Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


Visiting the Vatican Necropolis (Tomb of St. Peter)

Waiting on our tour

Ticket for Vatican Scavi tour

I didn’t know what to expect from this rare behind-the-scenes (or should I say under the scenes) tour of the Vatican Necropolis (known as Scavi), which escorts visitors to the excavations of an ancient Roman cemetery, which was originally constructed next to the circus of Emperor Caligula. Discovered directly below St. Peter’s Basilica in the 1940s, the site was not announced to the public until the early 1960s.

The tour itself is hard to get onto. Most people email the Vatican Scavi office at least 3 months in advance to try to secure a spot on one of the few small group tours that enter the Necropolis each day–total visitors is capped at about 150 per day. I figured I’d email the Vatican and see if anything was available. Sure enough, they emailed me back fairly quickly with the date and time, should we accept (November 19, 11:45 am). That was it. If we wanted to go on the tour, that was our option.

I immediately paid the seemingly steep fee of 13€ for each ticket and patiently waited on my confirmation email, which came just as quickly as the first response (the Scavi office has their crap together).

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Mediterranean Bound

As you read this, Vince and I are flying 30,000 feet in the air on our way to Rome, Italy.


We’ll be spending two nights in the city before heading to the port in Civitavecchia to board the Crown Princess for a 12 night “Greek Isles”cruise.

So far, the only thing we have firmly planned in Rome is the Vatican’s Scavi tour to the tomb of St. Peter. While we are at the Vatican, we will also check out the museums and, of course, the Sistine Chapel. We toured St. Peter’s Basilica on our last visit, but didn’t have time to see the Michelangelo’s masterpiece. There’s no way we’re missing it this time around!

We may book tickets on the 110 open bus. This hop-on, hop-off bus seems like a really convenient way to see most of the major sites in a short amount of time. Two days is definitely no where enough time to do Rome justice, but it’s all we have!

Our first stop on the cruise is Naples. We’ve been there already, so we booked a tour to Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. It’ll be one busy day!

Our Greek stops include beautiful white-washed Santorini (a new destination for us), lively Mykonos (we loved this island last time we visited), bustling Athens (we’ve been, so we may hang out on the ship this day), and historic Corfu (another new stop).

Throw in Kusadasi (we’ll be touring nearby Ephesus as we’ve already been to this iconic Turkish port), Dubrovnik (probably the stop I am most excited for as I’ve never been to Croatia), and Venice (our last visit here was a disaster, time to make it up!) and we’ve got one full 2 weeks ahead of us.

It’s been a really long time since I was able to take a long and relaxing vacation.

This one will definitely fit the bill.

I’ll likely gain 5 lbs. from all the food but I think it will be cancelled out by all the walking were bound to do.

I’ll be posting updates as wi-fi is available, so stay tuned!

Catch you all in 2 weeks!


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