“Students of architecture study this staircase.” The tour guide stated proudly. “It has withstood hundreds of years as a service staircase, and continues to serve as one today.” The structure the guide was referring to, is the 17th century spiral staircase designed by famous Italian sculptor and architect Lorenzo Bernini at the residential apartment attached to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The “hidden” staircase can only be viewed through a guided tour conducted by the Basilica’s personnel.It amazes those studying architecture as it holds without a supporting middle rail. The whole structure is supported by the well-carved spirals and their weight against the wall.Bernini’s spiral staircase is a first of its kind. This architectural and engineering feat is an inspiration to the world of art and a model to replicate to the world of engineering.