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Hidden underneath Rome's vibrant cityscape are miles of subterranean tunnels and chambers that were ancient underground burial places for people of all Roman religions. The city has about 60 catacombs, carved in tuff 7-19 metres below the surface and containing art work that shed light on the history of the era from the end of the 2nd century.

The catacombs feature various types of graves – loculi dug out in the walls of underground passages (ambulacra), formae dug in the floors of the passages, arcosolia which are curved niches enclosed under carved marble slabs, cubicula which are larger burial rooms for families, and cryptae which are more elaborate chapels decorated with frescoes.

The Catacombs of San Callisto along the Appian Way comprise a network of 20 kilometres of passages spread over 15 hectares and is almost 20 km (12 mi) long.

Near the San Callisto are the Domitilla Catacombs, the oldest underground burial network in Rome, and also the best preserved. It still contains bones, frescoes and other artifacts. The associated basilica is also underground.

The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are one of the smallest and most accessible Christian cemeteries, associated with the Basilica of San Sebastiano fuori le mura, one of the 7 Pilgrim Churches in Rome.

Once a quarry, the Catacombs of Priscilla feature important frescoes, including perhaps the oldest known Marian paintings from the early 3rd century. It is maintained by the monastery of the Benedictines of Priscilla.

Rome has 6 Jewish catacombs, of which 2 are open to the public - Vigna Randanini and Villa Torlonia. Explore these hypogea to learn about Jewish funerary culture, symbolism and iconography.

In keeping with the theme of eerie underground burials, several Catacombs of Rome tours also include a visit to the 17th century Capuchin Crypt beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, which contains the skeletal remains of 3700 people believed to be Capuchin friars.



About Catacombs of Rome

 Via Appia Antica, 110 – 00179 Rome, Italy

 +39 06 51 30 151

Catacombs of Rome and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile

Colosseum(1.5 km)
One of the 7 wonders of the medieval world, the Colosseum is perhaps the most famous landmark in Rome.

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain(1.1 km)
Completed in 1762 to a design by Nicola Salvi, this spectacular Baroque fountain features a mythological sculptural composition of Neptune, god of the sea, flanked by two Tritons: one Triton labours to control a violent sea-horse, the other controls a pacified creature, both symbolising the dual nature of the world's oceans.

Villa Giulia National Gallery

Villa Giulia National Gallery(2.2 km)
The most extensive collection of Etruscan art and artifacts anywhere.

Piazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna(1.2 km)
The Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square) is the most famous square in Rome.

Church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola
Roma dal Cielo Terrazza delle Quadrighe
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore(0.7 km)
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) is one of the 4 Papal major basilicas, built in the 5th century atop Esquiline Hill to honor Virgin Mary.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum(1.3 km)
Occupying the valley between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum was the political, religious and commercial nucleus of ancient Rome.

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