About The Crypts & Catacombs Tour Of Rome:
- Additional details are summarised at the bottom of this description.
This small group tour provides a brief yet intimate introduction to the story of Christianity in Rome. Starting outside the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione, you'll meet a professional historian guide who for the next three and a half hours will reveal fascinating tales of faith, strife and dedication.
The journey begins on Piazza Barberini, where you'll meet your guide and fellow tour goers. After a brief introduction it's onto the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione, site of the famous Capuchin Crypts. You'll start in the crypt museum, home to Caravaggio's St Francis in Meditation, as well as other artefacts relating to St. Francis of Assisi.
The crypt itself is composed of six chambers each elaborately decorated with the bones of hundreds of deceased friars (except the mass chapel). Learn about the history of the order, its beliefs, and how their distinctive outlook on life influenced the creation of the ossuary.
Catacombs of Domitilla:
After leaving the crypts you'll take a walk down the Appian Way towards the lesser-visited Catacombs of Domitilla. This underground burial complex is the oldest of its kind in Rome. It contains thousands of tombs, over 17 kilometres of passageways, and incredible works of art that represent the transition from paganism to Christianity. Recent discoveries made in 2017 also depict slices of everyday life and scenes from the bible.
During your visit the guide point out and explain the significance behind the many frescoes, reliefs and inscriptions. Bare in mind that some passageways are quite dim and narrow, so all visitors should tread carefully throughout the tour. That said, many of the burial alcoves are now lit to give people an unrestricted view of their decorations.
Another highlight unique to Domitilla is its subterranean 4th-century basilica, which you'll explore before moving onto the next stage of the tour.
Basilica of San Clemente:
The Basilica of San Clemente as it stands today is a medieval building constructed during the 11th century. It's dedicated to Pope Clement I, a 1st century Christian saint and one of the earliest bishops of Rome. This was a time when Christians where still widely persecuted throughout the Roman Empire. For context, Christianity didn't achieve legitimacy until the mid-4th century with the deathbed conversion of Constantine I. Clement himself was said to have been imprisoned by Trajan and eventually drowned at sea.
Evidence of the dangers faced will come to light as you proceed with your guide into the underground sections of San Clemente. You'll find yourself amongst the remains of a 4th-century basilica, which itself sits atop two ancient villas, one from the 1st century and another from the Republican era. Archaeological evidence shows that part of the newer of the two homes served as a clandestine church for early worshippers.
- April 1 - November 17, 2019 | Daily.
- November 20 - December 29, 2019 | Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun.
schedule Departure Time:
place Departure Point:
- Piazza Barberini next to Fontana del Tritone.
- Approximately 3.5-Hours.
- Unfortunately the areas visited on this tour are not accessible to wheelchair users.
- Participants who suffer from claustrophobia should be weary of the enclosed spaces.
- Participants should have at least a moderate level of physical fitness.