Online Tour of Vatican Necropolis and St Peter's Tomb

Hope you enjoy the tour.

Thank you for posting this. It is fascinating.

This is brilliant, I just done all the tour.

Love the Latin graffiti!

We took the “Scavi” tour when we were in Rome a few years ago; it was the single most fascinating and interesting thing I’ve ever done while traveling. Just mind-blowing to think we were looking at what is likely St. Peter’s tomb.

Thanks for posting it!

Thanks so much for this post. It was a wonderful tour!


Thank you so very much for drawing this to our attention.

You’re welcome and I am glad you all enjoyed it.

How wonderful that you’ve been there! The closest I have been to any of St Peter’s is by the small window at the crypt in the Basilica and at San Pietro in Vincula (for the chains).

Is there something in the online tour which left out other bits from your tour? Would love to know.

God bless all.

I was there in July. Amazing!

The background (accidental discovery) and detailed account in the search for St Peter is equally fascinating.

"Running his hand over the dirt that almost filled the gap, he felt his fingers brush something hard embedded in the earth. He scraped around the object, then gently pulled it free. Holding it up, he saw that it was a bone, about five inches long. He turned it around and over, finally deciding that it might easily be from a human arm or leg - momentarily his hand trembled at the thought that he could be holding a part of the body of St. Peter. Rolling over on his side, he aimed his flashlight under the wall. More bones, deeply embedded, were piled in and around the same spot. Carefully, he replaced the bone, then called to be pulled out of the chamber. Within seconds he was excitedly reporting his find to the others.

It was now evening, not far from the basilica’s closing time, but one of the excavators immediately hurried off to inform Pius XII of the discovery. At the same time, workmen were sent to procure some of the special lead-lined boxes that had been prepared for holding any random bones turned up in the digging.

Within ten minutes, the white-cassocked Pope arrived on the scene, his sharp intellectual features drawn, the piercing eyes alert behind the round glasses. Kirschbaum explained the situation to him, pointing out that the bones did not lie spread along the surface but were more or less all heaped together, without covering or protection, about a foot down in the bare earth. Little could be done with them, he said, while they lay in so difficult a position.

Some sober discussion among the Pope and the four archaeologists followed, and at length the Pope gave permission for the bones to be unearthed. A chair was placed on the marble pavement just above the pit and the Pope sat down. Kirschbaum armed with a trowel and brush, squirmed his way back into the chamber.

During the next several hours, bone after bone was gingerly passed out, some broken or reduced by decay, many more only fragments, and all were carefully deposited in the boxes at the Pope’s feet. Most were small, many even tiny, representing various vertebrae, parts of fingers and toes, and parts of shattered ribs, as well as some bit and pieces that were not immediately identifiable. A good many were large, however, and apparently intact, and though none of the excavators had any real medical knowledge, it seemed certain that whole bones, or nearly whole, were present from both the arms and the legs. There was also a large segment of the breastbone, and part of a shoulder blade."*

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