Awhile ago I wrote a feature on the Vatican’s Roman necropolis, located beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, for Vagabondish.com. Normally tickets must be booked at least six months in advance, and only a limited number of entries are allowed inside each day, so I count myself quite fortunate to have been able to see it. After recently reading about plans to uncover more of Rome’s ancient architecture, it reminded me of my time there and how much I wanted everyone to visit this remarkable site. Listed below is an excerpt of my feature:
As I approached the entrance of St. Peter’s Basilica towards the stony faces of the Swiss Guard, I stopped for a moment, hesitating. This couldn’t be the place.
Behind the Guards, there were no signs. No crowds. No indication that only a couple of feet nearby lay the underground entrance to the Vatican’s Necropolis. And yet it was.
Each year millions flock to the Vatican, making a pilgrimage to its holy relics or simply to immerse themselves in one of the world’s oldest cultures. Despite being one of the holiest and best-preserved sites in Rome, the complex underground necropolis of the Vatican goes largely unnoticed by visitors. In fact, only two hundred people a day visit this labyrinth of opulent Roman mausoleums, built into the very foundations of the current Basilica.
Read more at http://www.vagabondish.com/the-vatican-necropolis-rome/#o1qMgUsof01x1J5P.99