4.5 star rating: Recommended 1298 Reviews

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

Clifford Chua
Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

I found the tour really inspiring and educational. The guides did a great job in giving us the history and the anecdotes of the lives of the early Christians. This is a hidden part of Rome that very few hear about or get to see. If you want something out of the ordinary, this is a fabulous choice!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

This was a great way to see the Crypts and Catacombs. It sounds a bit macabre but it provides an interesting education around the history of the Christians and Roman's. The tour is by tour bus and starts with a short trip to the catacombs which is about 20 min by tour bus just outside of the city walls. There are 2 more stops - both were equally fascinating especially as you walk down the different 'layers' of the history. Its quite amazing to walk down hundreds of years of development. The last stop is the most macabre with the various skeletons re - designed into art by the monks. We found it really interesting and the kids were engaged (16 and 13) in the whole tour. As always the tour guides knowledge of these places really helps to bring alive the history. It wouldn't be the same to tour these on your own unless you had really researched the history behind these places on your own. Highly recommend this tour.

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Tour code: 3731CRYPTS

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