For those who have been on the Scavi Tour, were you able to access St. Peter's Basilica after the Scavi Tour without having to have gone through security again. I know we go through security to get into the Scavi Office area, but once that tour is over, can we simply walk into the basilica without another security check. Just trying to figure out the timing of our day, and it would be great if we could avoid another security line.
I come bearing good news. :-) You will already have gone through security. At the end of the Scavi tour, you are directly under the main altar of St. Peter's. There are steps that take you right up into the basilica. No more security.
Interesting. I wonder if the decision to let people go up those stairs into the basilica varies, depending on what else is going on at the Vatican at that time. Or maybe it's just the mood of the guard. It is Italy, after all. :-)
As long as either option does not involve another a security line, I am okay with it. Thanks.
I've never been allowed to use those steps straight up into the basilica. Maybe things have changed, but for the 3 or 4 Scavi tours I've taken we had to exit the same way we came in. However as you walked along the side of the Vatican toward the front you were able to turn left and go up the main steps into the basilica. Of course it's like a fish swimming upstream, but it seemed to work. No one stopped us. But yes, if you are allowed to use those stairs straight up into the basilica then by all means do so. That would be a great shortcut.
Tim, when did you take the tour last? We did it in May 2011.
Late May/Early June 2012
Well, this much is clear - There's no way you'll have to go back through security.