Excavations beneath St Peter's Basilica have uncovered part of the original church and a necropolis with what is held to be the Tomb of St Peter. In 1942, the bones of an elderly, strongly built man were found here, in a box hidden behind a wall covered by pilgrims’ graffiti.
Visits, by guided tour only and limited to those over 15, must be booked well in advance – check the website for details.
The Vatican has never definitively claimed that the bones belong to St Peter, but in 1968 Pope Paul VI said they had been identified in a way that the Vatican considered 'convincing'. In 2013 Pope Francis publicly displayed the relics for the first time.