Catacombs of Rome

Explore this ancient burial site comprising dozens of catacombs and miles of passageways beneath the streets of Rome.

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Catacombs of Rome: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Guided Roman Catacombs Tour with Transfers

1. Rome: Guided Roman Catacombs Tour with Transfers

Uncover the secrets hidden the dark depths of the the Domitilla catacombs on this guided tour in Rome. Enjoy the convenience of a transfer from a centrally-located meeting point in the city. Learn about early Christian history and see the underground Basilica of Nereus. Meet your guide in the city center and head towards the Appian Way in a comfortable minivan. Reach one of the largest and oldest catacombs of Rome and venture 52 feet (16 meters) below the surface into the otherworldly crypts of Domitilla. Explore its endless maze of underground burial chambers, spread across 4 levels. Be captivated by ancient wall paintings of mythological and biblical figures and discover the religious symbolism of the frescoes. Learn about the shift from paganism to Christianity and hear about early martyrs and persecutions. Live the excitement of gradually exploring different layers of history. Complete your underworld experience in the 4th-century subterranean Basilica of Nereus and Achilleus. Then jump back in the minivan return to the city center.

Rome: Appian Way Catacombs and Aqueducts Private Bike Tour

2. Rome: Appian Way Catacombs and Aqueducts Private Bike Tour

Swap the hustle and bustle of the big city for a day in the countryside in this fantastic 3-hour or 5-hour electric bike tour. Your guide will be waiting for you at Lungotevere delle Armi 44, where this wonderful adventure will begin. Your route is Via Appia Antica (Appian Way), one of the most important access roads of the city of the Roman Empire. You can follow your guide through imposing aqueducts, including landmarks such as the Catacombs of San Callisto, and will also cross the Regional Park of Appia Antica. You have the option to take a 3-hour tour by electric or manual bicycle, or can instead opt to choose the 5-hour tour which also includes a visit to the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastiano.

Rome: Catacombs of Saint Sebastian Guided Tour

3. Rome: Catacombs of Saint Sebastian Guided Tour

The place where the Catacomb of San Sebastiano stands was in ancient times a deep depression, used as a pozzolana quarry and called ad catacumbas (or “near the cavities”), a name that has become synonymous with an underground cemetery. Since the first century, the site has been intensely exploited and built: the underground galleries were reused to obtain burial niches, on the surface, however, several columbaria were built and at least two residential systems (the so-called small villa and large villa) equipped with remarkable pictorial wall decorations. Around the middle of the second century, the bottom of the valley was buried to create a pitch, on one side of which three mausoleums were built in succession (by Clodius Hermes, by the Innocentiores, by the Ax). A further burial of the area was made to give space to the construction of the triclia, a portico bordered by a wall on which numerous graffiti invocations addressed to the SS. Peter and Paul, who were venerated together in this place around 250. On the site, then, the emperor Constantine (306-337) had a basilica in the shape of a Roman circus (called "circiforme"). Meanwhile, already in the third century, the catacomb that housed the tombs of the martyrs Sebastian and Eutichio began to develop underground.

Rome: Catacombs of Priscilla Guided Tour

4. Rome: Catacombs of Priscilla Guided Tour

Located on Via Salaria, the catacomb is spread over two floors and probably takes its name from a Priscilla of the Acili senatorial family, whose name occurs in one of the inscriptions of the hypogeum of the Acili on the first floor. Its origin is different from that of the other catacombs as initially the place was an arenarium, then abandoned. Christians began to use the large and irregular galleries that make up the first floor of the catacomb towards the beginning of the third century, building around twenty niche tombs and digging hundreds of niches in the walls. In an adjacent area there is the cryptoporticus with the Greek Chapel and a large underground environment, born as a noble family burial ground and then connected to the catacomb. Among the martyrs buried in Priscilla we remember the brothers Felice and Filippo, who were martyred, probably under Diocletian, together with their mother St. Felicita and the other five brothers Alessandro, Marziale, Vitale, Silano and Gennaro. Numerous popes were also buried in Priscilla: Marcellino (296-304), Marcello (308-309), Silvestro (314-335), Liberius (352-366), Siricius (384-399), Celestino (422-432) and Vigilius (537-555). In the hypogeum of the Acili, originally a cistern of water, the inscriptions of the Acili have been found and exhibited. Inside Villa Ada there is the Basilica built by Pope St. Silvestro in correspondence with the tomb of Felice and Filippo. In an area near the basilica a Museum has been set up which collects hundreds of fragments of sarcophagi found during the excavations in the area of the catacomb.

