St. Peter's Tomb at Vatican - Age Limit?

Old Jun 17th, 2002, 10:52 AM
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St. Peter's Tomb at Vatican - Age Limit?

We are planning a vacation to Rome with a large family group. My twelve-year-old niece really wants to see the tombs below St. Peter's. I read in a guide book that there is an age limit, 15 I think. Does anyone know why? And how strict are they in enforcing this age limit? Do they check passports? My niece is very tall and mature, so she could pass for a teenager. Should we risk it? Will I go to hell for lying to the Vatican?! Has anyone used the Vatican ATM machine? I heard it was in Latin, my niece and I want to get out XX Euros!

Any info/comments on the tour of the tombs is also greatly appreciated.

Old Jun 17th, 2002, 12:18 PM
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Last year my 14-year-old son accompanied me on the Scavi tour. He was not asked for proof of age. He was very interested and respectful during the tour. He loves history, so the tour was right up his alley.

We are not going to hell!
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 04:59 PM
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I just checked my Blue Guide (the ultimate source for picky details) and I think that whatever source you may have read misunderstood the rule of "groups of at least 15" (people, that is, not age) on the tours. You need to apply to the Ufficio Scavi (beneath the Arco della Campana, to the left of St. Peter's, open 9-17 for permission to join a 90-minute tour. I saw two fairly young children (9 or 10) in my group. But they were very well behaved and dressed, as anyone should be at a sacred site.

I don't know about the ATM machine in Latin. I'm finding myself thinking of all kinds of amusing ways to translate the usual instructions--but maybe they are only amusing because of putting them into Latin, like "Winnie Ille Pooh" was.

I hope your niece enjoys her visit. My youngest daughter and I visited a couple of years ago, and she found herself very moved by the experience of being in a congregation of Catholics from all over the world. It's disturbing that some people persist in taking flash pictures during mass, but the whole Sunday morning experience (especially the Pope's appearance on the balcony to address the crowd) was one of the highlights of our trip.
Old Jun 18th, 2002, 07:12 AM
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Just recently did the Scavi tour. The e-mail information I received from the Scavi office, at the time of my confirmation, did indeed state that all visitors must be 15 years of age.

After touring, I can understand why such a request is made. There is very limited space in the excavations. Everyone must be able to follow explicit instructions. This may be difficult even for some adults to manage.

If you feel your child will be able to give this site the respect it deserves and appears to be 15 years of age, than the choice is yours.

We loved the opportunity to visit this site. A word of caution. If your child is allergic to mold or dust, or is asthmatic, please reconsider. I had quite a reaction during the tour.

Old Jun 18th, 2002, 09:09 AM
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Thanks so much for the responses. My niece is a very quiet, introspective girl, and follows directions much better than I do. But, we'll have to think on it. She just started a new school, run by the Madams of the Sacred Heart, so she's certainly being taught respect for the Vatican!

But, your replies have made me realize that it's my mother we should not take on this tour. She is hard of hearing, and does not do well in tight spaces. And she has horrible coughing attacks around dust. Thanks so much for the info!

I am really looking forward to seeing the Vatican. I've never been to Italy, and have been tempted to edit Rome out of this trip. We only have 8 days, and everyone has insisted on seeing Venice. But, I can't pass up a trip to the Vatican, so we'll try to squeeze it all in.
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