Guided tour of the Vatican Necropolis Scavi and St. Peter's Basilica
On this guided tour, you will visit the underground chambers of St. Peter's Basilica, the Necropolis or Scavi, and discover the secrets that lie hidden beneath the surface at the largest church in the world. The experience also includes a tour of St. Peter's Basilica, bringing you closer to the seat of Christianity and showing you some of the best works of art from the Italian Renaissance.
Scavi and St. Peter's Basilica Highlights
- With this guided tour, you will get skip the line entry to the most visited church in the world, St. Peter's Basilica.
- Head underground and explore the hidden world of the Vatican Necropolis with tombs dating back to the 1st and 4th centuries AD.
- Pay homage to the remains of St. Peter, who is interred in the Scavi.
- Head back up for your guided tour of St. Peter's Basilica.
- Come face to face with incredible works of Renaissance artworks such as Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture, Bernini’s Baldachin.
Why You Shouldn't Miss This
A church at the site of St. Peter's Basilica has been present since the 4th century. However, for centuries before that, the site was the location of a Roman cemetery where both pagan and Christian tombs existed. Positioned next to the northern end of the Circus of Nero and situated under the Vatican Grottoes, the Vatican Necropolis or the Scavi, is one of the best-kept secrets of the Vatican. It is here that the remains of St. Peter, the first Pope in Christianity, are buried.
After your guide has given you a tour of the Necropolis, the group will head back up to explore St. Peter's Basilica. St. Peter's Basilica is the most important church in the Christian faith. An Italian Renaissance church that was designed by Bramante, Bernini, Michelangelo, and Maderno; St. Peter's Basilica is the largest church in the world and also considered to be the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture in the world.
Apart from being a center of religion, St. Peter's Basilica is also home to numerous works of Renaissance art. Some of the most popular works of art in the basilica are Michelangelo’s La Pietà sculpture, Bernini’s Baldachin, the statue of St. Peter, Pope John Paul II’s tomb as well as St Peter’s famous dome.
Your tour will begin at a designated meeting point inside St. Peter's Square. If you stand in St. Peter's Square and face St. Peter's Basilica, then the exact meeting point is located on the right-hand side of the square, outside the colonnade and in front of the Vatican Post Office. Here you will see your guide wearing a blue vest with the Vox Mundi logo printed on it. Be there 15 minutes before the beginning of your tour so you can find your guide with ease.
The tour then heads to the Necropolis. Your guide will lead you 10 meters underground, beneath the Vatican Grottoes and take you on a tour of the Scavi. Here you will find ancient Pagan and Christian tombs that are almost 2,000 years old. It is here that you will find the tomb of St. Peter, the patron saint.
After a tour of the Scavi, the tour will head back up to explore St. Peter's Basilica. Your guide will lead you through the church and show you all the major highlights. You will see classic Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Pieta, Bernini’s Chair of St. Peter and also have the chance to pay homage to the tomb of St. John Paul II. You will also visit the “Confessio” or “Chapel of the Confession”. Named after the confession of faith of St. Peter which led to his martyrdom, the Confessio is located immediately above the place of his burial.
- Skip the line entrance ticket for St. Peter's Basilica and the Necropolis
- Vatican official guides (both for the Necropolis and for the Basilica)
- Guided or audio-guided tour of the Cupola (Dome)
Know Before You Go
This 2.5-hour tour of St. Peter's Basilica takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 PM.
The closest station to the Vatican is the Ottaviano-S. Pietro station. Line A of the Rome Metro stops at this station every few minutes. Your meeting point in St. Peter's Square is a 5-minute walk from this metro station.
What to Wear
Please be dressed appropriately. Sleeveless blouses, miniskirts, shorts, and hats are not permitted. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. Comfortable shoes are recommended.
All cancellations/rescheduling requests made 24 hours prior to the start time of your experience will be processed for free without any additional charges.
How to Redeem Your Tickets
• You will receive your guided tour voucher in a few minutes.
• On the day of the experience, head to the meeting point and display the voucher on your mobile phone along with a photo ID to begin your tour.
• The exact meeting point is located on the right-hand side of St. Peter's Square, outside the colonnade and in front of the Vatican Post Office.
• Look for the guide wearing a blue vest with the Vox Mundi logo printed on it.
• Begin your tour.
St. Peter's Square, Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City
- Meeting Point: Facing the Basilica, on the right, outside St. Peter's Square, in front of the Vatican Post office. You must arrive here at least 15 minutes before your tour starts.
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