Vatican Necropolis, Vatican City

Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City 00120

The Vatican City is an incredible testament to religion, with the marvellous Sistine Chapel, stunning Saint Peter’s Basilica, fascinating Vatican Museums and glorious piazzas just some of the landmarks that make up this spectacular microstate.

Vatican Necropolis

But one of the Vatican’s sites that is often (literally) overlooked is the eerily awesome Vatican Necropolis, a sprawling mass located at depths of five to 12 metres below Saint Peter’s Basilica.

There are many reasons why the necropolis is such an incredible place to visit, one of them being that many popes are rumoured to be buried in its hallowed grounds, another being that it’s just a stunningly preserved testament to ancient Rome, its religious grandeur and incredible architecture.

After your tour of the necropolis, you are probably going to want to check out some of the Vatican’s other breathtaking sites, right?

Let’s take a look at a full Vatican itinerary and why it shouldn’t be missed on your Roman holiday.

Explore Saint Peter’s Basilica

Because the necropolis is underneath the basilica, it’s only natural you will want to see the basilica itself, and for very good reason, mind you. Saint Peter’s Basilica is certainly one of the grandest, most beautiful churches in the world, being one of the largest ever built. Take your time to meander around its hallowed rooms, and gaze upon the immaculate baldachin, built over 11 years as a way to mark the burial of Saint Peter beneath.

Marvel at the impressive Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel is the Vatican’s centrepoint: a world famous religious monument with some of the most instantly recognisable artwork you are ever likely to see. Not only is the ornate architecture of the Sistine Chapel something to be marvelled upon, but the chapel is also home to the incredible fresco painted by none other than Michelangelo himself. This is truly an incredible site to see and one of the best reasons to come to the Vatican when in Rome.

Enjoy the peace & calm of the Vatican gardens

What is so wonderful about them is that they take up roughly half of the Vatican’s size, and make for lovely spots to stroll in the fresh air after being down in the necropolis! There are beautiful sculptures, dedications and fountains to see, as well as just being a rather charming oasis in the midst of the Roman/Vatican bustle.

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