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History & heritage tours

Rome: underground catacombs and crypts tour

Availability: Tuesday to Saturday (depending on season)
Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Language: English
Mobile voucher accepted
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Do this because
  • Step back in time in one of Rome's hidden treasures
  • Visit the best-preserved catacomb in Rome: the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla
  • Gape at the Capuchin Bone Crypt, a cemetery built from the bones of 4,000 friars
  • Travel with an elite catacomb guide
What to expect

Rome is a city that has built and rebuilt upon itself for thousands of years. Our Crypts, Bones & Catacombs tour is designed to take you deep down into the layers of Roman history, in order to uncover the spell-binding story of the city through the ages. We do so in the most dramatic way possible; by exploring the underground cemeteries and temples that once housed many of the city’s dead and its most mysterious cult, a guaranteed thrill for adults and children alike.

The tour starts in the city’s most interesting (and paradoxically one of the least-visited) catacomb, the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. This is where ancient Christians were buried when their religion was still outlawed and they were considered enemies of the state. The catacomb contains extraordinary frescoes, miles of creepy tunnels and the world’s oldest depiction of the Virgin Mary. Your expert, guide, hand-picked for knowledge of the catacombs, will lead your small group of 15 people or fewer through these wonderfully historic and atmospheric tunnels, while telling you the story of early Christianity. Large groups simply can’t fit into these areas, so take advantage of this truly unique access.

Next, you’ll head to one of the most singular and spine-tingling sights in Rome, the Capuchin bone crypt. The cemetery festooned with the bones and remains of some 4,000 Capuchin friars is a jaw-dropping display of life and death. Although it might appear macabre, you’ll learn why the monks actually consider the display life-affirming.

Finally, you’ll visit one of Rome’s hidden (literally) treasures. Basilica of Saint Nicola in Carcere is a voyage both below ground and back in time. It was built in the 10th century on the site of three temples dating back to the first century BC, which themselves were at the heart of an Ancient Roman fruit and vegetable market dating to the 4th century BC. Much of the original temples, including their marble columns, were built into the structure of the existing Basilica but left exposed, so when you visit today you can literally descend through the levels of time. In San Nicola in Carcere, the end point is the very center of 4th century BC. To get there, your group will descend through a crypt used in the 12th century for exorcisms, passing stacks of ancient human bone fragments. As you walk, your guide will tell stories from the Basilica's own fascinating history, including its stint as a Medieval prison.

With comfortable, air-conditioned transport throughout, and a small group of 15 people or fewer, your only responsibility is to immerse yourself in the thrills and wonder of underground Rome. Our expert guides have been hand-picked for this experience based on both their knowledge and love of history. They make the perfect escorts through our eeriest and most mysterious tour.

Sites Visited

  • Roman Catacombs
  • The Capuchin Crypt, A.K.A . ‘The Bone Chapel’
  • Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere
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What's included
  • Expert tour guide
  • Small groups of max 15 people
  • Professional driver
  • Transportation in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle
  • Admission to all sites
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
Reduced price
  • Infants (0-3): free (no reservation required)
  • Children (4-12): reduced price
Where

Piazza della Repubblica, 10, 00185 Roma RM, Italy

Meeting point:

Meeting Point: In Piazza Barberini, just by the fountain in the middle of the square.

Directions: If you are traveling by public transport there is a metro station that stops here called "Barberini," which is two stops west of Termini train station. The fountain in the center of the piazza is called the Triton Fountain, by Bernini, and the street that descends from it is Via del Tritone.

What to remember
  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
  • Sites on this itinerary include holy places, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. It is sufficient to bring extra coverings with you and put them on before our entrance to the holy areas.
  • Photography is not allowed in the sites visited on this tour, due to their religious nature.
  • Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments or strollers on our group tour.
  • Please note that the order of sites visited may change on the day of your tour.
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When

English Morning Tour:

  • Meeting Time: 8.45am
  • Departure Time: 9.00am

English Afternoon Tour:

  • Meeting Time: 1.45pm
  • Departure Time: 2.00pm
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Provider
Walks of Italy
Booking fee
Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.

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