The Itinerary of Our Crypts and Catacombs Tour
First, join your expert guide and head 50ft into the earth, to the Catacombs of Domitilla. Between the 1st and 3rd century AD, both pagans and Christians were buried here – which makes for a wonderfully strange clash of cultures, in one weird space.
Afterward, head to the Basilica of St. Clement. A church has stood on this site since the 4th century – but before then, you’d find a Temple of Mithras. Mithraism was a strange mystery cult and the intricacies of their bizarre rituals only revealed to initiates…. Our guide will reveal some of their secrets.
Last, but certainly not least, visit the Capuchin Crypt. Here, you’ll find the strangeness of a pagan death cult resurrected in a Catholic church. The crypt of the Capuchin Monks is decorated with the remains of an estimated 4,000 individuals: skulls and bones are everywhere.
The Catacombs of Domitilla
Inside the Catacombs of Domitilla, 50ft in the bowels of the earth, lie 26,000 of Ancient Rome’s dead – and some spectacular artwork too. Tombs began to be buried underground – creating Catacombs – as there was insufficient burial space above ground; a resourceful solution to the problem of too many dead, not enough land.
The Catacombs of Domitilla – and the strange mixture of pagan and Christian art you find within – would have been lost forever, if not for the intrepid explorer of Rome’s underworld, Antonio Bosio. Bosio was the first to explore Rome’s Catacombs and map them – so they would be accessible for us today. Once, Bosio became so lost inside the Catacombs, he went without food and water for three days, trying to find his way out. Without Bosio, we wouldn’t be able to explore them or even go on an underground Tome tour – thanks to him, this ancient world of the dead has life in it again.