Underneath Rome

Discover the catacombs and other hidden sights with our Rome underground tour

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Rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor Google and Facebook

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What’s included

First-class tour with a private guide

Tickets

Fluent English Speaking guides with a background in archaeology, history and art

Flexible starting time

Highlights

TOUR DESCRIPTION

The history of Rome is the history of two cities: the one that is warmed by the Mediterranean sun, and the underground Rome, carved in the natural bedrock, buried by earthquakes and the debris of collapsed buildings.

Our Underneath Rome Tour covers three unforgettable underground sights: the Catacombs of Domitilla or Saint Sebastian**, the Basilica of St. Clement’s and the Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill.

Discover what lies underneath the cobblestones of the piazzas and streets of Rome, and explore the depths of this charming city with us. The Catacombs are truly fascinating, both for their history and for building technique. We’ll go through the tunnels carved in the natural bedrock and explore this massive maze where thousands of people were buried from the 2nd century AD. Is it true that the early Christians hid here during the persecutions? Ask your guide! We’ll show you the underground chapels, the tombs, and the beautifully decorated room, guiding you safely through this atmospheric labyrinth.

The Basilica of St. Clement’s, near the Colosseum, is one of the highlights of our Rome underground tour. It’s a truly unique site, and also a real journey through the layers of Rome. St. Clement’s Basilica is a gorgeous church from the 11th century: you’ll be amazed by the shining mosaics representing the crucifixion, the beautiful frescoes and the ancient marble used for creating the cosmatesque floor. The Basilica is now run by Irish Dominicans, and it was in fact the prior, Father Mullooly, who started the excavations underneath the 11th century church, discovering an older church dating back to the 4th century. But that’s not all! Father Mullooly kept digging even underneath the lower basilica until he found an ancient temple of Mithras from the 2nd century AD.

Mithras is a mysterious Persian god whose religion was quite popular in Rome, before Christianity took over. It was a very peculiar “mystery” religion: the followers of Mithras had to go through difficult initiations in order to be accepted in the temple, and they could not speak to anyone about the rituals they performed in their subterranean “caves”. You’ll have the chance to visit one of these secret temples, still perfectly preserved after almost 2,000 years, and learn about the eastern religions that fascinated the Romans during the imperial age.

Our Underneath Rome Tour also includes the underground section of the Basilica of St. John and Paul, where you can admire one of the very few ancient Roman houses still preserved. Your personal tour guide will tell you the dramatic story of Saints John and Paul, who died for their faith during the cruel persecution of the emperor Julian. You’ll be amazed by the colorful 1,700-year- old frescoes that decorate the walls of this fascinating subterranean complex!

Choose our Underneath Rome tour and explore Rome Underground with us. Let our expert guides reveal the most mysterious chapters of Roman history, and take you on a journey you’ll never forget!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Catacombs’ Management has decided that, for safety reasons, all the visitors will have to join a group tour led by a Catacomb guide. This rule applies to all the companies and to the private clients as well. Nonetheless, you’ll receive full assistance from your personal guide, who will make sure you that get the best out of this tour. Anyway, keep in mind that the Catacombs are only one of the three underground site that you’ll visit during this tour, therefore you’ll visit the other sites on your own, with your personal guide. If you prefer not to visit the Catacombs, ask us and we’ll propose an alternative itinerary

**The Catacombs might be closed unexpectedly for religious reasons, without giving us notice in advance. In this case, we’ll find an alternative site to visit.

Sights Included

Catacombs
Fascinating underground mazes
Early Christian and Roman tombs
Basilica of St. Clement’s
Subterranean temple of Mithra
Moving frescoes from the Middle Ages
Roman houses on the Caelian hill
Beautiful ancient Roman frescoes
Charming architecture
Beautiful drive
Enjoy the drive from the Catacombs to St. Clement’s Basilica, see the Circus Maximus and much more

Trip Itinerary

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*Pick up and transportation are included only if you’re staying within the pick up area. If your hotel is not in the pick up area, contact us and we will find the best solution to accommodate your needs.  Click here to see the free pick up area  

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