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There is a little known tour at the Vatican that we were fortunate enough to go a while ago. It’s the Excavations tour at the Vatican.
How to Reserve the Tour
Email the Vatican in advance and request the Excavations tour in your language of choice. Follow the directions and you’ll see an amazing tour experienced by few.
The Excavations tour takes you down to the original ground level of St. Peter’s tomb below St. Peter’s Basilica. Peter was one of Jesus’s 12 deciples and a fisherman from Galilee. Peter was executed in the year 64 AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero. After his death a shrine was built on the burial site and some hundred years later the Old St Peter’s Basilica was built. Pope Pius XII ordered the excavations during WWII and in 1950, St Peter’s tomb was discovered.
Walking along the tour you’ll see what is believed to be the original tomb of Peter. Going down you’ll pass through several layers of air lock glass doors and a few rooms at ground level. When you exit the tour you enter the place of burial for Popes and where the normal tour takes people.