Catacombs Tour

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The Rome catacombs, also known as the Le Catacombe di Roma, are some of the oldest and most interesting sites in the city. Exploring the roman crypts that lie far beneath the earth is an exhilarating experience that you will not soon forget. While some may find it a bit spooky, the Rome catacombs are a vital part of not only the history of Rome but also the history of Christianity itself.  


The Catacombe di Roma were used by the early Christians as a place to keep their dead loved ones. Rome’s common practice of disposing of dead bodies was to use a funeral pyre, this burning of the dead meant there was no need for space to store the deceased bodies. Because the Christian religion instructed that bodies be kept whole, a demand for space was created. 


The labyrinthian tunnels of Rome’s catacombs stretch for miles and were used for more than two hundred years by the early Christians. The catacombs of Rome are connected to churches some were named after saints like San Sebastiano Catacombs and the Catacombe di San Calisto. Others like Priscilla Catacombs and Domitilla Catacombs were named after the wealthy landowners who used their land for burying the dead.


Because of Roman law at the time, the dead had to be laid to rest outside of the city center. That is why most Rome catacombs tours include time spent in the Appian Way, the famous ancient Roman road. A catacombs tour in Rome is an ideal way to get out of the crowded city center and enjoy a peaceful day with your local guide.


Unlike the winding tunnels of Rome’s catacombs that are dug into the earth, the Roman crypts are more like an underground vault. One of the most famous crypts of Rome is the Capuchin Crypt near Piazza Barberini. The Vatican Necropolis is also a popular attraction with a wait list that can take months.


Exploring the Catacombe di Roma with a local guide is the ideal way to spend a day outside of Rome’s crowded city center. There many types of Rome Catacombs Tours to choose from. So whether you want to visit the Vatican Necropolis or the Capuchin Crypt, we’ve got you covered:

  • Rome Crypts and Catacombs Tour: Get ready for a day spent outside the hustle and bustle of Rome’s city center as you make your way to the San Callisto Catacombs of Rome. Set in a beautiful green space, you may even see some sheep grazing in the fields. San Callisto is home to the Crypt of the Popes which contains the tombs of popes from the 2nd until the 4th century. This crypt was well known at the time because this is when Rome catacombs were at the peak of their use.
  • Vatican Necropolis Tour: One of the best kept secrets of Rome is the Vatican Necropolis located under Saint Peter’s Basilica. You will visit the alleged tomb of St. Peter and other famous historical figures. Your Vatican Necropolis guide will lead you 5 floors beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica to walk amongst graves and mausoleums. Tickets are few and far between so make sure to book this tour in advance.
  • Capuchin Crypt and Rome Catacombs Tour: Explore the eerie decor at the Capuchin Crypts and read the message that monks left for visitors. Then hop in the air-conditioned van and listen to your guide set the scene as you drive out of the city center. Enjoy the fresh air and explore the church as you wait to descend into the San Sebastiano Catacombs.
  • Rome Catacombs and the Appian Way: This tour will allow you to spend a beautiful day on the Appia Antica, Rome’s most ancient road. Not only will you get to follow in the footsteps of ancient Romans but you will also explore the underground burial tunnels during the Rome Catacomb tour.

Visitor Highlights

Exploring the catacombs of Rome is a great way to get off the beaten path. All of Rome’s catacombs are outside of the city center and are particularly less crowded than other attractions. Here are just a few of the things you can expect when visiting one of the many catacombs in Rome:

  • Getting that cold shock of air that hits your face as you walk down the steep steps into the San Callisto Catacomb.
  • The building excitement and anticipation that takes over when you are about to enter the Vatican Necropolis. The tickets are so limited that some travelers plan their entire trip based on when they can get Vatican Necropolis tickets.
  • Realizing how much smaller people were in ancient times. The early Christians placed dead bodies in the carved out niches in the walls of the underground tunnels. The niches in the catacombs of Rome don’t seem big enough for an average person today.
  • The sheer shock and spooky feeling you get when you realize that the chandeliers in the Capuchin crypt are actually made from jawbones. Not to mention the stacks of skulls.
  • Strolling down the Appia Antica with your tour guide and marveling at the beautiful marble graves that line this ancient road.
  • Watching the streets pass by as you drive out to Rome’s catacombs. You get to see local neighborhoods that just don’t exist in the historic center. Most visitors never make it this far out of Rome.

Whether it is planning your trip based on Vatican Necropolis tickets or walking the Appia Antica, a day spent discovering the crypts and catacombs of Rome will be well worth it. The expertise of a local guide will help you to understand the cultural and historical importance of Rome’s catacombs. Their humorous stories and interesting facts will make the day unforgettable.


  • Always make sure to wear comfortable shoes, especially when taking a Rome Catacombs tour. This doesn’t mean the shoes can’t be stylish but keep in mind that you will be walking on cobblestone streets, marble staircases and uneven pavement.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Rome Catacombs are usually connected to a church, so if you visit the church you will need to cover your knees and shoulders. A fashionable scarf that can cover your shoulders is the perfect accessory when walking around Rome in the summer.
  • The Rome Catacombs are underground and can be decidedly cooler that most visitors expect. You will be exploring the Catacombs of Rome for at least 30 minutes so be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket along.
  • Multiple tours may be better than one long tour. Rome is a big city so you may enjoy your tour more if it is concentrated in one area, instead of trying to cover the whole city of Rome in a day.
  • Make sure you are charged. Nothing is worse than your phone or camera running out of battery in the middle of a tour. Bring an external charger just in case.
  • Check the map of Rome when booking your tours and keep in mind that the Rome Catacombs are located outside of the city center. Arranging your tours and itinerary will save you loads of time and you won’t be constantly traveling from one side of the city to the other.
  • Don’t book tours back to back. Avoid the stress of rushing from one tour to the next by allowing ample time in between tours.


  • Make sure you have enough time to find your Rome Catacombs tour meeting point. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour departure time.
  • Rome Catacombs tours may not be wheelchair accessible. Not all tours will follow a path that is wheelchair accessible so be sure to check the tour details. Private tours are the easiest option and checking with the supplier is advised.
  • Security has been increased and many sites will require visitors to pass through a metal detector and scan their belongings.
  • Only bring what you plan to carry. Most activities and museums do not provide luggage storage.
  • Don’t slow your group down, make sure to use a bathroom before the tour begins. Public toilets are not easy to find and most cafes require a purchase to use their facilities.



  • Face masks covering the nose and mouth are required
  • Temperature checks will be carried out at entrances
  • Social distancing measures will be enforced inside monuments and churches

What to bring:

  • Passport/ID card or photocopy
  • Clothing that is weather appropriate
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (there are fountains all around Rome)
  • Scarf to cover shoulders for entrance to churches


  • Rome.Tours ensures customers are able to cancel their booking and receive a full refund, as long as the activity is cancelled at least 24 hours prior to the start time of the activity.
  • A full refund will be issued for any activity that is cancelled by the tour operator. The tour operator or Rome.Tours will advise the customer of any cancellation as soon as possible.
  • Refunds will not be given to customers that arrive late to their activities. The voucher will provide specific instructions for activity check in. Please read your voucher carefully as most activities require the customer to check in at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the activity.
  • Refunds will not be given for poor weather conditions if the activity takes place despite the weather. Please read your voucher carefully as well as the “Know Before You Go” section specific to the individual activity, this will ensure you understand the conditions in which an activity will take place.