How far in advance should I book my tour? Ironically, this was where they brought unidentified corpses to be identified until the 1800s. Although the Catacombs in Rome are most famous for Christian burials, Romans of all religions are buried in them as a result of overcrowded cemeteries. Items in your cart Read my reviews below to discover which Rome catacombs tour interests you the most. Explore the Christian underground catacombs of Rome, the multiple layers of the Basilica of San Clemente and the macabre Capuchin ‘Bone Chapel’. In order to understand how life was back in the day in this amazing Italian capital, you need to understand how it began, how it was lived, and how it ended – you won’t find this in a more startling form than in the Rome Catacombs. We do not recommend this tour if you are claustrophobic. Explore the eerie Capuchin Crypt aka 'Bone Chapel' - a unique burial site covered in the bones of 4,000 friars. By the Middle Ages the catacombs were no longer in use, and had virtually been forgotten. By the Middle Ages the catacombs were no longer in use, and had virtually been forgotten. Visit the most quiet and impressive of Rome's Catacombs in a small group - so you can hear your guide crystal clear. Discover ancient Rome with Big Bus Tours. All Rights Reserved. Rome: Guided Tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus 4.7 / 5 25 Reviews. Tours include minibus transfers from Piazza Venezia, both live commentary and an audio guide, and headsets for extra mobility. As he was on his way out of Rome, fleeing Nero’s persecution, Peter saw Christ and asked “, Read Our Free Guide to St Peter’s Basilica. Catacombs Rome Tour – Descend into subterranean Rome with Itertours. The Catacombs entrance ticket allows you to explore the underground of ancient Rome where the first Christians, victims of persecution, professed their beliefs and would bury their loved ones. Even as early as the 5th century BC, burials within the city walls were forbidden, so tombs were built on the outskirts of Rome. Look out for the painted cubiculum dating back to the 3. century AD, which is decorated with the pagan myth of Cupid and Psyche. Although the bones have all but disappeared, the tunnels can still be explored on a catacomb tour of Rome. You’ll get to see the burial practices and iconography which developed over time until it became less a refuge and more the preferred resting place of popes. Hundreds of thousands of Christians were buried in these catacombs, piled up on shelves with spaces for two or three bodies. The catacombs offer their own guided tours, but the quality is variable and in some cases you’ll get a sermon along with your tour – most of the guides are monks or priests. While some of the people buried here were recognised as early saints or martyrs, the vast majority of the burials were ordinary Christians. To get from one to an other, you can use the 3-days travel pass that allows you tu use free public transportation. 0. The special tour takes you to two ancient and historical Rome sites. The order grew and the museum offers a picture of the global impact of the order. As Rome was a flashpoint for the growth of Christianity, this is one of the best-preserved specimens of church reuse that you will ever see outside the Holy Land. The benefit is that you'll have a one-way airport transfer from Ciampino to Termini Station. Catacombs are definitely not for the claustrophobic – keep in mind that you’re walking through narrow, underground tunnels which were dug out by hand. Your Tour begins in Piazza Barberini where you will be greeted by your archaeologist guide at the fountain of Triton. If you’re planning to visit only one of the catacombs of Rome, the Callixtus catacomb is an excellent choice because they are among the most important and largest in the city. Burials were forbidden inside the walls of Rome as early as the fifth century BCE, so mazes of underground tunnels outside the city center were used to bury thousands of bodies back in the ancient and early Christian eras. For a more objective and in-depth tour of the catacombs, join our group tour of San Domitilla. While many Romans built elaborate tombs by the roadside, the Christians buried their dead in labyrinthine catacombs. There’s a statue of the saint as well one of the arrows that allegedly struck him, and part of the column which he was tied to during his martyrdom. Copyright © 2020 City Wonders Limited. Alternatively, for a simple lunch go to the Appian Way Café (Via Appia Antica 175), which is just after the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella. https://www.walksofitaly.com/rome-tours/rome-catacombs-tour Descend into the underground of Rome, where few have traveled before. Many saints were buried in the catacombs, although some of the most famous saints were later moved, such as St Cecilia. St Domitilla is open every day except Tuesday. The word “catacomb” was first used in relation to the catacombs of the Appian Way, and is believed to derive from Ancient Greek –, The catacombs were rediscovered in the 16, century by Antonio Bosio, who nearly ended up among the dead himself when he got lost in the never-ending tunnels of St Domitilla. See Rome's mysterious Catacombs on our Catacombs & Caracalla Circuit, exclusively available with our Deluxe Ticket. The crypt of St Sebastian no longer contains his body, but there’s a bust of the saint attributed to Bernini. For many visitors to Rome, a trip to the catacombs is one of the most moving and memorable parts of their holiday. As an important consular road connecting Rome with the south, the Appian Way was a popular spot for burials. Five of them are open to the public and easily accessible with a Catacombs of Rome tour. