• Catacombs and the Capuchin Crypts •

To speak of underground Rome is to talk about many different things. There can be entire churches beneath the ground, as in the case of San Clemente; or Roman dwellings, as in the case of the houses beneath the Church of Saint John and Saint Paul, all of which we can explore on this tour.
But if you are interested in the catacombs, Rome has so many that you could travel the entire city passing through the tunnels and passageways of this incredible subterranean cemetery.
There are more than 40 catacombs which wind and weave for about 150km underground and on many different levels. That’s why you need to have a guide with you! But the first thing you’ll need to do is choose which catacombs interest you the most so that we can be guide you through the labyrinth of mysterious, dark tunnels.

Where are the catacombs of Rome?

It was prohibited to perform burials within the city walls, so cemeteries were constructed along the consular roads and along the most famous roadways like the via Appia and via Ostiense, which led to the sea. A visit to the catacombs is also an opportunity to discover interesting areas a little outside of the city centre.

How do you get to the catacombs?

This is something you can decide, either by taxi or alternatively by private car.

Which are the most beautiful catacombs to visit with a guide?

This is a hard question to answer because each cemetery has its own special and unique features. They all share in having kilometres of tunnels decorated with frescoes and inscriptions and each tour will include an exploration of the areas open to the public with one of our guides and also, in some cases, with the expertise of the archaeological site managers. Together we will discover the meanings of symbols hidden within inscriptions and admire some of the most beautiful and important frescoes from the early Christian era. Seeing as we need to make a selection of which catacombs, here are our favourites which we’ve decided to include in our tour:

On the Via Appia the Catacomb of Saint Sebastian

closed on Sundays

We’ve chosen this because – apart from the impressive catacombs – the Basilica of San Sebastian which stands above the catacomb, is one of the seven pilgrimage destinations in Rome. Within the church are some extremely interesting sacred relics including a stone with a fingerprint that has been attributed to Jesus Christ; some of the arrows used against the martyr, Saint Sebastian, as well as the column to which he was tied; and also the hands of Saint Callisto and Saint Andrew.

On the Via Labicana the Catacomb of Saint Marcellino and Peter

closed on Thursdays

It has only recently been reopened to the public – we always enjoy sharing what’s new – and it is situated in a little known, but fascinating part of the city. Already at the entrance you will find one of the great treasures, the Mausoleum of Elena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. The catacomb covers an area of 18,000 m2and there are more than 15,000 underground graves as well as several thousand more above ground. Inside the catacombs are preserved some of the most beautiful frescoes to be seen in Rome – so you can understand why this is on our list!

On the Via Salaria Nuova the Catacomb of Priscilla

closed Mondays

During our tour of the catacombs you’ll discover various forms of burial, like the loculi and arcosoli, which in turn form … cubicoli! It will all make sense to you when you see them with your own eyes and with the aid of your guide! In the Catacomb of Priscilla there is our favourite cubicle which is called “della Velata”. Dating back to the third century it takes its name from the fresco of a woman which was painted to represent significant moments of her life: her marriage and the birth of a son. As well as this you’ll also find one of the oldest representations of the Madonna and baby Jesus which is not to be missed … just follow our guide to see what there is to discover! 😊

One the Via Ardeatina the Catacomb of Domitilla

closed Tuesdays

This is also a vast catacomb (more than 15 km of subterranean tunnels on 4 levels and more than 150,000 burials) which are truly well preserved. On the lowest level, called “della Madonna” – “Our Lady”, can be seen paintings from the 3rd and 4th century. Among the most interesting and beautiful is the representation of the 4 Magi approaching the Madonna and baby Jesus. We will be sure that you don’t miss seeing it!

On the Via Nomentana the Catacomb of Saint Agnes

These catacombs are associated with the martyrdom of young Saint Agnes. One of the thing we like most about this catacomb is the beauty of the area surrounding them, the peacefulness and gardens. The elegance of this neighbourhood, with its hidden catacombs, make it in one of the quartiers most loved by Romans, and rarely visited by tourists. Showing you this are will be like sharing one of the lovely secrets of the city!

How many catacombs will we visit on a tour?

Two from the ones we have listed, depending on your interests, the time of the week, and the opening hours!

Are there human remains in the catacombs?

No, or rather, if there are they are no longer visible for reasons you’ll discover during the tour. This is why we have chosen to combine these locations with the one place where, absolutely, you will see a great deal of bones together: the Crypts of the Capuchin Monks! In reality the crypt is a closed portico within the Church of Saint Mary of the Conception, known also as the Church of the Capuchin Monks. It is decorated with the bones of at least 4,000 Capuchin brothers who died between 1528 and 1870!! Some of the corpses are still mummified, others have lost their names but their remains, their bones, have been used to decorate the small room, forming lamps, stars, festoons, clocks, garlands … Yes, it is truly like this – pelvic bone, femurs, shin bones, and jaw bones have been used as decorative objects! You’ll need a strong stomach!

• Tour Useful Information and Prices •

Days of the week and hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Mornings from 9.30am and afternoons from 2pm)

Price

The cost of the tours will vary depending on the season and the day of the week.

CATACOMBS

Full price: €8.00 adults
Reduced price: €5.00 children between 6 and 15 years of age
Free: Children under the age of 6 and carers for those with disabilities.

CAPPUCHIN CRYPTS

Full price: €8.50
Reduced price: €5.00 (under 18 – over 65)
Entrance tickets to the different catacombs are not included in the tour price and can be purchased at the sites.

Sites included in the tour

Two catacombs chosen from our list + The Crypt of the Capuchin Monks

• Ask for availability •


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