Rome Catacombs Tour with Capuchin Crypt & St Clement
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Rome Catacombs Tour with Capuchin Crypt & St Clement
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Rome Catacombs Tour with Capuchin Crypt & St Clement

3 h
About this activity
Visit the Roman catacombs, descend into the heart of the Basilica of St Clement, and enter the mysterious crypt Capuchin Monks. The mysterious places that we are going to see on our Rome Catacombs Tour have preserved their amazing treasures over the centuries, treasures that are still only partially unearthed. Together with your guide, you will walk through the intricate mazes of the catacombs, where the first Christians buried their dead; you will discover the tombs of the first followers of Jesus and those of early popes and martyrs. You will see frescoes painted 2,000 years ago on old subterranean walls that vividly express the first dogmas of faith and you will learn the esoteric symbolism of early Christianity. The Roman catacombs extend on multiple levels; sometimes they have even six or seven levels. It is an unending web that runs under the Eternal City. Every floor is an intricate labyrinth of tunnels excavated into the tuff stone, a kind of porous rock that is quite abundant in the region of Lazio. Many catacombs have been explored only on some levels, without ever coming to an end to all of the tunnels, as some are still buried under tons of earth. There is still a great deal to be done by archeologists. What is really behind these walls in the deepest circles of the inferno, only God knows. Artifacts, art works, frescoes, inscriptions, tombs of martyrs… Only a small fraction of the treasures of the catacombs is known today. And only five out of circa sixty catacombs that are known to us are open to the public. One of the widest, most beautiful, and best preserved of Rome’s catacombs is that of St. Domitilla. The term ‘catacomb,’ comes from the Greek kata, which means ‘by/near,’ and kymbas, ‘cave,’ because in this area just outside of Rome, on the Appian Way, they had started digging the tombs into the relatively soft tuff stone of existing caves. It was in these caves that the first Christians buried their dead (rather than cremate them). The term particularly refers to the nearby catacombs of St. Sebastian, that therefore could rightly be said to be the world’s first catacombs.
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