One tip, go in early morning especially if it's rainy out. St. Peter's was empty and the grottos as well. Very peaceful.
After visiting Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, and Como, this is the best and most spiritual place i have been too. When you pass next to St. Peter Tomb, and the Tomb of many Popes since 380AD till date you cannot feel better piece of mind and soul. if you believe or not, you will stop there and pray... Tip: on... More
The Grottoes are underground and under a pillar in the centre of the basilica, there you will find St Peters Tomb and the heart of this place, it was so quiet down here, unlike the mayhem above. You have the tombs of the Popes also.
We heard about the Scavi tour through the forums and booked as far in advance as we could. Arriving at the office was a smooth experience and our English language guide (with a PhD in History) was very knowledgable. The tour itself was fascinating and provided great insight into the layers of history (literally!) that comprise this area. Really well... More
One of the few areas in Rome/Vatican properly labelled so you get to find out why a particular Pope was famed/feared/ignored. Nearly all the tombs/sarcophagi/headstones had an accompanying card in Italian and English with a brief CV of each Pope. To be fair you could do with some knowledge of the context in which each Pope lived to give some... More
Considering what the Vatican has to offer you can spend your time much better in the Basilica than looking at copies of the Grotto of Lourdes and the Madonna of Guadalupe.
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