Duration: 3.5 hours
Type of Service: The Original Crypts and Catacombs Tour - small group tour
Your tour starts at one of the Roman Catacombs, the Eternal City’s underground burial chambers where long winding passages unfold millennia of history among tombs and inventive handmade memorials, taking you to a time when Christianity was considered a simple cult whose members were executed as pagans and buried as martyrs.
Then it’s on to Basilica San Clemente where the sound of running water drove one clergyman to dig his way through the floor tiles. What he discovered were 'wedding cake' layers of history piled on top of each other so that visitors today climb down to a 4th century church, the 2nd century remains of a Mithraic temple and finally ruins that date back to the Great Fire under the reign of Nero in 64 AD. You'll even see the working aqueduct that led to the excavations in the first place. With ruins reaching nearly 60 feet deep, it makes you wonder what lies beneath the rest of Rome.
Your journey through the centuries ends with a bang at perhaps the most memorable sites – the Capuchin Crypt and Museum. Here the remains of 4,000 Capuchin monks literally rest in pieces. Their remains have been used to decorate the underground crypt with vertebrae chandeliers, real-life skulls and cross-bones and robe-clad skeletons leering from the walls. Morbid fascination or respectful art? You’ll be the judge of that.
Much of what Rome has to offer is buried underground and through this tour – the only tour that takes you to crypts and catacombs from different historical eras in locations across the city – you can discover the true underside of Rome.
Things to Know:
- Tour is offered every day at 2:30pm /Tour check-in by 2:15pm
- Visit the eerie Capuchin Crypt also known as the 'Bone Chapel', the ancient Roman Catacombs and San Clemente Basilica - the 'Lasagne Church', where you descend from the 12th century to the 1st
- With transport and all costs included, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your expert, English-speaking guide
- Traveling in groups of 20 or less, your guide will have time to answer all your questions
- Wear comfortable walking or tennis shoes - (no heels, boots or flip-flops)
- Entrance to churches require a strict dress code for men and women – knees and shoulders must be covered (no shorts or sleeveless tops)
- Meeting Point Location: In Piazza Barberini, at the Tritone fountain located at center of the square – map and more details available upon booking
- Please arrive at the specified meeting point ready for a prompt departure
- Please note that the Crypts and Catacombs are located in small, dark areas, with narrow paths and low ceilings. As the venues are underground there are no windows. We do not recommend this tour if you are claustrophobic.
- Catacombs of Domitilla, San Callisto or San Sebastiano
- The Basilica of San Clemente
- The Capuchin Crypt and Museum