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Rome Underground Crypts: Tickets & Tours Rome Catacombs

Rome catacombs

Outside the old city center are dozens of underground cemeteries and crypts, or the Catacombs of Rome. You can visit six catacombs, like the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, Saint Sebastian, Domotilla and the Catacombe di Priscilla.

The Rome catacombs, the underground cemeteries

The city of Rome has a lot of history and culture, including the famous Catacombs of Rome. More than 40 different complexes of catacombs and crypts are scattered beneath the surface of the ancient city of Rome. For many years, these Rome underground cemeteries have served as final resting places for Christians and other believers. The Rome catacombs can be described as a huge network of underground tunnels and burial chambers that were used for centuries to bury the deceased. Most of these cemeteries originally served as family tombs for wealthy Romans, but it was mainly the Christians who made the catacombs famous. The early Christians used the catacombs as sacred places. Today, the catacombs give us a special insight into how what people believed back then.

Catacombs of Saint CallixtuEntrance of the Catacombs of Saint Callixtu(San-Calisto)
Catacombe di San SebastianoCatacombs on the Via Appia near Basilica di San Sebastiano

History of Rome catacombs

These Rome underground cemeteries go back about 1,800 years ago. At first the catacombs were used to bury relatives, but later - when Christianity became more important - the catacombs were considered a special place for Christians. It was a place where Christians gathered to pray. On the inside of most catacombs there are beautiful paintings and texts that show what people believed and what life used to be like. In Rome there are many, even more than 40 Rome catacombs. Each catacomb has its own story and history. Some catacombs originally functioned as family tombs, while others were later used by Christians as holy places.

Visit Catacombs of Rome

Only 6 catacombs in Rome are open to the public, always with a mandatory guided tour. Some Rome catacombs where travelers can go to learn more about the distant past are the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian, the Catacombs of Domitilla, the Catacombs of Priscilla and the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter. During this underground tour through the narrow tunnels and chambers you will see numerous drawings and symbols about the lives and beliefs of the people who were buried there.

Rome Catacomb Tours

Catacombs close to Via Appia

1. Catacombs of Saint Callixtus (San Calisto)

  • Address: Via Appia Antica, 110/126
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)
  • Tip: Not sure which catacombs to visit for the first time? Then it is best to visit these catacombs of San-Calisto and combine this with the Via Appia.

One of the most famous and unique catacombs in Rome are these of Saint Callixtus (San Callisto) located on the Via Appia. This catacomb is named after Pope Calixtus I. It is a catacomb with thousands of graves, including those of various popes and martyrs from the past. In the tunnels and chambers you can read frescoes and inscriptions where you can learn more about Christianity and the spiritual life of the period. This catacomb is considered a sacred place where early Christians gathered to honor their faith. If you want to visit a catacomb in Rome for the first time, this is the best choice to start with.

2. Catacombs of Saint Sebastian

  • Address: Via Appia Antica, 136
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)

The Catacomb of Saint Sebastian (or Catacombe di San Sebastiano) is named after the Christian martyr Saint Sebastian. It is one of the oldest catacombs in Rome with unique architectural features and is located on the Via Appia. A basilica has been built on top of the catacombs of Saint Sebastian. The Catacomb of Saint Sebastian used to be a sacred place for worship and prayer. This catacomb has a special significance because Saint Sebastian became an important symbol of courage and faith during the Roman period.

3. Catacombs of Domitilla

  • Address: Via delle Sette Chiese, 282
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)

In the Catacomb of Domitilla you will find numerous chambers and tunnels that once served as resting places for members of the Emperor's family and other prominent Romans. The Catacomb of Domitilla is known for its frescoes and sculptures in different styles. There is also an underground basilica that used to be used for liturgical celebrations. Many people used to gather in these Rome catacombs to pray, but also to celebrate their faith extensively.

Other catacombs in Rome

4. Catacombs of Priscilla

  • Address: Via Salaria, 430
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)

The Catacomb of Priscilla is known worldwide for its beautiful frescoes, ranging from Biblical pieces to portraits of saints. This catacomb is named after a noblewoman named Priscilla. Priscilla may have played an important role in the Christian community of the time. In addition to burial chambers, this catacomb also contains a cubic space, also known as the 'Cappella dei Sacramenti'. The frescoes in the Catacomb of Priscilla offer more insight into how the faith was portrayed and celebrated in the past.

5. Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter

  • Address: Via Casilina
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)

The Catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter, also known as Catacombe ad Duas Lauros, was specially designed and built in the name of Saints Marcellinus and Peter. This Catacomb of Marcellinus and Peter is popular for its well-preserved frescoes with Biblical inscriptions and Christian symbols.

6. Catacombs of St. Agnes

  • Address: Via Nomentana, 349
  • Tickets: from 15 euros, but can only be visited with a guided tour (book your tour)

The catacombs are named after Saint Agnes, a young Christian martyr who died in AD 304. She is often depicted with a lamb as a symbol of her innocence. Her tomb and the spaces around it in the Catacomb of St. Agnes are important pilgrimage sites for Christians. The catacombs consist of a complex network of underground passages and chambers carved into the soft tuff beneath Rome. They contained burial chambers (cubicula), niches in which bodies were placed, and sometimes frescoes and inscriptions commemorating the deceased.

Organized tours of underground Rome

You can choose to visit only one catacomb, but there are also several tours that visit several underground locations in Rome. A guide can share interesting stories, explain details and guide you through the tunnels and chambers. In this way you ensure an unforgettable, more profound and fascinating experience.

Video: Hidden History of the Catacombs of Rome

 


Where are the Catacombs in Rome?

Catacombs of Rome
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