Walks of Italy

Walks of Italy
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Crypts, Bones & Catacombs

Key Details

  • City: Rome
  • Duration: 3hrs
  • Start Time: 2PM & 9AM

Tour Highlights

  • Visit the quietest and most impressive of Rome's Catacombs in a small group - so you can hear your guide!

  • See it for yourself: The eerie 'Bone Chapel', covered in the bones of 4,000 friars.

  • Discover just how deep the history of Rome goes at a multi-layered (multi-purpose!) Ancient Roman temple/prison/Basilica.
Rome catacombs Rome Catacombs Tour Dig a little deeper - explore Rome underground Includes luxury transport - and an expert guide See a real coat of arms at the Capuchin Crypt The skeletons of Franciscan monks, Capuchin Crypt

EXTENDED TOUR DESCRIPTION

VISIT THE BEST, LEAST-VISITED ROME CATACOMBS.

There are miles of ancient Christian Catacombs under Rome but most companies visit the same one. We go the extra distance to visit the best and quietest of the Rome catacombs, the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. One of Rome's first underground Christian cemeteries (dating back to 150 years before Christianity was legalized), this site has extraordinary ancient frescoes, eerie tunnels and the world's single oldest depiction of the Virgin Mary.

For such a unique and touching experience, we’re not going to hand you off to a guide you don’t know. Instead, our guides are chosen from the elite few who have permission to take you into the depths themselves, so you’ll keep your handpicked Walks of Italy tour guide and your small group of only 15 people or fewer, rather than merging with a group of 20 or 30. Anything bigger, and in the narrow tunnels, you can’t even hear your guide. Forget headsets, they don’t work underground.

WITNESS ROME’S STRANGEST SIGHT – A CRYPT LINED WITH THE BONES OF 4,000 MONKS.

The Roman catacombs are pretty cool but we visit another site that could be even better – the Capuchin bone crypt, a cemetery literally built from bones! The chambers are decorated with the remains of some 4,000 friars. For kids, it’s a fascinating lesson in anatomy and for adults, a moving reminder of what we’ll all become. The message at the end of crypt says it all: “What you are now, we once were. What we are now, you will be.” Strangely enough, the monks didn’t intend the site to be a morbid one – but you’ll learn all about that from your expert guide when you visit one of Rome’s most memorable sights.

STEP BACK IN TIME AT OUR ALTERNATE 'LASAGNE CHURCH'

This tour previously visited Basilica San Clemente but, as the crowds grew, the experience diminished. Today we've found a better 'lasagne church' (so-called for their many layers) with few, if any, tourists. Like Basilica San Clemente, our new spot, the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere, is a voyage both below ground and back in time, but this basilica is so much more historically important. It was built in the 10th century on the site of three temples dating back to the first century BC, which themselves were at the heart of an Ancient Roman fruit and vegetable market dating to the 4th century BC. Much of the original temples, including their marble columns, were built into the structure of the existing basilica but left exposed, so when you visit today you can literally descend through the levels of time.

Basilica San Clemente may boast the opportunity to see a street from the 1st century AD, but in San Nicola in Carcere, your end point is the very center of 3rd century BC Rome in the midst of three separate temples. To get there, you'll descend through a crypt used in the 12th century for exorcisms, passing stacks of ancient human bone fragments. As you walk your guide will tell you stories from the basilica's own fascinating history, including its stint as a Medieval prison. And best of all, Walks of Italy groups will likely have the place to themselves.

With comfortable, air-conditioned transport throughout, you won’t have to worry about coordinating metros, buses and private transport from one site to the next. On rare occasions, two groups may share a bus but at all the sites, small group sizes of only 15 people or fewer mean you can ask all the questions you can think of (great when traveling with curious kids). Our guides are handpicked not just for their knowledge, but also their enthusiasm and engagement, so they’ll be happy to answer any questions you can throw at them.

Take a walk with us as we peel back the many layers of Rome, uncovering secret stories of Christian persecution, strange religious practices and the multi-layered history of Rome.

Sites visited

  • One of the least-visited Roman Catacombs
  • The Capuchin Crypt, aka ‘The Bone Chapel’
  • Basilica San Nicola in Carcere

Included

  • Transport between sites in an air-conditioned minibus
  • Admission to all sites
  • Expert Walks of Italy tour guide
  • Small groups of 15 people or fewer

Reviews

5-stars from over 1329 Customer Reviews

Amazing!
Such a cool tour!! Kylie was a ton of fun, and it's so interesting to see the ossuary and the catacombs. Highly recommend!
Great tour. Guide was very good.

Important information

Before you travel, please read our important notes about possible disruptions & site entrance requirements

We advise our clients that San Nicola, which is the last site we visit, is subject to closure during special celebrations/festivities, including the Easter ceremonies. If this occurs during your visit, we will run an alternative itinerary including other sites. End point in this case may vary, however it will always be centrally located. We are unable to provide refunds or discounts.