Rome: Catacombs of Domitilla Guided Tour

5. Rome: Catacombs of Domitilla Guided Tour

The Catacombs of Domitilla, located on via delle Sette Chiese, is one of the largest cemeteries in underground Rome and originates from some burial grounds set up on land belonging to Flavia Domitilla and donated by this to her freedmen. Flavia Domitilla was the grandson of Flavio Clemente, consul of 95 AD, and related to the imperial family. As a Christian, Flavia Domitilla was exiled by Domitian to the island of Ponza, where she died. The catacomb is divided on two main levels. In the so-called Hypogeum of the Flavians, Giovanni Battista de Rossi believed to identify the tombs of the Christian members of the family of Flavia Domitilla, while it is a pagan hypogeum referable between the end of the 2nd and the beginning of the 3rd century, which became Christian and was enlarged mid 3rd century. Towards the end of the third century, the bodies of the martyrs Nereus and Achilleus were placed in a crypt on the second floor which was transformed by Pope Damasus (366-384) into a small basilica, enlarged by Pope Siricius between 390 and 395 until reaching its current size.

Rome: Catacombs & St Clement's Underground Semi-Private Tour

6. Rome: Catacombs & St Clement's Underground Semi-Private Tour

Explore 2 contrasting underground sights with an expert guide. Discover a hidden gem 14m below St. Clement’s Basilica and descend into the twisty tunnels of the Roman Catacombs. Meet your guide in front of St. Clement's Basilica and venture deep underground below its foundations into a mystical world of ancient cults and legends. Journey through several layers of history and earth, down to 14 meters below ground. Live the excitement of gradually exploring the later structures built on top of it on your way up to the surface. Go back in time down to the deepest point and discover the best-preserved Mithraic temple of the city. Touch the waters of an underground stream before going higher into the remains of the 4th Century Basilica, built on top of the martyr’s house and below the actual one. Walking along its imposing walls, you will be fascinated by the ancient frescoes while learning about the scenes and lives of the martyrs they portray. Then you will journey outside the city walls to one of the largest and most ancient catacombs, the otherworldly crypts of Domitilla. Descend 16 meters below the surface and explore the accessible part of its vast labyrinth of underground burial chambers and galleries revealing the shift of faith from paganism to Christianity.

Rome: Colosseum and Appian Way Catacombs Tour

7. Rome: Colosseum and Appian Way Catacombs Tour

Go back in time with this combination Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Ancient Appian Way Catacombs guided tour. You'll bypass any queues to better enjoy your experience and take advantage of a professional guide trained in art and archaeology. Visit Rome's most symbolic monument, learning about the amphitheater's history and exploring the Colosseum's first and second tiers for great views. You will then walk through the ruins of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, visiting one of the most important archaeological areas in the world which features some of the Ancient Rome's most evocative ruins. Along your path you'll also explore the site of an older settlement from the 9th century B.C., learning about the legend of Romulus and Remus, the abandoned brothers raised by a wolf who fought each other for power and control. Following your Colosseum tour you'll take a small break, before returning to the tour office for an in-depth experience in one of the most exciting and visited places in Rome, the Catacombs on the Ancient Appian Way. You'll descend into a complex network of underground tunnels, among the longest in the world, where you can admire ancient frescoes, inscription-rich crypts, small mausoleums, sarcophagi, and tombs. You'll also discover the burial sites of famous people such as popes, martyrs, and according to legends, even some apostles.

Vatican City: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

8. Vatican City: Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel

Enjoy priority admission on this 3-hour tour and experience all the major highlights of Vatican City! This popular tour includes the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. See one of the most important collections of art in the world at the Vatican Museums, which comprise more than 1,200 rooms. Highlights include the Rooms of Raphael, the Sistine Chapel and the ancient Roman and Greek pieces in the Belvedere Courtyard. The Sistine Chapel is located at the far end of the galleries and your guide will ensure that you get there quickly, while seeing the most important masterpieces along the way.

Rome: Appian Catacombs Guided Tour

9. Rome: Appian Catacombs Guided Tour

Come along with us to discover the Appian Catacombs escorted by your private driver. The incredible Catacombs among the greatest and most important of Rome became the official cemetery of the Church of the city. beginning from the meeting point near the colosseum, relax on a transfer in an air conditioned vehicle to the one of the most interesing places in rome, the Catacombs. This tour is an in-depth experience; recreate the context and stories of the past, which have left a long last legacy, the guides and the drivers are selected for their knowledge, enthusiasm and for sharing their passion for Rome with you. With this tour, you can maximize your time enjoying this amazing experience. The specific catacombs visited are San Calisto, San sebastiano or Santa Domitilla, will depends on the day. in any of these catacombs you will see the anticent frescoes, crypts, niches with the remains of skeletons, small mausoleums, sarcophagi, tombs and small chapels which still today afterabout 2000 years are used to celebrate religious rites. after the tour your driver will take you back to the original starting point.

