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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 4th-century church.

Finally, visit the last site of your walking tour, Basilica of San Clemente, which is made up of three structures from the 2nd, 4th and 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

Anthony B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Really enjoyed this tour, seeing and understanding a different side of Rome. Our guide Andy really added to the experience and would recommend anyone doing this trip for something different.

Melvyn B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was lead by an excellent and knowledgeable tour guide named Katerina. The tour itself held our attention completely it was fascinating and spellbinding with the type of history that was presented.

Minoanprincess United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great background information about the religious order, the capuchines . As is the norm, they aske to respect the religious sites by covering up knees and shoulder. To my surprise, several group members came dressed u appropriately. And they ask not to take pictures. But also this request was not respected. As a result, his camera was taken and the pictures of course deleted. The churches and catacombs visit was amazing. The guide was very patient and knowledgable. Would recommend. Hopefully people will be informed of the regulations when booking and respect them.

Grace

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Barbara was an excellent guide, enthusiastic and very informative and entertaining. Her history lesson about the Franciscans and Capuchins was great! The crypts and catacombs were fascinating.

Grace

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Barbara was an excellent guide, enthusiastic and very informative and entertaining. Her history lesson about the Franciscans and Capuchins was great! The crypts and catacombs were fascinating.

Judith D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Another excellent tour by City Wonders and once again I had the fabulous Rebecca as my guide. We started at the Capuchin crypts and who would have thought that bones could be used so creatively. We continued on to the Catacombs of Domitilla and then the church of San Clemente. At every stage Rebecca's commentary was interesting and enthusiastic. If you want to see a different, underground side of Rome then this tour is a must.

Chantelle B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great guide, very informative and an overall great experience

grubby5

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Our tour guide Andy was awesome. Very friendly and informative. Highly recommended!!! Ask for Andy-

Marilyn M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great guide very knowledgeable

Corinne T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour guide, fascinating tour, lots of history and interesting facts. Another tick off our ' bucket list' !!

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