Rome’s Catacombs – The Journey of A Lifetime


Rome is a mystery on its own. But the greatest mystery of them all is the one under the vast Roman Colosseum, where there’s an ancient civilization buried deep.  It’s time we here take you beneath Rome’s underground and into the heart of a once very living civilization.

Starting from the 10th century B.C., Rome kept on multiplying in size until well into the 5th century. A historian by the name of Vegetius wrote on the military decline at this time, and Rome wanted to show its vast power to its people still in the form of sites such as Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla and even the Mouth of the Truth. The original street level was still preserved from the buried and flooded ancient civilizations, and nowadays you can find shops sprawling the upper city amongst Rome’s seven wonders.

The catacombs are the underground cemeteries where Christians would bury their passed on loved ones, especially considering the religion itself was not tolerated at that time due to the idolism that early adopters of Rome’s cultures supported. Currently, Rome has many catacombs similar to those in France, with seven being available for the public’s eye. A nearly 65-foot advertised graveyard and a 12 mile walk over 37 acres is what you will find here according to the guide book. There are popes, clerics, and many unnamed people’s graves and the feeling is almost downright spooky as you traverse cautiously and wearily through the terrain. Quite possibly the best thing people will find in the tombs are the Crypt of the Popes, where 3rd century pontiffs are laid to rest – something encapsulating and a bit saddening at the same time. Nowhere in Rome do you truly see the archaic history than you do in the catacombs.

One can also explore the Catacomb of Priscilla, based on the noblewoman who donated her land for the cemetery for reasons unknown. This site has morbid frescoes that are still in-tact, and has the first image of the Virgin Mary (or what is considered to be the first). The Office of Tourism – Rome provided us a guided tour for the catacombs called the Walks of Italy’s Crypts – which allowed us not only early access to the tombs, but to bypass a good amount of the security checkpoint line. A guided tour also allows native English speakers to truly understand what they are seeing and is a benefit to all.

So, what are you waiting for? It is time to see the early Greek-Roman world and explore the underground catacombs of the beautiful city of Rome for a different and slightly darker look into history. Get the incredibly guided tour by Walks of Italy Tour Company, explore the Crypt of the Popes or Mithraea even. The catacombs and their daunting presence await your glancing eyes.

This article has been published courtesy of The Office of Tourism – Rome

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