Capuchin three monks
tour bus
interior of the Basilica San Matino ai Monti, Rome
Ancient Church visited in the crypts and catacombs tour
Skip the Line

The Original Crypts and Catacombs Tour

(4,205 Reviews)
3h 30min
09:50, 14:30

Explore the centuries-old Rome churches and burial sites of this ancient city. Our Crypts and Catacombs Tour brings you on a journey of some of the most iconic remains of that culture. See the underground catacombs where Christianity took root, the pagan cults that churches were built on and the shrines dedicated to the afterlife which give Rome the nickname- the Eternal City. You’ll visit three sites that explore Rome’s obsession with death.

  • Discover how the monuments of death throw light on how people lived in Rome from your expert English-speaking archaeologist guide and visit the Christian underground catacombs of Rome, the lesser-known history of the Basilica San Martino ai Monti
  • Experience an audio-guided tour of the macabre Capuchin ‘Bone Chapel’.
  • Relax as a private climate-controlled bus coach takes you to each location

Tour Description

What's Included

  • Access to the underground tour of the Christian Catacombs
  • Entrance ticket and audio guide to the Capuchin Crypt and Museum
  • Access to the Basilica San Martino ai Monti
  • Expert, English-speaking archaeologist guide
  • Transport in a climate-controlled bus
  • Gratuities

Sites Visited

  • Catacombs of Domitilla, San Callisto or Santa Priscilla
  • The Basilica of San Martino ai Monti
  • The Capuchin Crypt and Museum

Your Tour begins in Piazza Barberini where you will be greeted by your archaeologist guide at the fountain of Triton. Ironically, this was where they brought unidentified corpses to be identified until the 1800s.

Descend into the Catacombs of Rome

You’ll be seated in a private air-conditioned coach and driven to one of the many Christian Catacombs which are hidden around the city. Developed during the time when Christians were persecuted, the catacombs served as both a burial place due to the soft volcanic rock and a place of worship because it was not wise to broadcast your faith at the time. You’ll get to see the burial practices and iconography which developed over time until it became less a refuge and more the preferred resting place of popes.

Discover the Basilica of San Martino ai Monti

After you leave the Catacombs, your bus will take you to the Basilica of San Martino ai Monti. Sitting on the edge of the Oppian Hill, which overlooks the Colosseum, this 4th-century basilica was founded by Pope Sylvester I - it was originally devoted to all martyrs, but is now named for St. Martin. Small and not as well known as many of the other churches across the city, the basilica is still a beautiful part of Roman history that is just waiting to be discovered. It is a wonderful part of this tour, complete with the chance to see the preserved relics of three different saints: Paulina, Sisinnius and Artemis.

Come Face to Face with the Bones of the Dead

Experience an audio-guided tour of the Church of Santa Maria della Concezioni dei Cappuccini, home to the museum of the Capuchins. They were a 16th-century offshoot of the Franciscans who promoted an ascetic way of life to contrast the extravagance of the popes at the time. The order grew and the museum offers a picture of the global impact of the order. It also contains interesting items such as instruments of flagellation and Caravaggio’s St. Francis painting. The building is also home to the famed Capuchin Crypts where the bodies of 4000 friars were rehoused in the 17th-century. Their bones were rearranged in an elaborate fashion to remind viewers that death cannot be escaped.

This tour offers you a different outlook on the Eternal City and is one of our most popular tours of Rome.

Important Notes

  • Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. Knees, shoulders and backs must be covered. Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' access.

Cancelation Policy

This tour is subject to a 24-hour cancelation policy. If you wish to cancel or amend your booking, you can do so without charge by contacting us up to 24 hours in advance of your expected departure time.

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Get to Know Dark Rome

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A Dark Rome tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.

With Dark Rome it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.

  • All of our guides are experts in their field
  • We only hire fluent English-speakers so nothing is ever lost in translation
  • We focus on the little details and anecdotes that make Dark Rome so special