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Scavi Tour - Pinpointing Entry Location

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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:04 PM
  #1
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Scavi Tour - Pinpointing Entry Location

Wow - I got my Scavi reservations in just one day! I was expecting weeks. I gave a five day window and got October 20 at 1:30 a Saturday.

Despite lots of reading, I am still slightly confused about the location. On this map, I should be outside the piazza (rather than within the piazaa) on via paolo vi. - Correct? #24 is the excavations office on this map.

http://www.stuardtclarkesrome.com/vatmap.htm

And, on this map – I should be outside at #3 rather than inside at #2?

http://saintpetersbasilica.org/vaticancity-map.htm

Thanks
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:16 PM
  #2
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Here are the instructions:

"The Excavations Office is reached ONLY through the Holy Office Gate (through Colonnade to the left, at the end of Via Paolo VI): the visitors must first PASS TO THE Police Security Check Point and then ask the Swiss Guard for the Excavations Office."
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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All wrong and that's a very old map. I'll find another one and post it as the place where you have to go through security first is entirely outside the piazza.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:21 PM
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You will exit the piazza at #3 on this map. As you exit under the columns, there will be a security screening on your right side. Once through the screening (no large bags), you will walk back to the Scavi office (#28).You will check-in there and then be told to wait outside until the tour starts.

http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Exter...quare-Area.htm
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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You are really doing your homework! You will love the Scavi tour.

This is from when we went 3 years ago - I don't think it has changed - but maybe someone who has been more recently can confirm.

You need to enter at number 2 on the map in the second link - there will be Swiss Guards there and you will have to show them your paperwork that you have reservation. Then they will let you through to number 59 (actual Scavi office) and from there you check in and wait in a prearranged (obvious) area.

The second map almost looks like you could get to 59 by going through 3 - but I don't remember that to be the case. Anyway - we went through at point number 2 - it is rather obvious as well as there are lots of Swiss Guards around.

enjoy!
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Ok - others were posting as I was - perhaps I have outdated information....my apologies.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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It's quite easy really.
Facing St Peter's basilica, look left of the facade. You see two gateways. Head to the one on the left with open metal gates. If a Swiss Guard is there, show your scavi reservation. Uffio Scavi is just on your right inside the gateway. Wait outside until your guide finds you.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Yes, you are outside, just near the restrooms and the Swiss Guards.

(I'm seriously envious you got a tour - we weren't able to. I even tried to charm my way onto a tour, no luck there either!)
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Jul 25th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Alec's, sugarmaple's and illnative's info is all outdated. The entry location changed last year. Before that time (I've done the Scavi tour multiple times), there was no security screening at all to go back to the Scavi office. You gained access to the left of the bottom of the steps to St. Peter's by getting permission from the Vatican employees at the base of the steps and then the Swiss Guard a few steps further. Now there is a bag scanner and it's outside the piazza. Follow the map I posted.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 01:12 PM
  #10
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So I will follow kybourbon's map.

From within the piazza exit at #3, and now I am outside the piazza then do security/bag screening there. (I think I thought the columns were solid and that you could not pass through.)

Question: Is there security or lines to enter the piazza? I think the security/lines that I am reading about is to either enter the (1) basicalla or (2) futher away at the vaitican musuems.

I don't want to be late, and all I remember from my last visit in the mid-80's was the long walk around the vatican walls.

http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Exter...quare-Area.htm
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Jul 25th, 2012, 01:21 PM
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hi, davispeets,

you are getting two sets of security mixed up.

there used to be a security check to get into St. Peter's itself on the right of the colonades [opposite ky's no 3]. there was also a completely separate one [and presumably still is] for entry to the Vatican museums at the entrance thereto which is right round the vatican walls as you describe.

what it appears may have happened is that they have moved the St. Peter's security from the right of the colonades [as you look at the front of the Basilica] to the left, so that they "catch" people with scavi tour bookings, who previously avoided a search.

in any event follow what ky says, and allow yourselves PLENTY of time to get through security.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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Yes, you can walk under the columns. Here's a pic although it's toward the opposite side and shows the Pope's apartments above them.
http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Exter...ceCart-sps.jpg
http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Exter...ry%20Queue.jpg

No security to enter the piazza. They have not moved security to enter St. Peter's. It is still on the left. Looks like the people in the line in my bottom link are waiting to get through that security to enter St. Peter's.

