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 excavation 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 San Nicola in Carcere, is a voyage both below ground and back in time, but this basilica is so much more historically important. 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. 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:
The Capuchin Crypt, A.K.A . ‘The Bone Chapel’
San Nicola in Carcere
Note: As of 1st March 2019, the tour will no longer include a visit of San Nicola in Carcere. Instead, this tour ends by taking you down into the Case Romane to gape at the extraordinary frescoes that adorn the walls and see the relics of Roman life that were unearthed in these very rooms. With an expert guide to help you decipher everything you see, you’ll feel as if you have stepped back 2,000 years into the height of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known.