Rome Reports recently put out a very interesting video about a major archaeological find in the Vatican. It is being likened to the ancient city of Pompei:
The “Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis” is now open to the public. Entrance is through the Vatican Museums, and my understanding is that it is mostly located beneath the museums and part of the Vatican Gardens. You can buy just a ticket for the Necropolis, or buy it in conjunction with a visit to the Museums. There is a third option which includes a visit to the Vatican Gardens. It is good to book in advance, as access is limited.
Ticket information for the Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis is on this page (click on “guided tours for individuals”).
Another Vatican archaeological tour that is worth the time and money is the “Scavi” (excavations) beneath St. Peter’s Basilica. Taking this tour, it is possible to see and pray at the tomb of St. Peter. However, access is quite limited and it is necessary to book several months in advance.
This Vatican web page has all the information you need for making your reservation for the “Scavi Tour”. Be sure to follow the instructions very carefully; then, have a lot of patience, as it usually takes them a long time to respond.
I once was told that it helps if, in the email you send them, you say that you would like to “make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle Peter”. Thus, apparently, it becomes more evident that you are a serious Catholic visitor and not just someone looking to come and take photos (which, in fact, is not allowed). While I don’t think that it really makes a difference if you include that line or not, it couldn’t hurt, so keep it in mind when you send in your email reservation request.
Please note that the so-called “Scavi Tour” (underneath St. Peter’s) is accessed from a completely different point than the newer necropolis mentioned above. This PDF page that I made has directions on how to get to the Scavi Tour.
In an upcoming post I will summarize where all the major Vatican sites are.