The Vatican Necropolis

The Vatican Necropolis

Map
Fabbrica di San Pietro, Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, 00120 , Italy

The Site: Contrary to what the book says, you can tour the spooky 1,900-year-old necropolis deep beneath the Vatican, a buried cemetery of narrow lanes threading pagan and Christian mausoleums. To visit, you must apply in writing (preferably months in advance) to the Ufficio Scavi, stating the number and names of your party, tour language, and when you'll be in Rome (scavi@fsp.va; fax +39-06/6987-3017).

The Miracle: The tradition that St. Peter was reburied in the necropolis in the 4th century behind a "Red Wall" was dismissed as a medieval myth—until the wall was discovered in 1941, covered in ancient pilgrim graffiti.

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