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4.5 star rating: Recommended 1618 Reviews

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

Best 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.


  • 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

Best 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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Really enjoyed this tour. Our guide was truly knowledgeable and fantastic from start to finish.
This tour is 'a must' in my opinion and highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This was a very unique and interesting tour. We would highly recommend it to people that are looking for something historical and different. The guides were very knowledgeable and put some humor into it without being disrespectful.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Dominic was a great guide and very knowledgeable.i would recommend this tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Luca and Sarah or guides were very passionate about the curious collection of catacombs on show in this tour. All three complexes were very different to one another and all atmospheric in their own way. The history behind them was informatively and entertainingly presented to us by our guides. Those who dislike small spaces should probably avoid this tour but other than that I would highly recommend this insight into an obscure and, at times, bizarre aspect of old Rome.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Our best tour while in Italy, would highly recommend. Our guide, Rebecca, was lovely and even recommended a great tiramisu place!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Unbelievable, fantastic tour, great guide Ahmad

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

The hosts were very organised, attentive and helpful. Their communication of the topics was very clear and easy to comprehend

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Our Grandson who graduated from High School and just started college wanted to go to Rome so we took him there. Our Viator tours really helped us to see many things. We only had a week there and could not have seen as much as we did without Viator. The guides were very good and the tours were really complete.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This was an amazing tour. Our guide Karina was so knowledgable and made everything really interning. It was great to get away from the huge crowds as well.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

I enjoyed this tour and our guide Rebecca was great. She was very knowledgeable, energetic and friendly. This is an unusual tour that gives you a glimpse of ancient Rome in a unique way.

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Tour code: 3731CRYPTS


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