Visit the Roman Crypts and Catacombs
This tour peels back layers of history to let you discover Imperial and early Christian Rome. Travel back two millennia and descend into the Roman catacombs: underground passageways used as burial chambers.
At the height of the catacombs' use, Christianity was gaining ground in ancient Rome. It was considered a cult, however, and its practitioners were executed as heretics and buried as martyrs. The long underground corridors quickly became filled with hundreds of burial chambers, from modest single graves to extravagant family tombs.
The highlight of the tour may well be the Capuchin Crypt, decorated with the bones of 4,000 Capuchin monks. Needless to say, you won't soon forget the sight of chandeliers made of vertebrae or a real skull and crossbones.
The recent addition of a museum at the Crypt allows you to witness Caravaggio's magnificent painting, "Saint Francis in Meditation." The museum also features relics from the life St. Francis himself, plus those of his followers.
The walls of the Crypt are emblazoned with the message What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be... According to the monks, this is a reminder of the briefness of our time on earth, and ultimately, a message of hope.