The Necropolis is located under the Vatican City, at a depth of 5 to 12 meters below Saint Peter’s Basilica. Major archaeological excavations took place under Saint Peter’s in the years 1940 to 1949, with the sponsorship of the Vatican.
The work was undertaken at the request of Pope Pius XI who wished to be buried as close as possible to Peter the Apostle. These excavations were done so as to locate the actual site of the grave of St. Peter, which had been assumed to be under St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Necropolis of the Vatican is also home to the Tomb of the Julius Ceaser family. The Vatican necropolis was originally established as a burial place built on the southern slope of the Vatican Hill.