The Vatican Scavi Tour that goes through the excavations below Saint Peter’s Basilica is one of the most exclusive tours in all of Rome. Only 250 people are allowed through each day – compare that to the 30,000 that visit the Vatican Museums!
You should sign up for one of my day tours of Catholic Rome.
Your tour will be in a small group with a maximum of about 12 people and last around 90 minutes. The grand finale is a visit to the actual tomb of Saint Peter, where, by peering around a corner, you will see the bones of the Prince of the Apostles.
Reservations should be made well in advance of your visit to Rome, in fact, it should be the first thing you do!
The process is quite simple, however, it’s best to list a range of dates that you can visit and stay flexible.
How to request tickets to the Scavi
To request tickets, email the Scavi office. In your email, please provide:
- The exact number of participants;
- The name of each participant;
- Your preferred language;
- All possible dates you are available – spell out the month: 01 January 2016;
- Provide an email address for the main contact.
If your request is granted, you’ll be required to pay by credit card within 10 days. The Scavi office will send a link to pay online.
Important to note
A visit to the Scavi below Saint Peter’s Basilica not only takes you into a very sacred place, but also a highly secure area. As such, there are rules.
Only ages 15 and up are allowed.
Appropriate dress is required. No shorts. No short skirts. Shoulders covered. Even in the summer heat, don’t risk it.
No large bags. Normal sized backpacks and purses will go through security screening, but are allowed – usually.
You should bring your Passport in case they check ID. It’s never happened for me, but it’s better to be safe.
You should arrive 10-15 minutes early. No exceptions.
Once inside, no photos are allowed.
It is warm and cramped in the Scavi. If you are claustrophobic, well, you should visit anyway. Just know it might be a bit uncomfortable.
Tickets for the Scavi can sell out many months in advance. If you are unable to get tickets, and you are flexible, you can show up the day you want to go and ask if there are any cancellations.
Also watch for groups. Groups pay way in advance and often have cancellations. If the group leader is nice, you may be able to join. It happens. Stay positive.
Tickets are €13. Price includes your guide.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (due to the Papal Audience)
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Scavi is closed on Sundays, Wednesday mornings until 1 PM, and the following Vatican holidays:
January: 1 and 6 (Epiphany)
February: 11 (Lateran Treaty)
March: 13 (Election of the Holy Father), 19 (Saint Joseph’s)
April: 13-18 (Easter), 23 (Name-day of the Holy Father)
May: 1 (Saint Joseph the Carpenter), 25 (Ascension)
June: 15 (Corpus Domini), 29 (Feast Day of SS. Peter and Paul)
August: 14, 15, 16 (Ferragosto)
November: 1 (All Saints), 2 (All Soul’s Day)
December: 8 (Immaculate Conception), 24, 25, 26, 27 (Christmas) and 31 (Te Deum)