I'd claim this a rare occasion, in which there were no people on the stairs at the time of shooting despite eleventy billion tourists being present inside the Vatican ... but that'd be a lie. Instead, the museum simply had the stairway blocked off during our visit.
It's funny. So many people who have photographed this in the past mention how they wished there were no people [in their shot], but I'd have preferred a person or two to give some sense of scale while also adding some dynamism through motion blur. Heh.