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Capuchin Crypt

Capuchin Crypt: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Crypts & Catacombs Tour with Bone Chapel & Transfers

1. Rome: Crypts & Catacombs Tour with Bone Chapel & Transfers

Discover Rome's hidden layers of history beneath its streets. Travel by an air-conditioned coach and use skip-the-line access directly into three fascinating archaeological finds. Visit the hallowed catacombs where, beneath their persecutors’ feet, early Christians practiced their forbidden faith. Almost 2,000 years ago, this network of secret tunnels doubled as a place of worship and burial ground. As you explore tombs made of solid rock, your local expert guide will describe the intriguing history of this sacred spot. Next, travel to Basilica of San Martino ai Monti. Dating back to the 4th century, this church is located near the edge of the Parco del Colle Oppio. Admire the stunning frescoes by artists such as Pietro Testa, Matteo Riccione, and Giannangiolo Canini that adorn the church walls, and see the Chapel of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Finally, visit the Capuchin Crypt. Capuchin monks used the bones of their nearly 4,000 brothers to intricately decorate the floor-to-ceiling designs, lending it the macabre nickname of "the Bone Chapel." Your guide will tell you the theories, but ultimately you will decide on the meaning of the crypt’s robed skeletons and vertebrae chandeliers. Open your eyes to the city’s hidden side – and you’ll never see Rome the same way again.

Rome: Capuchin Crypts Skip-the-Line Ticket and Guided Tour

2. Rome: Capuchin Crypts Skip-the-Line Ticket and Guided Tour

Explore the Capuchin Crypt in Rome using a skip-the-line entry ticket on this walking tour. Follow a guide through the underground chambers containing the bones of some 4,000 people amassed over 5 centuries. Start your visit at the Capuchin Museums to learn about the place's culture and spirituality. Continue towards the Crypt of the Three Skeletons, the only area where the human skeleton can be seen in its unadorned entirety. Next, visit the Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones. Admire the Crypt of Pelvises, which contains 2 Capuchins serenely reclining in an arched position. Look at the crosses on the ground, which mark the graves of the 7 Capuchins. Stroll through the Crypt of the Skulls and check out its famous hourglass. Learn about how, when the Capuchins left their old friary near the Trevi Fountain, they decided to transfer the bones of friars who had been buried under the Church of Saint Bonaventure. In accordance with Capuchin law, which did not allow burials to take place within the churches, an underground cemetery was designed. Here, they deposited the bones brought from the old friary. Since then, the crypt has been the burial place of the Capuchins.

Rome: Capuchin Crypt Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

3. Rome: Capuchin Crypt Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Follow an expert English-speaking guide through the Museum and Crypt of the Capuchin Friars, located under the 17th-century church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini in the historic heart of Rome. Discover macabre masterpieces of art from the Middle Ages in the bone crypts, where your licensed guide will take you on a journey through the 500-year history of the Capuchin monks. Hear how – and why – they led to the creation of one of the darkest museums in the world. Stop to take a closer look at a different artifacts that hold secrets about life in the Eternal City in the Middle Ages. Be amazed by the different bone crypts that serve as a silent reminder of the swift passage of life on Earth. 

Rome: Underground Crypts and Catacombs Guided Tour

4. Rome: Underground Crypts and Catacombs Guided Tour

Escape the crowds of the Colosseum and Vatican, and explore the darker side of Rome on a guided tour of the ancient catacombs and crypts. Venture to parts of the city that few visitors ever see, traveling between sites by air-conditioned minibus. First, follow your guide to 3 memorable sites, each revealing the extraordinary secrets of Ancient Rome. They include the labyrinthine Roman Catacombs that were part burial ground and part refuge for the persecuted early Christians of Ancient Rome. Then, visit the Capuchin Crypt, known locally as the “Bone Chapel,” and marvel at the walls, decorated with the bones more than 4,000 monks. To finish out the day in style, visit perhaps one of the most spectacular sites in all of Rome - the Roman Aqueducts. Enjoy time to explore and understand this monumental landmark from a stunning vantage point.

Haunted Rome Walking Tour

5. Haunted Rome Walking Tour

Take a walk on the creepy side with this fascinating tour of Rome’s spookiest places. Together with an experienced guide, you’ll unearth some of the Eternal City’s darkest secrets, discover the ghost stories of landmarks such as the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Castel Sant’Angelo, and come face to face with the skeletal remains of some of Rome’s previous residents at the Capuchin Crypt. This walking tour is an intriguing dive into Rome’s long and twisted history. Visit the Capuchin Crypt and descend deep underground to see a side of Rome that you’ve never seen before. The tour continues above ground with a walk through Rome’s cobbled streets to reach the Pantheon where demons were said to roam free, looking for innocent souls to tempt. See the Piazza Navona a beautiful Baroque square known for its stunning architecture and dazzling fountains, as well as the ghosts that haunt the palaces facing the square.

