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4.5 star rating: Recommended 1662 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!

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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 November 2015

A side of Rome you wouldn and #39;t normally see, our guide Karmina was amazing and certainly knew her stuff ! Highly recommend this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The guide was passionate about her work and the tour. She told us not to be afraid. She said that the monks were not on display to scare us but instead to remind us that life is short and to live life to the fullest!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

The was an excellent tour. I highly recommend it for those who are looking to experience a slightly different piece of Roman history.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Brilliant, everything I expected and more. Dimitri our tour guide was awesome, extremely knowledgeable and friendly and would happily take the tour again. Loved it!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Jon was an excellent guide. He was engaging and extremely knowledgeable. The tour could have been too creepy in parts if not for his enthusiasm and facts. Good job!
I have already told my family to take this tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Our guide was outstanding. Funny, well informed and very articulate.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

My wife really loved this tour which took her off the beaten path. Her tour guide was excellent and she felt this was the best tour of the 6 tours she went on while in Rome. Highly recommended if you have any interest what-so-ever in the Catacombs.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Had a great guide, well worth the money. It was my husband's wish to do this, I not so much. Our guide made it great.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Great tour and our guide was superb!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Absolutely fascinating, time well spent with knowledgable guides. Skipping the line and the guides insight made it a truly special event.

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Tour code: 3731CRYPTS


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