Rome: Vatican and Rome Experience Pass

10. Rome: Vatican and Rome Experience Pass

Choose from many attractions, including sites such as the Colosseum and Vatican Museums with skip-the-line entry. Take in opera shows at night, see the Sistine Chapel, travel to a fun park, or take a wine tasting and food tour. Purchase a pass for the number of attractions you want to visit - with 3, 5 and 7-choice passes available. Simply present your voucher at the centrally located Roman Forum station where your professional staff provide you with all necessary information. There's plenty to choose from to make the most of your visit to Rome. Your pass will be activated upon scanning at the first attraction, following which it remains valid for the next 90 days. Choose from the following attractions: • Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel Reserved Entrance Ticket• Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill Reserved Entrance Ticket• St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour (no skip-the-line)• Modern Exhibition Art Gallery• Navona Underground with audioguide• Trevi District Underground with audioguide• Catacombs guided tour (no transfer included)• Roman Empire Museum (Capitoline Museum) Reserved Entrance• Leonardo da Vinci Experience with audioguide• The Altar of the Fatherland Elevator & Risorgimento Museum & Palazzo Venezia reserved entrance ticket• Trajan’s Markets Reserved Entrance Ticket• 1 day Hop-on hop-off bus• 1-hour bike rental• 72-hour public transport ticket• A night at the Opera (only if available)• Rome Imperial 3D show and audioguide• Caracalla Baths Reserved Entrance Ticket• Circo Maximo Virtual Reality Experience Reserved Entrance Ticket• Castel Sant’Angelo Reserved Entrance Ticket• Galleria Doria Pamphilj Reserved Entrance Ticket• Panoramic Terrace Breakfast• Panoramic Terrace Aperitif• Papal Udience + St. Peter's Guided Tour (only on Wednesday)• National Roman Museum (Palazzo Altemps, Crypta Balbi, Baths of Diocletian, Palazzo Massimo) Reserved Entrance Ticket• Ara Pacis Museum• Pantheon Guided Tour• Street Art Guided Tour (only if available)• Caravaggio Guided Tour (only if available)• Jewish Ghetto Guided Tour (only if available)• Navona Underground, Pantheon +Trevi Fountain Tour (only if available)• Lateran Complex tour (only if available) • Vatican Gardens panoramic open bus + audioguide OUTSIDE ROME:• Ancient Appia Guided Tour (only if available)• A Walk in the Pontifical Villa Gardens in Castel Gandolfo• Pontifical Villa Garden Open Bus in Castel Gandolfo• Pope Summer Residence with audioguide in Castel Gandolfo• Ancient Ostia Reserved Entrance Ticket• Tivoli Villas: Villa Adriana or Villa D’Este

Planning Your Visit

  • Check opening times in advance, which vary.

    Some of the catacombs are closed on certain days of the week, so be sure to check in advance that the site you wish to visit is open!

  • How to get there

    A great many of the most important catacombes are located on the Via Appia, and it's very easy to access by foot or the hop on, hop off Archeobus service.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Opening hours vary, please check times of individual catacombs you wish to visit.
  • Is it expensive?
    Ticket prices vary by location.
  • Will I need a guide?
    Some entrance fees include a guided tour, please see individual catacomb listings.
  • How to get there
    Walk along the Via Appia, or take the hop on, hop off bus!
  • Additional information
    ** Varied hours mean advanced planning is key!*

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What people are saying about Catacombs of Rome

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,801 reviews

We saw 3 Catacombs on the same day (Domitilla, Callistus, and Saint Sebastian), and this one was by far the best. Less crowded than the others by far and we experienced it much better with a smaller group. Our guide blended historical information with humor that made learn very fun and interesting. High recommend these catacombs for a guided tour.

For me and my two grandchildren it was a fantastic experience to be able to ride a golf cart among the beauties of Rome! This silent and ecological vehicle allows you to get close to the beauties of the city, to observe, to photograph what the efficient guide Martin is explaining to you! Experience to be repeated!

Had a fantastic day with Marcus the guide on our Appian way E bike tour. The catacombs were amazing too. Thank you Marcus for a very informative tour and for making us feel very safe on the streets of Rome. I would highly recommend this tour, defo one of the highlights of my break in Italy so far.

Really interesting and unusual tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. Would highly recommend.

The guide was clear and very friendly . Stopped and let all the party gather before continue .