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Go underground to see Rome’s ancient catacombs and crypts on a 3.5-hour walking tour. Visit the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente with skip-the-line access, plus visit the Capuchin Crypt, where you’ll see a Caravaggio painting and marvel at a chapel made entirely out of human bones. Learn about past burial customs and secret Christian worship spots during this fascinating exploration into the history of Rome.

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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

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

Capuchin Bone Chapel, Rome

Your walking tour starts at Piazza Barberini, where you’ll meet your guide and walk over to the Capuchin Crypt at the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione. Begin your visit here at the crypt museum, home to St Francis in Meditation, a painting by Caravaggio, as well as other artifacts about Italy’s patron saint, St Francis. Then walk into the crypt, where you’ll find small chapels made entirely out of the bones of Capuchin monks. Learn about the history and significance of this unusual design aesthetic before returning to ground level to continue to your next stop.

While you walk along the Appian Way, one of Italy’s oldest roads, hear about its history, including the catacombs that make up nearly 186 miles (300 km) of underground tunnels. Learn how they were used as burial chambers by early Christians, as well as secret places to worship when Christianity was prohibited in Rome, as you enter one of the largest — the Domitilla Catacomb (Catacomb di Santa Domitilla) — with skip-the-line access. Head below ground with your guide to discover what lies beneath the Eternal City, including wall paintings and a 12th-century church.

Finally, visit the last site of your walking tour, Basilica of San Clemente, which is made up of three structures from the 12th centuries built on top of one another. Skip the entrance line outside and go straight in with your guide to take in the different eras of Roman history and see Renaissance frescoes and mosaics. Your tour ends here, where you may stay on your own to explore more, if you wish.

Customer Reviews

Brian d United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

We enjoyed this tour immensely. It was my wife who was keen that we go on the tour having seen the catacombs as a child. Any reservations I had about the entertainment value of such a tour were very quickly dispelled. We were broken into two groups and our two guides An American and an antipodean ! led their respective groups but also joined forces to give combined briefings once we were on the bus. They were both quite superb. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone who has done the headline tours and is looking for something a little different and definitely entertaining. Our guides were also an invaluable source of local knowledge on restaurants, bars and nightlife which was very helpful!!

claudiarojas486

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Our tour was amazing Thank you .....

Lisa M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Went with my two teenagers loved it worth every penny thank you

majorssloth

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This was by far the best thing I did while in Italy. From the earliest depiction of Mary and the baby Jesus, to the earliest recorded writing of the Italian vernacular we know today, this was a true walk through history. I loved it, and the tour guide was so amazing!

Catherine C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Amazing and tour our guide was knowledgeable.

Nat

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Great tour - the catacombs were an unusual site, coupled with the history and stories of the site made for a great tour. Visiting the Basilica of San Clemente provided a much deeper understanding of the layered history of Rome, being able to see layers of history before your very eyes is such an incredible experience and gave me a greater appreciation for a how far Rome dates back to, and b how little white history we have here in Australia of course, we do have 40- to 60,000 years of Indigenous history!
The Capuchin crypt museum was the definite highlight of this tour though - The story behind the beginnings of the Capuchins and their relocation to the current monastery, their belief in community, and dedication to those that came before them was particularly magic.

Gio United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Tour guide was amazing!! highly recommend it!!

Daniel P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Great tour and guide

Mark H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Spooky, creepy and fascinating, all in one!

Mark H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Spooky, creepy and fascinating, all in one!

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