They added a security (sometime in 2011 as it didn't exist in 2010) just for people going behind the scenes as they were failing to have these people send their bags through a screening. The only people that can use the one outside at #3 are people with their Scavi tour letters (you will have to show them) and people on official business with the Vatican (they also have to show documentation. The security on this side is not for tourists visiting St. Peter's. You will not have a line at this security entrance.

As I mentioned earlier, you can't take bags on the tour except small like a purse or camera bag (no pictures allowed on the tour). If you have a backpack that needs to be checked, that is on the left side of the piazza and you could have a longish line. I wouldn't take one.

When you finish the tour, you will be within the secure zone of St. Peter's (most likely one level below where the many Pope's tombs are located). You do not have to get in another security line (unless you plan to go to the museums which are totally outside the piazza). As you go up the steps from the tomb area, you will be at #68 on this map.
http://saintpetersbasilica.org/grottoes.htm

This is the area for the elevator to the dome (the line for the elevator often extends outside this area and down the front steps of St. Peter's). There's a big fountain (fill your water bottle) and a gift shop (oddly has better prices than some of the other shops within the Vatican). You can go to your right and go in the front of St. Peter's.

This map shows the museum entrance (red arrow).
http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Pics/...n-area-map.jpg
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:10 PM
  #13
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Kybourbon -

Thank you so much for your detailed explanation and the links. My primary concern was being late or lost for my reservation and I feel at ease now. Excellent information.

So, the Saturday Scavi reservation is nailed down........Now I am thinking about the special Friday nights at the Vatican Museum for the Museum portion of the trip. That might make a nice Friday/Sat combo.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:18 PM
  #14
 
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Oh no! I put left twice when I meant right! St. Peter's security line and the baggage check are on the right as you stand in the piazza facing the Basilica. Scavi security is on the left (I did have the numbers right with the maps) Sorry! Need to proofread before posting (a habit I can't seem to develop).
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Jul 25th, 2012, 09:32 PM
  #15
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I had read enough that in the picture in my mind - I knew it was on the right side - so I didn't even notice. I need to proofread - I can't believe how many spelling errors I made in an earlier post - embarrassing.

Thanks again - I will think of you with absolute thankfulness and joy when I glide over to the exact right location and impress my husband with bypassing the long line.
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Jul 26th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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ok ky, if i've understood you correctly, the normal security check for St. Peter's remains where it used to be on the right as you look at the Basilica, but the Scavi security is on the left.

hopefully the queues on the left won't be anything like the ones on the right. BTW, after the Scavi tour, can you still get into St. Peter's without doing security again?
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Jul 26th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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The last two times I've been, the tour has exited into the grottoes so you are in the secure area.

Post back and let us know about any changes.
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Jul 27th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Good to know...thanks everyone we have a Scavi tour in September.

Can I assume that a very small, flat purse (and I mean small/flat) is acceptable and will not be considered a large bag/backpack?
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Jul 27th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Your purse will be OK. Besides the obvious security issue, they don't like large bags or backpacks in the Scavi because the spaces are tight and it would be easy for someone to bang into the walls with a big bag or backpack.
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Jul 28th, 2012, 03:16 PM
  #20
 
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"... Saturday Scavi reservation is nailed down ... Now I am thinking about the special Friday nights at the Vatican Museum ..."

davispeets: I think I'm a week or two behind you, heading the same way. I'm just going to draft off of you, for a while!

I just looked at "Friday nights at the Vatican" and would love to book it. But, our flight arrives FCO at 2:30pm on a Friday, after a 65 minute layover in LHR. That seems tight, and my Eeyore voice mutters that it'd be easy to miss the Rome flight. Plus, we're also going to be jetlagged. Am I overthinking?
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