3-Hour Crypts, Bones & Catacombs - An Underground Tour of Rome - Escorted Day Tour
This journey through the underground world of Christian Rome is fascinating, awe-inspiring, and at times, downright bizarre. From the Capuchin Bone Chapel, decorated with the remains of 4,000 dead monks; to churches built atop ancient temples; and catacombs that once contained thousands of dead Christians: It's an experience guaranteed to thrill young and old alike.
There is as much history lurking beneath the streets of Rome as there is towering above it. On this tour we take you into this eerie, exciting, and occasionally very strange netherworld to show you its most impressive sights.
We start at one of Rome's most off-beat and macabre attractions, the Capuchin Crypt, nicknamed "The Bone Chapel". These burial chambers for the Capuchin order of monks are literally decorated with the bones and mummified remains of some 4,000 dead monks. Although it may seem pretty creepy, your expert local tour guide will explain the world view of the Capuchins and by the end of your visit you'll understand why the monks have chosen such a unique (non)burial method.
Next, you'll head back to the early days of Christianity by stepping into one of Rome's catacombs, where the first Roman Christians buried their dead. The catacombs we visit for your tour will change depending on the day, but regardless of where we go, you'll be able to see ancient frescos, incriptions carved into the walls, and the remains of mausoleums as you learn why these enormous cemeteries came to prominence for ancient Christians.
Your final stop is one of Rome's most unique churches, San Nicola in Carcere. With this particular basilica, it's not about stained glass or architecture though. As one of Rome's fascinating 'lasagne churches', San Nicola in Carcere is noteworthy for what's below it. After a guard unlocks a door below the altar you'll descend through a 12th-century crypt used for for exorcisms and into the ruins of three separate temples dating back to the 3rd century BC. There are few places where the different layers of Roman history are presented so clearly.
*N.B.: From March 1st, 2019, this tour will take you to the Case Romane del Celio, instead of San Nicola in Carcere. The Case Romane is the underground excavation of the 3rd-century villa of a wealthy patrician family who had the walls frescoed by some of the finest artists of the day. These lavish decorations have survived with astounding clarity and color, meaning you can still see the decorative figures, tricks of perspective, ceiling moldings and floor tiles. *
Although this tour moves all over the city, we take care of transportation with a private, air conditioned transport; so all you have to do is relax and soak in three incredible sites of underground Rome. As you drive your guide will regale you with extra context, helping you get the most from these usually indeciph
0 nights from $82 per person
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one
of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded
in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always
been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art
flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman
legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then
swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world.
With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious
parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is
one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous
monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine
the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between
muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial
center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures
as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di
Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent
church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short,
precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and
do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching
and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left
in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles,
designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and
ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority
of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente,
open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety
of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria,
you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by
wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much
time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what
to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work
all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the
sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio
Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as
a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include
a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring
theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient
Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy
of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one
of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a
coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini
is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades
topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square.
In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most
magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was
buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante,
Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled
masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy
over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days.
As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded
itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow.
It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on
exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely
you may have to wait in line to enter.
Valid Travel Dates
- 3 hour escorted tour
- Transport between sites in an air-conditioned bus
- Admission to all sites
- Expert Local Guide
- Small group of no more than 18 people
- The Capuchin Crypt aka 'The Bone Chapel'
- The Catacomb of Santa Priscilla
- Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere
Note: This is a DAY TOUR with no hotel accommodations included. Price may vary by date of travel and currency rate fluctuations; please inquire for the best prices for your preferred travel dates.
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563 SW 13th Street
Bend, OR 97702
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