Go underground to see Rome’s ancient catacombs and crypts on a half-day tour. Visit the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente with skip-the-line access, plus visit the Capuchin Crypt, where you’ll see a Caravaggio painting and marvel at a chapel made entirely out of human bones. Learn about past burial customs and secret Christian worship spots during this fascinating exploration into the history of Rome.
See Caravaggio’s St Francis in Meditation painting in the Capuchin Crypt Museum
Learn about the Capuchin monks who used human bones to build and decorate their crypt
Visit the Domitilla Catacombs underneath the Appian Way
Explore the Basilica of San Clemente and see Rome’s history displayed through layers of architecture
Why Travelers Choose This Tour
Visit the Capuchin crypt and two lesser-known gems—all with priority access.
Your walking tour starts at Piazza Barberini, where you’ll meet your guide and board and air-conditioned coach to the Christian Catacombs.
Hear about the history of the Appian Way, including the catacombs that make up nearly 186 miles (300 km) of underground tunnels. Learn how they were used as burial chambers by early Christians, as well as secret places to worship when Christianity was prohibited in Rome, as you enter one of the largest — the Domitilla Catacomb (Catacomb di Santa Domitilla) — with skip-the-line access. Head below ground with your guide to discover what lies beneath the Eternal City, including wall paintings and a 12th-century church.
Next, your coach will take you to Basilica of San Clemente, which is made up of three structures from the last 2000 years built on top of one another. Skip the entrance line outside and go straight in with your guide to take in the different eras of Roman history and see Renaissance frescoes and mosaics.
End your tour at the Capuchin Crypt at the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione. First see the crypt museum, home to St Francis in Meditation, a painting by Caravaggio, as well as other artifacts about Italy’s patron saint, St Francis. Then walk into the crypt, where you’ll find small chapels made entirely out of the bones of Capuchin monks. Learn about the history and significance of this unusual design aesthetic before returning to ground level. Your tour ends here, where you may stay on your own to explore more, if you wish.
Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Escape the noise and heat of Rome as you explore its cryptic past on the city’s longest running crypts and catacombs tour. Beat the heat with air-conditioned travel and Skip-the-Line access directly down into cool, shadowed spaces that hide layer upon layer of history.
First, you’ll visit the hallowed catacombs where, beneath their persecutors’ feet, early Christians practiced their forbidden faith. Almost 2,000 years ago, this secret network of tunnels doubled as a place of worship and burial ground. As you explore tombs carved out of solid rock, your guide – a local, expert English-speaker – will relate the fascinating history of this sacred spot.
From here, the coach will whisk you within sight of the Colosseum, to the Basilica of San Clemente. To descend below this structure is to move backwards through time. You’ll travel through the remains of 12th and 4th century basilicas, a 2nd century cult temple and ruins dating as far back as AD 64, when Emperor Nero watched the city burn. Incredibly, the ruins include an aqueduct that still works, after lying buried for centuries.
Your final destination is the Capuchin Crypt. Capuchin monks used the bones of nearly 4,000 of their brothers to decorate this somber space in intricate floor-to-ceiling designs, lending it the macabre nickname of ‘the Bone Chapel’. Your guide will tell you the theories, but it’s up to you to draw your own conclusions about the meaning of the crypt’s robed skeletons and vertebrae chandeliers.
Open your eyes to the city’s hidden side – and you’ll never see Rome the same way again.
It was an amazing tour. So much history. We had a small group so it went by easy. Andrea was very knowledgeable and answered our questions. Will refer friends to this tour if they decide to visit Rome one of these days.
This tour was so interesting. Would highly recommend it. We felt very privileged to be able to visit the crypts and catacombs, so much history and mystery. Our tour guide Serena was very enthusiastic explained everything perfectly.
A good tour that scratches the surface of three different sites. Felt a little rushed at each location. Walked by many seemingly interesting spots that were passed over for discussion. Shawn (guide) was entertaining and friendly.
An excellent afternoon and highly recommended! Serena was knowledgeable, funny, informative and just brilliant. We saw some fascinating things, that we'd never have found without the tour and it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Really good trip. Inti, our guide, was passionate and very well informed. We went in a small group of 7 which was great. Visited the Catacombs of Domitilla, Basilica of San Clemente right down to the Mithraic temple and old Roman streets and for the finale on to the Capuchin Crypt. We learned so much on this tour. Can definitely reccomend.
This was a fantastic trip, most of which was spent underground. Really informative guides (one man/one woman) and we descended into the crypts and catacombs. The entire trip was fantastic but the unexpected highlight for me was the Basilica of San Clemente. Well worth the visit, all of it.
Very cool. We chose this tour since it ran on the afternoon on the day after our arrival. Perfect way to start getting over jet lag. It was fun, informative, and just the right amount of activity. Highly recommend at the beginning of a trip to Rome from overseas.
This tour was so much more than we expected. Andrea was a wealth of information. He was so knowledgeable and we could see how much he enjoyed imparting that information to us. Each part of the tour built on the next. We learned a great deal and enjoyed every minute of the tour.