Rome: Capuchin Crypt & Museum Tour with Choral Concert

6. Rome: Capuchin Crypt & Museum Tour with Choral Concert

Tour Rome's underground burial chambers and crypts to discover a history that predates Christianity, and post-dates the Renaissance. This 1-hour tour takes you back to a time when Christianity was considered a cult and its members were executed as heretics and buried as martyrs. You will see hundreds of burial chambers, from modest single sites to extravagant family tombs, in the long corridors of the underground city. First, visit the Capuchin Crypt and Museum for an encounter with Caravaggio’s magnificent “St. Francis in Meditation” canvas, along with masterpieces by Domenichino and Reni. See relics from the life of St. Francis and some of his followers. The Crypt is decorated with the bones of 4,000 Capuchin monks, including a real skull and crossbones and chandeliers made of human vertebrae. Then, attend a choral concert by the renowned Schola Romana Ensemble inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Immacolata. The program is rare and valuable, and alternates the archaic mysticism of Gregorian Chants - the most ancient form of Occidental music - with the best polyphony compositions by the Roman School, including masterworks by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

Crypts, Catacombs & Dark Heart of Rome Supersaver Tour

7. Crypts, Catacombs & Dark Heart of Rome Supersaver Tour

Delve into the unusual aspects of Rome’s history on 2 unique tours that introduce you to the ancient city's darker dimensions. Kick-off this full day with a crypts and catacombs tour that visits 3 unforgettable sites in the Eternal City. Your tour begins at the ancient Roman Catacombs. Dating back to the second century A.D. this extensive network of tunnels winds it way beneath the city. Established in the days when Nero was torturing Christians, the tunnels became a place of burial, as well as refuge and celebration. The next stop is the Basilica San Clemente, another site that few visitors ever see. Descend from a 12th century Basilica down through a huge 4th-century basilica, a 2nd-century sanctuary of the mysterious Mithraic cult and, finally, to ruins dating back to the reign of Nero and the Great Fire of 64 AD. Finish off this part of the tour with a visit to the Capuchin Crypt, known locally as the Bone Chapel. The Capuchin monks used the bones of 4,000 of their brothers to decorate the walls and ceilings. Between excursions, enjoy some free time to have dinner or go for a stroll in the historical center of Rome, taking in the magnificent sunset. As the sun sets over Rome a new city comes to life. Having survived the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, the city has stories to tell that are far from average bedtime tales. For 90 minutes you’ll wander through piazzas in the dark heart of Rome with an expert English-speaking storyteller, listening to stories of murders, executions, and betrayals. See the house of the most notorious murderer ever to work in the Eternal City and visit the bridge that, according to the legend, is haunted by the ghost of the female pope.

Rome: Exclusive Small-Group Catacombs by Night Experience

8. Rome: Exclusive Small-Group Catacombs by Night Experience

Your incredible tour begins at the the Crypt of the Capuchin Monks on Via Veneto, where you will meet your professional expert guide and join your exclusively small group of 6 people maximum. This historical crypt holds the bones of over 4,000 deceased Capuchin monks, which have been decoratively laid out creating an eerie atmosphere which is sure to leave you impressed. As your tour of the Capuchin Crypt ends and night begins to fall, your guide will escort you to a private chauffeured car where you will be taken to ancient catacombs for the next part of your tour. Your chauffeur will drop you off at the incredible Basilica of Saint Agnes outside the walls, which was built in honor and protection of the remains of Saint Agnes, a young Christian martyr executed under the reign of Diocletian. Here you will have the chance to visit the beautiful interior of the Basilica, and can descend into the impressive catacombs through exclusive access granted only to your guide's groups. A Saint Agnes affiliated and certified guide will here take you and other groups through the underground hallways lined by hundreds of tombs. Once above ground again, you will continue your visit with your exclusively small group of only 6 people. Your next stop will be just behind the Basilica di Saint Agnes in the Mausoleo di Costanza. This basilica is part of a larger, prominent palaeo-Christian funerary complex which is also home to a mausoleum dedicated to Costanza, Emperor Constantine’s daughter. The access to these incredible catacombs and funerary complex is privileged and exclusively granted to your guide's company's groups. This is sure to be an off-the-beaten-path, beautiful, and inspiring adventure which you will surely not soon forget. Once your tour has ended, you will hop back in your comfortable car before being taken back to the city center.

