Visit the Roman Crypts & Catacombs
Discover imperial and early Christian Rome by peeling back layers and millenniums of history as you descend into the Eternal city’s underground burial chambers, its long winding catacombs, and its crypts.
Go below to a time when Christianity was considered a cult, whose members were executed as heretics and buried as martyrs. These long corridors house hundreds of burial chambers, from modest singles to extravagant family tombs.
The biggest surprise of this tour, however, and the one that will stay with you long after you have returned home, is the Capuchin Crypt. The recent addition of an official museum here means that our visit is precluded by an encounter with Caravaggio’s magnificent canvas ‘St. Francis in Meditation’ and relics from the life of St. Francis himself and some of his followers.
But the real star of the tour is the crypt itself, decorated in the bones of 4,000 Capuchin monks. Witness a real skull and crossbones, chandeliers made of vertebrae and the chilling words ‘What you are now, we once were. What we are now, you will be’. According to the monks, this is a message of hope.