You’ll never believe what lies beneath Rome until you see it for yourself on the original Crypts and Catacombs of Rome Tour. Go below and beyond to a time when Christianity was considered a cult, whose members were executed as heretics and buried as martyrs, as your guide leads you through the catacombs of Rome.
These long corridors house hundreds of burial chambers, from modest singles to extravagant family tombs. At San Clemente Basilica you’re in for some surprises.[readmore] As you go from the top layer, which is a 12th-century basilica, you’ll continue down through a huge 4th-century basilica, a 2nd-century sanctuary of the mysterious Mithraic cult and, finally, to ruins dating back to the reign of Nero and the Great Fire of 64 AD, replete with herringbone tiling and a working aqueduct.
The biggest surprise of this tour, however, and the one that will stay in your mind long after you have returned home, is the Capuchin Crypt. The recent addition of an official museum here means that our visit is preluded by an encounter with Caravaggio’s magnificent canvas ‘St. Francis in Meditation’ and relics from the life of St. Francis himself and some of his followers. But the real star of the show is the crypt itself, decorated in the bones of 4,000 Capuchin monks. Witness a real skull and cross bones, chandeliers made of vertebrae and the chilling words ‘What you are now, we once were. What we are now, you will be’. According to the monks this is a message of hope. We’ll let you be the judge of that.Lee mas
Unfortunately not wheel-chair accessible. A fair amount of walking, comfortable shoes are recommended
Entrance into the Vatican requires a strict dress code. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women
This tour involves a fair amount of walking, hills, and stairs; comfortable shoes are recommended
Explore Basilica San Clemente – a 12th century Basilica built over a 4th century Basilica, built on top of a 2nd century cult chapel which itself was built on a 1st century Roman street.