The Original Crypts and Catacombs of Rome Tour starts by meeting your expert historian guide in Piazza Barberini, beside the fountain of Triton. Interestingly, this piazza was used as the location for displaying human corpses which needed public identification up until the 1800s.
Explore the Sacred Christian Catacombs
From here you’ll be driven in our private climate-controlled bus to the extensive Christian Catacombs which were dug out of the ground over 2000 years ago. Your expert historian guide will explain how this network of sacred tunnels is associated with the first Christians in ancient Rome. You’ll descend into the labyrinthian corridors carved into the soft volcanic rock and discover the frescoes, strange iconography and burial places which doubled as places of worship when the Christians were persecuted.
Discover the Lesser Known History of Rome
When you exit the catacombs, your bus will take you back within the city walls to the Basilica of San Martino ai Monti. Near the edge of the Parco del Colle Oppio, this unassuming church dates back to the 4th century - it has been rebuilt over the years, but is filled with a great sense of history just waiting to be discovered. Stunning frescoes adorn the walls, from artists such as Pietro Testa, Matteo Riccione and Giannangiolo Canini. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see the preserved bodies of three saints - another way this tour opens up the city’s obsession with death. This basilica might be less well-known than others, but that doesn’t stop it being an important thread in the fabric of the Eternal City and its spectacular history.
Reflect on the Mortal World in the Capuchin Crypts
Your coach will then transport you to the Capuchin Museum. Here you will experience an audio-guided tour telling the story of the order based on the ascetic ideology of St. Francis, the museum contains Caravaggio’s painting of St. Francis and many artifacts from their history of creating altruistic projects around the world. At the rear of the museum are the unique Capuchin Crypts - the final resting place of 4000 Capuchin friars whose bones were used in the European tradition of Momento Mori – decorative features created to cultivate detachment from life in the viewer by reflecting on death and immortality.
This is just one of our popular tours of Rome which gives you a different perspective on the fascinating culture of the Eternal City.