The Vatican Necropolis - Scavi

Taking the Scavi Tour

Square & Area

Tourist Info

Vatican City

Colonnade Saints
Floorplan #2

Scavi - Main
Scavi Map

Books on the Scavi

Related Items
Tomb of St Peter by M. Guarducci

The Bones of St Peter by John E Walsh

Related Links
Scavi Office

























The door to the Scavi Office. The sign says:
Hours 9-17; Closed Sundays and Holidays

The only email for reservations is:

The best tip for the Scavi Tour is to book early with an email to the Vatican Excavations Office. At least 90 days in advance is recommended. Many requests made less than 30 days in advance are often not accepted due to the limited availability. Some dates are booked months in advance. Only about 250 people go through the Scavi each day in different language groups of about 12. Having a small group and offering a wider range of days for the reservation will increase your chances.

The Scavi Office has made a huge effort to streamline their process. They now send you a receipt of your email request right away and then shortly thereafter (with a few days) you will get an answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and Where to go?
Shortly before your tour begins, go to the Sant' Uffizio entrance to the left/south side of St Peter's Square. There is a special security station set up there. Bring your confirmation letter from the Office

What is it like inside the Scavi?
It's a little claustophobic inside the Scavi. The air is humid and warm, but the ground is dry. The lighting is dim, and you walk on uneven ground as you look inside the various tombs. Some of the objects can only be viewed one at a time. A person with a physical disability may have some problems.

What can I Bring?
You're not supposed to bring any cameras, recording devices, or large objects. Purses and small handbags are permitted. It you need to check items beforehand, you must do this at the free baggage check on the right side of St Peter's, which requires going through security.

What are the Age Limits?
The Vatican website says that only persons over 15 years old are admitted.

What do I Wear?
Dress appropriately for a religious site; sholders covered, no shorts. Comfortable shoes are recommended since the ground is uneven.

What times are the tours?
Tours run continually from 9:00AM until 4:15PM, Monday - Saturday. The tours last about one hour.

Where does the tour end?
The Scavi website states that the tour ends back at the Excavations Office. The tour is actually finished when you enter the Clementine Chapel in the grottoes. Your guide might allow you to then visit the grottoes (tomb of the popes).

Where can I find more Information?
The Vatican website now has a virtual tour of the Necropolis at:
If you want to purchase information, the Vatican bookstore offers a magazine titled, 'Roma Sacra - The Vatican Necropolis'. More detailed info can be found in the online books here.
An online article to read is: The Scavi of St. Peter's and the Grittiness of Catholicism by George Weigel.

The people in the distance are at the Scavi Office
Looking toward the Scavi Office
People taking the tour will gather in front of this door
Scavi Office and Tour Entrance
These people are exiting the grottoes below St Peter's
External Entrance to Scavi - Grottoes Exit

Internal Entrance to Scavi


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