visit catacombs rome italy

How to Visit Underground Catacombs in Italy

visit to roman catacombs

How to Visit Underground Catacombs in Italy


Catacombs which have been in existence since at least the 2nd Century AD; are ancient burial chambers that hold the dead bodies of the saints and other people during this time in antiquity.


Of course, there are many places to visit in Italy and several things to do in Italy. However, an interesting theme during your Italy tourism that you should consider if you haven’t already done so is a visit to the underground catacombs.


It is even possible you are wondering why these underground catacombs in Italy are popular.


Well, they are because they are considered to be some of the oldest and longest anywhere in the world. Interestingly, the catacombs Rome has are many with some people believing that not all have been discovered up till now. Now, if you consider this catacomb visit to be a gruesome affair, then think again as such visit will present you with the opportunity of seeing Christian art.

Yes, you heard that right because the catacombs also possess early Christian art pieces.



Locations of the Catacombs Rome

The Roman catacombs are located outside the city walls because in ancient Rome no dead person was permitted to be buried within the city walls. Although the practice among pagan Romans was to burn their dead, this was not the case with Christians who instead preferred to bury their dead in anticipation of the bodily resurrection. Now, the arrival of the Middle Ages was a time the Roman catacombs were forgotten. However, this was corrected during the 16th century with the rediscovery of some catacomb units, which subsequently led to the increase in the trade of relics then.


When to Visit

There are many things to do in Rome Italy and, so for tourists, it is important to know when the catacombs Rome are open to visitors. Presently, there are only five of the catacombs Rome that are open for the public to visit. They include some of the best places to visit in Italy. Below is a list of these catacombs including additional information about them. Take note that visiting time for all the following five catacombs is the same. That is in the morning from 9:00 to 12:00 midday after which they are then opened again in the afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on various days of the week for each set of catacombs.


• Catacombs of Domitilla: The discovery of these catacombs named after Vespasian’s granddaughter was made in 1593. Its length exceeds 15 kilometers. Obviously, for everyone that loves Roman history visiting this place is one of the things to do in Italy since Vespasian is a wellknown Roman emperor.


• Catacombs of Priscilla: This is certainly one of the places in Italy to visit since some frescoes of great historical value are found here. Examples include initial representations of the Virgin Mary.


• Catacombs of Sant’Agnese: Named after a martyr who was killed for her faith in Christ, this too is one of the best places to visit in Italy especially for those interested in Christian martyrs.


• Catacombs of San Callisto: This set of catacombs happens to be the favorite among visitors to Italy. They are also the biggest of the catacombs thereby making them one of the major drivers of Italy tourism when it comes to visiting catacombs. In here, you will also find the burial location of several pontiffs and that of many Christian martyrs including works of art such as sculptures, paintings and Christian frescoes. Thus, making the catacombs one of the best places to visit in Italy.


• Catacombs of San Sebastiano: Named in honor of a soldier who was martyred for his Christian faith, it is one of the places in Italy to visit. This is because of its history of being one of the few Christian burial grounds that people were always allowed access to. Do make a visit here one of the things to do in Rome Italy for you.


Getting to the Catacombs

Finding the catacombs during your Italy tourism is not difficult. It is one of the things to do in Italy for many visiting Rome. Although it is not the most sought after places in Italy when compared to the Colosseum, it nevertheless remains a destination point for many touring Rome.


Opening and Closing Days

One of the things to do in Rome Italy if you must visit the catacombs is to confirm the opening and closing days for the catacombs whether it is the Domitilla, Priscilla, Sant’Agnese, San Callisto or San Sebastiano catacombs. They all have their different opening and closing days and sometimes even closing periods such as during holidays.