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Mimi’s Angels and Demons Tour continues: Vatican Necropolis and St. Peter’s Tomb

May 23, 2009 by  

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Early Christian Ceiling mosaic of Jesus in Necropolis masoleum

Day 7- Necropolis and St. Peter’s Tomb

We left Langdon and Vittoria racing along the pasetto (corridor) from Castle Sant’Angelo to St Peter’s Basilica. Our story now picks up speed, makes confusing turns and exposes a few devilish surprises, as it nears the climax.

I won’t try to summarize or give away the plot; you simply must read the book or go to the movie. But, let’s just say, both versions lead to our next site. We venture deep below the Vatican– to the Necropolis .

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Doorway into ancient masoleum under the Vatican

Most visitors to Rome, and many residents, have no knowledge of the hidden city lying two stories below the main altar. Ancient mausoleums were not uncovered until 1939 when Pope Pius XII ordered a secret archeological dig. He hoped to find St. Peter’s grave . The result of their discoveries was not publicly announced until decades later.

I learned of the Vatican Scavi (necropolis) tour while researching my 2008 trip to Italy, and applied for tickets. Only 150-200 people per day are permitted into the tombs. Tickets costs just ten euro, but must be requested months ahead.

The morning I arrived at St Peters, I stopped a priest to ask for directions to the meeting point. I showed him my confirmation letter and he looked at me, smiled; then said, “You are blessed.”

And I was. To stand in the most sacred space in Rome is incredibly powerful.

I wrote a descriptive article about the Scavi tour, recently published by Bootsnall.com. I hope you will use this link to read the details of the search for St. Peter’s tomb .

Angels & Demons Secret Vatican Tour

Inside Catacombs (not the Scavi tombs)

Inside Catacombs (not the Scavi tombs)

This photo was NOT taken in the Vatican Scavi, it is a photo of catacombs.


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