Sites on this itinerary include holy places, and attire must be appropriate for the visit. Both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. Walks of Italy cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. It is sufficient to bring extra coverings with you and put them on before our entrance to the holy areas.

Photography is not allowed in the sites visited on this tour, due to their religious nature.

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Amazing!
Such a cool tour!! Kylie was a ton of fun, and it's so interesting to see the ossuary and the catacombs. Highly recommend!
Great tour. Guide was very good.
Melanie was a wonderful and knowledgeable guide, very charismatic and because of her we are more comfortable doing our adventures through guided tours, she changed our perspective completely!
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Kylie was a fantastic guide. Totally enjoyed her tour. Would recommend Kylie to my friends.
The guide was terrific....very knowledgeable, very articulate, entertaining in an academic way, friendly, etc ....just a great job!
Kylie was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the history and religion surrounding the crypts. Really enjoyed the tour!
This tour was great. I didn't know what to expect beforehand but it was very fascinating. Our tour guide Shannon was absolutely brilliant. She had exceptional knowledge and was very enthusiastic! She allowed plenty of opportunities for questions and was very friendly. There was a young boy on our tour who was very engaged in the tour. Occasionally this boiled over into him interrupting Shannon to ask questions whilst she was talking. Not once did this seem to bother Shannon who handled him excellently.
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Shannon was a great guide, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We will definitely consider using Walks of Italy again should we return!
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Kylie was our most wonderful guide!! So knowledgeable and really encouraged questions. We were most satisfied!!!
Melanie was GREAT!!! The four of us enjoyed the tour and her. Highly recommend it.
Very knowledgeable and pleasant guide. Funny and inspired guiding.
Melanie was a fantastic tour guide. This was a very fascinating tour. We started by going to the Bone Chapel at the Capuchin Convent to see the crypts that have been decorated with bones. We're very glad that we visited the crypts as a part of a tour as Melanie told us about the history of the crypts. Then we headed out to the Domatilla catacombs. I'm glad we also toured the catacombs as a part of a tour as Melanie told us about the history of the catacombs. We had also previously visited the catacombs n Paris so it was interesting to see how these catacombs are very different from those in Paris. I would highly recommend this tour.
We did 4 tours with Walks of Italy all of theme were excellent with guides that were well versed and passionate regarding on the subject.
Our tour was rearranged and cut short due to protests in Rome. The guide was excellent and handled it well. The company made amends and I am very satisfied with them. This was our second tour with Walks of Italy and both times, our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting.
Melanie is brilliant! To bad that a demonstration delayed the programme. Priscilla was cancelled. Domitilla was a good alternative however.
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We really enjoyed our tour...finding Amy very knowledgeable and engaging. Timings worked well and it was great to see all that we did within the tour time period.
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Melanie was an amazing guide. Thoughtful, engaging, funny, and articulate. We so thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Melanie that we ended up going on two additional Walks of Italy tours in Florence and Venice.
Good job overall. Thank you. We will use your service again in the future and we will recommend to other travelers to Roma. Thank you again.
Shannon is an excellent guide and she imparts her information with such enthusiasm. She gave us a very memorable experience during our visit to Rome. She could not have been better. Thank you Shannon.
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A great guide...not your fault but would have been really nice to have seen the last church with lights on but the power issues made it a little gloomy. Amy was lovely, knowledgeable and enthusiastic
This was a great tour and quite enjoyable. The only thing I wish, if they would have allowed pictures in the catacombs. But I do understand why they do not.
Julia was an absolutely brilliant guide, she gave lots of information but was always easy to enjoy. Really loved the tour!
Andrea was nice and professional,
Andrea was a great, knowledgeable, friendly guide. Will definitely recommend Walks to others. Had a good experience from beginning to end! Thank you!
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Excellent tour and very informative with a super friendly and lovely guide. Thanks for the great experience
Very good tour! Nice tour guide! Andrea was his name I think! Funny, pleasant, knew a lot about the sites. Would definitely recommend.
Very interesting. Lots of information from a knowledgeable guide.
The guide was wonderful, enthusiastic and felt like an expert in this tour.
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We loved it - the best tour of our whole trip to Rome, and our guide was gracious and wonderful -
We all really enjoyed this tour and the knowledge and presentation of our guide. This was excellent! Thanks so much!
Hello! I like travel very much and usually take the excursions that interest me the most........this time i got interested in seeing whats under Rome.......because city is very old it has rich history and many layers of history........i am happy that i took this tour....both-me and my mom had great time and expanded our knowledge about history :))
Excellent guides employed by Walks of Italy. Thoroughly enjoyed all three tours.
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Excellent tour and our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and the subjects
I already gave our feedback about the unfortunate issue with the 3rd stop and I had a response from customer service. Thanks.