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the tour may be sold out. Opening hours: 9:00-12.00, 14.00-17.00. Begin your journey with Skip the Line Entrance to the Christian Catacombs, where generations of early Christians tunneled under the city to … These are your options for getting to the catacombs: Take the 118 bus. The catacombs are located on the Appian Way (Via Appia Antica). Tickets cost €8 and can be bought at the ticket office; advance booking via phone or email is for groups only. All transport is included on our Rome Catacombs Tour. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the catacombs became tourist attractions; visitors on the Grand Tour explored the catacombs by candlelight, captivated by their macabre atmosphere and the rumours of Christians hiding in the tunnels to escape persecution. These underground tunnels are a must-visit site for tourist to experience Rome’s rich history altogether. Check bus timetables or use a transport app such as Muoversi a Roma to avoid long waits for the bus. Rome Catacombs Tour & Appian Way Hello! This catacombs tour takes you outside of Rome during a 3-hour half day-trip, heading to the Basilica of Saint Sebastian and its Catacombs. Particularly impressive are a ceiling fresco of Christ and a richly decorated crypt known as “the room of the bakers”. According to legend this 9th century church was built on the spot where St Peter had a vision of Christ. Tickets cost €8 and can be bought online or at the ticket office. As you go deeper into the catacombs, the structures and monuments will become older, with some that are over 1,600 years old. The early Christians, of course, did not have the money to build such impressive tombs, so they were forced to bury their dead underground instead, beneath the land owned by Christians on the Appian Way. Above that is a fully functioning basilica from the 4th-century. It also contains interesting items such as instruments of flagellation and Caravaggio’s St. Francis painting. There are three catacombs along the Appian Way which can be visited on a Rome catacomb tour: The Catacombs of St Domitilla (Santa Domitilla) – the oldest and most extensive network of catacombs (though only a fraction is open to the public) and the only one with bones still on display There’s a bike hire place near the beginning of the Appian Way, located at the information point (Via Appia Antica 58). Christ replied that he was returning to Rome to be crucified again, giving Peter the courage to return to Rome himself. By continuing browsing this site, you agree to the use of cookies. You’ll visit three sites that explore Rome’s obsession with death. These tombs were originally part of an overground pagan graveyard; the burial chamber contains some remarkably well-preserved stucco decoration. In total there are four floors, more than twenty meters (60 ft) deep, with a network of nearly twenty kilometers (12 miles) of underground corridors. You’ll be seated in a private air-conditioned coach and driven to one of the many Christian Catacombs which are hidden around the city. The frescoes in the catacombs of St Domitilla were recently restored to stunning effect. This site uses cookies. Perhaps we can recommend something else, or offer you a suitable alternative, so please do get in touch! First, you’ll visit the hallowed catacombs where, beneath their persecutors’ feet, early Christians practiced their forbidden faith. While a visit to the Appian Way is worthwhile in itself – as you walk along the ancient cobblestones past vast tombstones and spectacular countryside you feel as though you’ve been transported back in time – a tour of the catacombs is undoubtedly the main highlight. The tunnels that are accessible today on catacomb tours are only a fraction of the total catacombs, which stretch for miles. The early Christians, of course, did not have the money to build such impressive tombs, so they were forced to bury their dead underground instead, beneath the land owned by Christians on the Appian Way. Explore the centuries-old Rome churches and burial sites of this ancient city. Start the tour by meeting your guide at the Basilica di San Clemente, where you'll visit a church dating back over 900 years. You can check our website for availability, or get in touch with our Customer Care Team directly. There aren’t many places to eat near the catacombs, so you may want to bring a packed lunch and picnic in the nearby park. St Callixtus is open every day. Then walk down the magnificent Via Appia Antica (Appian Way), one of the most important Roman roads, and possibly the oldest artery that still exists. Their bones were rearranged in an elaborate fashion to remind viewers that death cannot be escaped. And most catacombs tours in Rome also include other fascinating historic sites, such as the Aqueducts Park or the St. John in Lateran Basilica. Wander through an eerie network of tunnels below the city streets, once both a burial ground and worship site for Rome’s first Christians. Almost 2,000 … The catacombs were rediscovered in the 16th century by Antonio Bosio, who nearly ended up among the dead himself when he got lost in the never-ending tunnels of St Domitilla. It's easy to get lost amongst the narrow twists and turns of the Catacombs, which is why a guided tour is the perfect … Walking to the catacombs is recommended for keen walkers only, or people starting from a point fairly close to the catacombs, such as Circus Maximus or the Baths of Caracalla. Assuming you don’t have to wait for ages for the bus (not unheard of in Rome), this is your best option. It wasn’t until the 18. century that the catacombs became tourist attractions; visitors on the Grand Tour explored the catacombs by candlelight, captivated by their macabre atmosphere and the rumours of Christians hiding in the tunnels to escape persecution. Afterward, head to the Basilica of St. Clement. I’ve identified the 5 top-rated catacombs tours in Rome. He published a book called Roma Sotterranea (“Underground Rome”) which contained valuable information for future archaeologists as a guide to accessing the catacombs. There are many impressive examples of ancient art. He published a book called, St Domitilla contains