. But we do (sorta). Here are 14 rooms in the Vatican that tourists will never see!

12 Helping To Avoid Others Since 1505: The Bramante Staircase

This staircase is built for convenience! The Renaissance architect, Donato Bramante, created this staircase so that the Pope would be able to access the outside from his residence, the Belvedere Palace. The double helix design allowed for anyone using it to not run into each other. Michaelangelo would use it soon after!

This secret room's signature is a mosaic tiled floor. The tiles, which were brought over from the villa of Emperor Hadrian, represent theater masks, hence the name! There are also many sculptures, including many animals (affectionately called The Stone Zoo) and a sculpture of Princess Ariadne against a red background.

10 The Pope's Private Praying Space: The Niccoline Chapel (Chapel Of Nicolas V)

This chapel was built for Pope Nicholas V as his private chapel. It is marked by the only remaining frescoes of the artist Fra Angelico. The frescoes represent the lives of the earliest Christian martyrs. The chapel is located in the oldest part of the Apostolic Palace. Talk about historic!

9 Vatican's Emergency Exit: Passetto Di Borgo

This passageway was the Pope's fire escape! It was built into the back of the Vatican and led to the tomb of Emperor Hadrian. The tomb, Castel Sant'Angelo, was subsequently turned into a fortress in the early fourteenth century. Many Popes owe this passage to their safety, as well as their lives.

8 Contains The Church's Dirty Laundry: The Vaults

If you thought that the Vatican wasn't shrouded in enough mystery, there are secret vaults that contain some of the Catholic Church's most incendiary and dangerous secrets. These include proofs that Jesus never existed, extraterrestrial skulls, and… content. Talk about keeping skeletons in your closet…umm...vault!

7 Centuries Of History And Scandal: Papal Library (Archivum Secretum)

Want some more secrets? The Vatican has a private archive that was only made known to the public in 1881. This library has a myriad of ancient documents, including the ex-communication of Martin Luther, correspondences about the trial of Galileo, and even letters from Abraham Lincoln!

6 New Addition To The Building: Residence Of Benedict XVI

Even though the Pope preaches humility and asceticism, it doesn't mean that he needs to sleep on the floor! Pope Benedict XVI had his special residence built. According to professor Father John Wauck, "This is a kind of secret, in part because it is something new in the Vatican."

5 Ghosts Of The Past: Vatican Necropolis

The Necropolis, also called "scavi", is not a complete secret. However, it requires a specialized tour. This Roman cemetery is recreated underneath the Vatican and is full of immaculately preserved frescoes, tombs, and ancient Christian inscriptions. Those who are buried here are both pagan and Christian, and they predate Constantine!

4 A Bathroom Away From Prying Eyes: Stuffetta Della Bibiena

Now, this is a secret best kept under wraps! Painted by the artist Raphael, there is a secret papal bathroom. Why is this bathroom so particular? Because it is covered in erotic frescoes! It depicts various Roman deities and mythological creatures involved in compromising and intimate scenarios.

Related: A New Ancient Roman Shrine Has Been Discovered (And Other Ancient Sites All History Buffs Need To Visit In Rome)

3 An Artist's Legacy: The Raphael Rooms

This room is also not completely unknown, but it gets far less traffic than other rooms in the Vatican. Thanks a lot, Sistine Chapel! These rooms were a part of the papal apartments where Julius II lived. Raphael began the paintings and his school continued his work after his death.

Related: Tourists Can Now Experience The Vatican In A Private, Early Morning Tour

2 The Pope's Changing Room: The Room Of Tears

No, this is not as depressing as it seems! It serves as a changing room for the newly elected pope. This is where the cardinal trades his vestments for papal robes. The room got its names because many popes have become overcome with emotion while going through the process.

1 The Vatican Gardens

Remember the children's novel, "The Secret Garden?" Well, here you go! These vast gardens take up almost half of the city's space. They are chock-full of fountains, monuments and because the pope has style, a helipad! Only a select few can book tickets to tour the Vatican gardens.