Capuchin three monks
Priscilla Catacombs
View of the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome
St. Clemente's Basilica
Guided tour of the Roman crypts
Skip the Line

The Original Rome Crypts and Catacombs Tour

(4,174 Reviews)
3.5 h.

  • Follow the Original Crypts & Catacombs Tour into the underbelly of Rome to discover the hidden and eerie history of the Eternal City. Begin your journey with Skip the Line Entrance to the Christian Catacombs, where generations of early Christians tunneled under the city to bury their dead in tombs carved out of the bedrock itself.
  • Our private air-conditioned coach will then take your small group of 20 or less to the Capuchin Crypt, an eerie monument to death, with the remains of over 4,000 monks decorating the walls. Here our expert English-speaking guide will draw your attention to many interesting details and explain to you the reasons behind such an unusual practice.
  • Finish the tour with the lesser known Basilica of San Clemente ….after visiting the medieval Basilica go underground into the 4th century church and finally down into a pagan temple and a Roman house from the 1st century……showing how there are layers of history under our feet everywhere we walk in the ancient city.

Your Rome Catacombs Tour Experience Starts Here

What's Included

  • Expert, English-speaking tour guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or less
  • Entrance ticket to the Capuchin Crypt and Museum
  • Entrance ticket to the Christian Catacombs
  • Entrance ticket to the church and underground levels of Basilica San Clemente
  • All transfers in an air-conditioned coach bus
  • Gratuities

Sites Visited

  • Catacombs of Domitilla, San Callisto or San Sebastiano
  • The Basilica of San Clemente
  • The Capuchin Crypt and Museum

The Original Crypts and Catacombs Rome Tour starts by meeting your expert historian guide in Piazza Barberini, beside the fountain of Triton. Interestingly, this piazza was used as the location for displaying human corpses which needed public identification up until the 1800s.

Explore the Sacred Christian Catacombs

From here you’ll be driven in our private climate-controlled bus to the extensive Christian Catacombs which were dug out of the ground over 2000 years ago. Your expert historian guide will explain how this network of sacred tunnels is associated with the first Christians in ancient Rome. You’ll descend into the labyrinthian corridors carved into the soft volcanic rock and discover the frescoes, strange iconography and burial places which doubled as places of worship when the Christians were persecuted.

Uncover the Layers of Rome

When you exit the catacombs, your bus will take you back within the city walls to the Basilica of San Clemente in the shadow of the Colosseum. If ever there was an example of Roman reuse of its buildings this is it. This seemingly normal church contains glorious arabesque frescoes and inlaid marble floors but in Rome, that on its own is not unusual. As your guide will show you, the church is built on top of a casually forgotten 4th-century basilica containing frescoes that include one of the first examples of vernacular Italian in the world. If that was not enough, this sits above a mysterious 2nd-century Oriental shrine in a private room between paved Roman streets and an aqueduct which still flows today.

Reflect on the Mortal World in the Capuchin Crypts

Your coach will then transport you to the Capuchin Museum. Telling the story of the order based on the ascetic ideology of St. Francis, the museum contains Caravaggio’s painting of St. Francis and many artifacts from their history of creating altruistic projects around the world. At the rear of the museum are the unique Capuchin Crypts - the final resting place of 4000 Capuchin friars whose bones were used in the European tradition of Momento Mori – decorative features created to cultivate detachment from life in the viewer by reflecting on death and immortality.

This is just one of our popular tours of Rome which gives you a different perspective on the fascinating culture of the Eternal City.

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