Crypts, Bones & Catacombs: An Underground Tour of Rome

1953 reviews

3 hrs

Max 18

Why take this tour?

This journey through the underground world of Christian Rome is fascinating, awe-inspiring, and at times, downright bizarre. From the Capuchin Bone Chapel, decorated with the remains of 4,000 dead monks; to churches built atop ancient temples; and catacombs that once contained thousands of dead Christians: it's an experience guaranteed to thrill young and old alike.

Highlights

  • Created with Sketch.Uncover the history behind Rome's 'City of the Dead'
  • Created with Sketch.Visit the Capuchin Crypt, nicknamed "The Bone Chapel"
  • Created with Sketch.Journey through Rome's labyrinth of catacombs and hear stories of the people buried there long ago
  • Created with Sketch.Travel around the city via private, air-conditioned transport to and from sites

Take a walk through Rome's underground cemeteries

There is as much history lurking beneath the streets of Rome as there is towering above it. On this tour we take you into its eerie, exciting, and strange netherworld to show you the most impressive sights.

We start at one of Rome's most off-beat and macabre attractions, the Capuchin Crypt, nicknamed "The Bone Chapel". These burial chambers for the Capuchin order of monks are literally decorated with the bones and mummified remains of some 4,000 dead monks. Although it may seem pretty creepy, your expert local tour guide will explain the world view of the Capuchins and by the end of your visit you'll understand why the monks have chosen such a unique (non)burial method.

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There is as much history lurking beneath the streets of Rome as there is towering above it. On this tour we take you into its eerie, exciting, and strange netherworld to show you the most impressive sights.

We start at one of Rome's most off-beat and macabre attractions, the Capuchin Crypt, nicknamed "The Bone Chapel". These burial chambers for the Capuchin order of monks are literally decorated with the bones and mummified remains of some 4,000 dead monks. Although it may seem pretty creepy, your expert local tour guide will explain the world view of the Capuchins and by the end of your visit you'll understand why the monks have chosen such a unique (non)burial method.

Next, you'll head back to the early days of Christianity by stepping into one of Rome's catacombs, where the first Roman Christians buried their dead. The catacombs we visit for your tour will change depending on the day, but regardless of where we go, you'll be able to see ancient frescos, inscriptions carved into the walls, and the remains of mausoleums as you learn why these enormous cemeteries came to prominence for ancient Christians.

Your final stop is the Case Romane del Celio, an underground excavation of the 3rd-century villa of a wealthy patrician family who had the walls frescoed by some of the finest artists of the day. These lavish decorations have survived with astounding clarity and color, meaning you can still see the decorative figures, tricks of perspective, ceiling moldings and floor tiles.

Although this tour moves all over the city, we take care of transportation with private, air conditioned transport; so all you have to do is relax and soak in the incredible sites of underground Rome. As you drive, your guide will regale you with extra context, helping you get the most from these usually indecipherable sights.

  • Sites Visited
  • The Capuchin Crypt aka ‘The Bone Chapel’
  • San Sebastiano Catacombs
  • Case Romane del Celio
  • Tour Includes
  • Transport between sites in an air-conditioned minibus
  • Admission to all sites
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups of 18 people or fewer
Explore the dark underground of Rome's Catacombs
Our guides accompany you with information and stories
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1953


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Latest Reviews

Excellent tour guide! Enjoyed it very much!


FAQ

IMPORTANT: What should I wear?
The Capuchin Crypt is a holy place so 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 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.
Can I take pictures at the sites visited on the Crypts and Catacombs tour?
Taking pictures in the Cappuchin Crypt is strictly prohibited because the monks do not want their dead being photographed. In the Catacombs, pictures are allowed but you are not allowed to shoot any frescoes with flash photography because of the effect that flash has on the paint. Finally, it's totally fine to take photos in San Nicola in Carcere.
I'm claustrophobic, will I be okay on this tour?
The Roman Catacombs are composed of narrow passagways that run deep underground. These can definitely cause problems for people who suffer from claustrophobia.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible?
No. Unfortunately, due to site restrictions we cannot accommodate wheelchairs on this tour. If you use a wheelchair and book this tour by accident, we are happy to offer you credit for a future tour that is wheelchair accessible anywhere in the world, or a full refund.
Am I guaranteed to visit all three sites on this tour?
Although it is very rare, we advise our clients that San Nicola, which is the last site we visit, is subject to closure during special celebrations/festivities, including the Easter ceremonies. If this occurs during your visit, we will run an alternative itinerary including other sites of equal value. End point in this case may vary, however it will always be centrally located. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts for this particular substitution.