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what is a Scavi tour

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Johannesburg, South...
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what is a Scavi tour

Hi what is a Scavi tour ? Is it a company or a specific tour in Rome

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1. Re: what is a Scavi tour

"Scavi" is an Italian word meaning "excavations". The Scavi tour in Rome is provided by the Vatican and goes through the necropolis (burial ground) under St Peter's Basilica, including the supposed grave of St Peter. See vatican.va/various/…scavi_english.html

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2. Re: what is a Scavi tour

vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connecte…

Scavi tour is a tour under St Peter Basilica

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3. Re: what is a Scavi tour

If you ever get the chance to take the Vatican Scavi tour, do it. Even if you are not a religious person, the tour is awesome from an archeological standpoint. You literally walk down to the first century. Not to be missed!

Le Marche, Italy
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4. Re: what is a Scavi tour

I've been on this tour twice, and it is indeed interesting, especially if you're interested in ancient Rome (as I am). However, I wouldn't consider it a top priority on a short trip. There are other archaeological sites in Rome that are much more interesting and historically important.

I've always wished that people would start calling it "tour of the Vatican Necropolis", because "scavi" is such a general term. There are many other tours in Rome that could be called "scavi tours", such as the tour of the Domus Romane under Palazzo Valentini; the tour of the underground areas in the Basilica of San Clemente; the underground areas of the Colosseum; the tour of the Case Romane under the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo; Ostia Antica; and probably others that didn't leap to my mind just now.

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5. Re: what is a Scavi tour

If you are considering the “scavi” tour, send your request ASAP! Last week, I requested a tour for the first week of October and received an email back saying that my dates were already sold-out.

Bvlenci – please elaborate on these other underground tours. Which is your favorite and why? We wanted to do the Vatican scavi tour because it was on street level and included buildings and gravesites. Any information or leads to other scavi tours is greatly appreciated.

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6. Re: what is a Scavi tour

I'm not sure what you mean by being on "street level". Do you want to avoid steps?

The Domus Romane under Palazzo Valentini is just off Piazza Venezia (near the Roman Forum). It's the excavation of a Roman house belonging to a well-to-do family, and the adjacent street. There is a well-done sound and light show that shows the house as it probably was in ancient times.

www.palazzovalentini.it/index.php?lang=eng

I don't remember if there were stairs. Part of the time, you walk on a glass floor that allows you to see the Roman remains beneath your feet; some people find this disconcerting.

At the moment, they're not showing openings beyond this Friday, and the English-language tours (at 1 PM, 2 PM, and 2:30 PM) are almost completely sold out.

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7. Re: what is a Scavi tour

I have been to most of the 'scavi' on BV's list although not the Domus Romane which sounds fascinating and I did thing the Vatican Scavi Tour was more interesting than most of them. I love San Clemente but the ruins are quite fragmentary; the little necropolis town under St. Peters is amazing in its preservation; one of our most memorable activities in Rome. It is a bit like touring one of the houses in Pompeii. I took my kids on the Scavi Tour about 12 years ago and it is still the thing they talk about most from Rome. (There are age limits -- 12 as I recall -- my 'kids' were already young adults.

janettravels44

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8. Re: what is a Scavi tour

Age limit is 15 now.

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9. Re: what is a Scavi tour

Sorry, I hit "Submit" before I was finished.

The underground area of the Basilica of San Clemente is fascinating. The present basilica dates from the 12th century, although it was remodeled in the Baroque style in the 17th century. It has a beautiful 12-century golden mosaic in the apse. It's in the care of an Irish order of Domenicans.

Below the present basilica, there is an earlier 4th century basilica, and, below that, some 1st century houses and a Mithraic temple. Today you can visit both of these ancient levels; there are steps involved, but it wasn't difficult. The 4th century basilica has an interesting fresco in comic-book style. It illustrates a legend where Saint Clement had been arrested by a Roman prefect, along with the prefect's wife, who had been converted to Christianity. The prefect and his soldiers were blinded and were hauling away marble columns instead of the two Christians. The very interesting thing is that the prefect is speaking (in a comic balloon) a very early version of the Italian language (but understandable to Italians of today), while Saint Clement speaks Latin. This seems to indicate that Italian was considered a low-life dialect, while Latin was the language of "decent people". The other interesting thing is that on a church wall, they have the prefect using some very salty language. He is calling his soldiers "sons of wh*res".

The lowest level is also very interesting, especially the very well-preserved Mithraic temple. This religion was imported from Persia to Rome; it involved sacrifices of bulls, and was very popular among soldiers, who probably brought the religion back to Rome after campaigns in Asia Minor. It was probably limited to men.

http://www.basilicasanclemente.com/

The underground areas of the Colosseum can be visited by a tour that you can reserve by calling the Colosseum. There is a "frequent question" with instructions for doing this at the top right of the TA Rome forum pages. The tour also takes you to the third level of the Colosseum. I haven't done the tour, but many people report that the steps are a bit difficult, especially those leading to the third level.

Underneath the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo there are numerous Roman buildings and shops. The site was rebuilt many times over the centuries. First it was residential buildings, then some little shops and workshops were opened on the side facing the street. Then, several buildings were demolised to allow the construction of a much larger house and courtyard for a well-to-do ancient Roman family. Because of the centuries of change, I strongly advise that you take a tour here, to understand what you're seeing. You can see the whole site without climbing any stairs, although there are some stairs that allow you to get a little closer to some features. There is also a small museum at the site.

http://www.caseromane.it/en/index_en.html

Tours in English are available on request on Saturdays and Sundays::

http://www.caseromane.it/en/booking.html

Some private companies may also offer tours.

Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, even a little larger than Pompeii, that was once the ancient port of Rome. It could take you a whole day to see it, but even a few hours there are rewarding. There are many very well-preserved buildings there; in some places you seem to be walking down an intact Roman street, with multi-storied buildings on each side. There is also a theatre, an ancient bath complex, a very intact bar (with a counter and a mosaic featuring food items) and a very intact Roman public toilet, with side-by-side seats. I also advise taking a tour here, because of the size of the site and the difficulty of finding some of the features.

http://ostia-antica.org/

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10. Re: what is a Scavi tour

Thank you very much Bvlenci, I think this post must be a sticker in Rome travel forum.