some beautiful examples of pagan art too. Check here the conditions and see if the pass suits to your program in Rome! Don’t miss the church of Domine Quo Vadis, which is just across the road from the church of St Sebastian. St Sebastian is open every day except Sunday, and is closed in December. The catacombs of St Domitilla take their name from a Christian woman who was a member of the Flavian family. They remain one of the most popular attractions for visitors interested in early Christian history, or for those looking for a more unusual tour. The Church of Santa Maria della Concezioni dei Cappuccini is home to the museum of the Capuchins. Here is how we have overcome recent events and improved our tours. Even as early as the 5. century BC, burials within the city walls were forbidden, so tombs were built on the outskirts of Rome. The word “cemetery” comes from an Ancient Greek word which meant “place of rest”. From martyrs to farmers, hundreds of thousands of early Christians ended up in the catacombs, buried close together in a maze of underground tunnels beside the Appian Way. Make sure your shoulders are covered, and avoid shorts or short skirts. See the underground catacombs where Christianity took root, the pagan cults that churches were built on and the shrines dedicated to the afterlife which give Rome the nickname- the Eternal City. We are happy to accommodate all last-minute bookings - availability permitting. According to legend this 9, century church was built on the spot where St Peter had a vision of Christ. Today, some of them are open to the public for tours. Escape the noise and heat of Rome as you explore its cryptic past on the city’s longest running crypts and catacombs tour. Today, through a Roman Catacombs tour, we can peek into the past, a period between the 2nd-4th centuries when Rome was transitioning from a Pagan religion to Christianity. Not only is Rome rich in history on the surface but it also has a hidden side. Christian Rome and Catacombs Tour Guided Group Tour. Yes. The first location we will take you to is the church of the Immaculate Conception, as soon as you enter you will immediately discover a fascinating secret. Best Catacombs Tours In Rome Rome: Crypts & Catacombs Tour with Bone Chapel Visit Rome: Catacombs … As he was on his way out of Rome, fleeing Nero’s persecution, Peter saw Christ and asked “Lord, where are you going?” (“Domine quo vadis”). I have mild/moderate claustrophobia, is this tour claustrophobic? Visiting the Rome Catacombs is a must on any tour in Italy. Explore the centuries-old Rome churches and burial sites of this ancient city. Product ID: 390972. The church contains footprints in marble that are believed to be those of Christ. Look out for the paintings in Jonah’s cubicle and the vivid frescoes in the three mausolea. Walking along the Appian Way, you’ll see monumental tombs such as the Mausoleum of Cecilia Metella – a 1st century BC tomb resembling a decorated fortress, which was built to commemorate the daughter of a Roman Consul. Head beneath the Eternal City for a VIP tour of Rome’s Catacombs. Catacombs of Rome + Appian Way: The majority of catacombs accessible to the public are on the Appian Way. Covid-19 update: we are back! Discover how the monuments of death throw light on how people lived in Rome from your expert English-speaking archaeologist guide, Relax as a private climate-controlled bus coach takes you to each location, Access to the underground tour of the Christian Catacombs, A visit to the church and below ground levels of Basilica of San Clemente, Expert, English-speaking archaeologist guide, Catacombs of Domitilla, San Callisto or Santa Priscilla, All of our guides are experts in their field, We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation, We focus on the little details and anecdotes that make Dark Rome so special. Even if you arrive by other means, consider having a taxi number saved on your phone. Rome Catacombs. It’s a little way out of the centre, but while in Ancient Roman times it was considered to be outside of Rome, these days it’s very much part of the city. We go underground where it is 16°C (60°F for us Yankees) a great way to beat the heat when you want to avoid the cattle drive at the Vatican or burning alive in the Forum and Colosseum. Opening hours: 10.00-17.00. While the catacombs are walking distance – you’ll reach the catacombs of St Callixtus about 20 minutes after Porta San Sebastiano (the beginning of the Appian Way) – the first part of the road has no pavements, forcing you to walk right next to the cars. Cycling is a pleasant way to get to the catacombs; once you’ve visited the catacombs you can continue cycling along the Appian Way – a road which is mostly traffic-free on Sundays. See the underground catacombs where Christianity took root, the pagan cults that churches were built on and the shrines dedicated to the afterlife which give Rome the nickname- the Eternal City. Your cart is empty Follow in the footsteps of Ancient Romans as far back as 300B.C with a short stroll along the ancient Appian Way As Christian burial places, catacombs are considered sacred, so dress appropriately. Nine popes were buried here, and you can still see the original Greek inscriptions near the tombs. You'll pass the catacombs of St. Callixtus, St. Sebastian and Domitilla, and the ruins of the Caracalla Baths, with the opportunity to hop off … Developed during the time when Christians were persecuted, the catacombs served as both a burial place due to the soft volcanic rock and a place of worship because it was not wise to broadcast your faith at the time. There are some evocative Christian frescoes containing traditional symbols such as the fish, the dove and the phoenix. Bones have all but disappeared, the vast majority of catacombs accessible to the catacombs of Rome + Way! Five of them are open to the public for tours church which dates from the of. 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