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4.5 star rating: Recommended 1679 Reviews

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  • Location:Rome, Italy
  • Duration:3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Discover Rome's hidden delights and quirky sites on a 3.5-hour walking tour of the underground catacombs, Capuchin Crypt and the Basilica of San Clemente. The intriguing tour showcases the best of Rome's underground attractions, such as the crypt made from Capuchin monks' bones and the Domitilla Catacombs where early Christians worshiped in secret. Finish with a visit to Basilica of San Clemente to see a church like no other, and marvel at the centuries of history displayed through its architecture.

Highlights

  • 3.5-hour Rome catacombs tour including the Capuchin Crypt and Basilica of San Clemente
  • See Caravaggio’s St Francis in Meditation painting in the Capuchin Crypt Museum
  • Learn about the Capuchin monks who used human bones to build and decorate their crypt
  • Visit the Domitilla Catacombs underneath the Appian Way
  • Explore the Basilica of San Clemente and see Rome’s history displayed through layers of architecture

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

The informative guide shares so much intriguing information about early Christianity on this walking tour. Great off-the-beaten-track attraction!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small Group Walking Tour

Capuchin Bone Chapel, Rome

Meet your guide at Piazza Barberini in central Rome, and stroll to the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione to discover the Capuchin Crypts. Start by entering the crypt’s museum to see an incredible Caravaggio painting – St Francis in Meditation – as well as other relics about St Francis (Italy’s patron saint), and then head into the jaw-dropping crypts. From its arched walls to the picture frames that hang upon them, the chapel is made entirely from human bones. The mesmerizing display was created by the Capuchin monks who used the remains of their departed brothers to decorative effect.

Hear the history and then head back above ground to stroll to the Appian Way. One of the world’s longest roads, it’s also known for being home to the catacombs – nearly 186 miles (300km) of underground tunnels that were used as burial chambers by Rome’s early Christians. Skip past any entrance lines and go below ground with your guide to visit the largest one – Domitilla Catacombs (Catacomb di Santa Domitilla) – and marvel at the treasures that lie deep beneath the city. Christianity was once banned in Rome and so the catacombs provided a peaceful sanctuary where they could worship. Marvel at the Christian wall paintings and see an underground 4th-century church, too.

Head back above ground and walk to your tour’s final highlight, the Basilica of San Clemente. A one-of-a-kind church, the basilica actually comprises three buildings – from the 2nd, 4th and 12th centuries – each built on top of the other. Skip the lines outside and as you explore with your guide, you’ll see different slices of Rome’s history, noting how the architecture gets grander in each building. Admire magnificent Renaissance and 11th-century frescoes and pose for pictures under an eye-catching mosaic.

Your tour finishes inside the Basilica of San Clemente, and you can stay longer if you wish to soak up the splendor of the church at your own pace.

Customer Reviews

BCCDB

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Our guide, Rebecca was super awesome. She took time to get to know all of us thus turning the tour into a very personal experience. The sights and stories were great.

Olivia R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

A truly incredible tour. The tour guide was very informative and I now have a greater appreciation for Roman history beyond Emperors and the Empire. I have recommended this tour to my friends and associates.

James D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This was a great tour. It was long enough to see what's listed and get some interesting history without being overwhelming. It should be noted up front that for the most part, pictures aren't allowed in the crypts and catacombs. Our guide, Peter, was great and had a lot of good information - both about the tour attractions and Rome itself despite being a Mchgn fan. I would recommend this tour to anyone.

Yelena U

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Excellent guides and very interesting tour. it is hard to get to those places on your own

MICHAEL F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Really terrific tour guide and great itinerary.

Jess

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Such an interesting and educational tour. The crypts are superb and our guide was brilliant. Loved it! Much better than doing the three sites on my own

Marla H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Really interesting. The bones in the museum were certainly creepy but you never would have known that this was right at Barbieri. The catacombs were interesting but the church afterward, where we went down 4 levels and about 5 centuries was fascinating. Dmitri was a great guide.

Robert O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Great Trip and Great Tour Guide - Gio was an amazing tour guide who combined a great sense of humor with excellent history lessons. I did not realize the tour went outside of Rome but apparently the law did not allow the dead to be burined within the city walls - Gio will tell you why. This is an excellent tour and well worth the time.

Suzanne B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This tour was exactly as described, I thought it was organized and extremely informative. Barbara our guide was very knowledgeable and made herself available immediately following the tour for any questions the group had regarding Rome in general, like where to eat.

Raymond P USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Wonderful tour. I would never have thought to go to these places yet I am glad that Viator has it as a tour. The Capuchin church was phenomenal and the ability to traverse so many layers of history at the last stop was wonderful. Kudos to the tour guides

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Tour code: 3731CRYPTS

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