Rome: Villa Borghese & Ada Bike Tour with Optional Catacombs

9. Rome: Villa Borghese & Ada Bike Tour with Optional Catacombs

The wonderful Villas of Rome are not just parks, in fact with this tour you will be surrounded by nature and many ancient works: get ready for a journey through time to discover the many facets of these pearls loved by Romans and tourists of all ages. Your local guide, expert and friendly, will make you live an experience in total safety along streets and alleys that are difficult to be accessed by car traffic. Pedal at your own pace while you will discover all the "secrets" hidden by Villa Borghese and Villa Ada, combining art, history and everyday life. There are 12 stops along the tour, but you can customize the itinerary according to your needs and interests. The attractions of the tour include the National Gallery of Modern Art (entrance ticket not included), the Temple of Aesculapius, the Portico of the Lions, the Tempietto of Diana, Siena Square, the Temple of Antonino and Faustina, Parco dei Daini, Galleria Borghese (entrance ticket not included), the Water Clock and the Terrazza of the Pincio, Villa Ada and, if foreseen, a visit to the Catacombs of the Capuchin Friars. Riding an electric bike is fun and easy: whenever you start to feel tired, you can get a boost from the eco-friendly motor to overcome a hill. You can choose to take the tour totally immersed in greenery with the "Villas without catacombs" option, or include the visit with audio guide inside the Catacombs of the Capuchin Friars, by selecting the "Villas with catacombs" option. The Crypt of the Capuchin Friars is completely decorated with human skulls. A cemetery literally built from bones! The chambers are decorated with the remains of around 4,000 friars. Upon request, it is possible to extend the tour towards the Coppedè district, a fascinating artistic experiment that melts Liberty, Art Decò, Gothic and medieval style in the buildings that compose it. It is important to know that to reach it you will not ride on cycle paths but on roads open to car traffic. This extension of the tour can be considered if there will be time left at the end of the visit, and above all if partecipants are confident with riding on open car traffic streets.

Rome: VIP Catacombs Night Tour with Capuchin Crypts

10. Rome: VIP Catacombs Night Tour with Capuchin Crypts

Located under the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini Church, the Capuchin Crypts are the first stop on your tour. There you will see the macabre catacombs, where 3,700 Capuchin monks are buried in elaborate bone structures. Many of these structures are built to represent Christian symbols, and as your guide will explain, it has caused some controversy. You will then walk on the same road that Roman armies walked along millennia ago. One of the original seven roads into Rome, the Appian Way went from all the way to Brindisi in modern day Puglia. On the way to the Catacombs and Appian Way you will visit the Aurelian Walls from the comfort of your climate-controlled vehicle. Burial practices in ancient Rome were one of the most controversial topics of that time period. Christianity was a new religion at the time, with a fundamental belief that your spirit ascended to heaven after death. With the city not allowing burials within the city limits and most people (Pagans) being cremated after death, the Christians needed a new solution. They decided to build a system of underground tunnels where they could bury their dead in a legally and religiously sound manner. On this after-hours visit you’ll see what are often known as the “Queen of Catacombs", which stretch for over five miles. After entering the almost entirely empty catacombs, your guide will provide insight on the biblical art inside. Most famously, you’ll see early inscriptions such as "Moses striking water from a rock", "the Madonna and Child", and "the Sacrifice of Isaac".

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What people are saying about Capuchin Crypt

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,347 reviews

We had been to the Crypts before many years ago, but it was great to see them again with an excellent guide this time. Slob (yes - that was his name!) made the tour very interesting while also injecting humor into the experience. Slob was also very knowledgeable about the bones, monks, and history of the church. We highly recommend you tour the Capuchin Crypts with a guide.

A super unique experience…we only had a small window to fill with all other activities we were committed to so this was a memorable way to spend an hour. Interesting information, a really shocking display, and a knowledgeable (and funny) tour guide…totally recommend.

This tour was very different from the other tours we went on during our time in Rome. Barbara was our tour guide and she was excellent! very knowledgeable and friendly. The crypts and catacombs were so interesting and definitely worth seeing whilst in Rome.

The guide Rhian made the extremely informative and interesting. The tour packed a lot of information but felt relaxed. Probably best City Tour we've done and would highly recommend this tour and guide.

Awesome tour, an awesome place, and a great guide (Slob)! After the tour, we were allowed to stay on our own and walk around on ourselves. Well worth the money spent. Definitely recommended.