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The Catacombs of San Domitilla

The Catacombs of San Domitilla: 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: Official Guided Tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus

2. Rome: Official Guided Tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus

Uncover the secrets of ancient Rome, hidden in its underground cemeteries. Join a guided tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, excavated by the Christians between the 3rd and 5th centuries. Learn about the mysterious origins of this site and its rediscovery in the modern era. Enter the crypt of the 3rd-century Popes, where 5 of the 9 tombstones of Rome's bishops who were buried here are still preserved. Then admire a slab of marble where some famous verses of Pope Damasus were engraved. Next, cross a narrow arch and enter the crypt where St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, was first buried. Be inspired by her history while contemplating the crypt's decorative frescoes and a copy of the statue made by Maderno, depicting the martyr's body when a reconnaissance was made in 1599. From the crypt of Santa Cecilia, continue your tour through the oldest part of the catacomb. Admire its majestic galleries and the beautiful cubicles of "sacraments". Finally, walk through the maze of tunnels dug in peacetime, trying to find your way out. Along the way, see various archaeological finds of funeral furniture before coming up to see the sunlight again.

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

3. 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: Catacombs of Rome and Main Basilicas Half-Day Tour

4. Rome: Catacombs of Rome and Main Basilicas Half-Day Tour

Begin your tour with visits to 2 important basilicas. Discover the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest of Rome’s 4 main basilicas and home to the Holy Stairs, a pilgrimage site. Then head to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to see the amazing collection of historic and religious artefacts. Admire the mosaics and the Crypt of the Nativity. Continue along the historic Appian Way, passing the Chapel of Domine Quo Vadis. Arrive at the ancient underground Catacombs of Rome. Explore these remarkable subterranean cemeteries, some dating back to the 2nd century. See historic artwork in the catacombs, and learn about how these underground passageways give insight into the early days of Christianity.

Rome: Underground Tour

5. Rome: Underground Tour

Embark on a journey deep below the streets of Rome on a walking tour of ancient temples and dark caves. Admire the temples of various religions while walking in caves lit only by electric light. Feel the timelessness of ancient Rome as you discover interesting examples of its architecture. Wander through an underground labyrinth of corridors and the catacombs, which were used as cemeteries. Discover an unseen part of Rome lurking 20 meters below street level.

Rome: Private Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour

6. Rome: Private Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour

Discover what lies beneath the streets of Italy's capital city on this private tour. In the company of an expert guide, unearth the mysteries of Rome's subterranean spaces, from labyrinthine catacombs to hidden churches. You'll also have a private car and driver at your disposal so you can move between the sites in comfort. First, visit the spooky Catacombs of Santa Domitilla, one of the largest and oldest underground Christian cemeteries in the world. Walk through the twisting tunnels to discover hundreds of thousands of graves, as well as some of the world’s oldest Christian images and the haunting underground church of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo. In the basilica of San Clemente meanwhile, admire astonishing medieval mosaics and some of the most important paintings from the Early Renaissance.  Next, visit the Roman Houses of Saint John and Paul, which are located beneath a Christian church. Here, enjoy an incredible window into daily life in the ancient city. Discover marvelous decorations where pagan imagery and Christian frescoes coexist in harmony in this fascinating villa complex. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, instead of the Roman Houses, visit the beautiful basilica of Santi Cosma and Damiano, built right into the Temple of Romulus in the ancient Roman.

Other Sightseeing Options in The Catacombs of San Domitilla

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What people are saying about The Catacombs of San Domitilla

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,363 reviews

The guide was very nice, knowledgeable and quite funny :) The catacombs are definitely worth a visit, they are such an interesting place and their historic worth is immense. A memorable experience and it was lovely to see people treat the place with so much respect, as it really is a resting place for the dead

I truly enjoyed the tour led by Max and he led the tour in English. It was informative and very interesting. I would definitely recommend seeing the catacombs and learning about their history and preservation.

Everything was fine, the instructions were clear, great guide (Polish). Not that far from the city center by Bus, easy to find. If you arrive earlier, sometimes they let you in with the earlier group.

The tour was fascinating and just enough time to be underground. I recommend bringing a mask. The musty smell gets a bit much after a while, if you are sensitive to smells.

Very good, the tour time was adequate, 30-45 min, and the catacombs impressive. They have tours in various languages.