Rome Catacombs Tours

By public bus, hop-on hop off sightseeing bus or tour - we show you how


Catacomb San Callisto Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) Near Rome

Catacomb San Callisto: Appian Way (Via Appia Antica)

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Where are the catacombs of Rome and what are they?

The catacombs of Rome were first started for the first generations of Christians in the Roman empire, (although the remains are not all Christians). The bodies were buried deep beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome in vast cemeteries.


The Roman catacombs, of which there are over forty are found in in the suburbs of Rome, built along the old roads radiating out of from the centre of Rome, including the famous Appian Way.


Today there are just a handful open to the public, The most visited Rome catacombs being south of the city centre along the Appian Way where three catacombs situated close together are open to the public.


Access to the catacombs are strictly controlled. You are taken in small groups accompanied by one of the resident guides. Groups are separated by the language that the tour is taken in.


On a serious note: Catacombs are not for the claustrophobic – you will be deep underground walking through narrow, underground tunnels, dug out by hand. This is not a sanitised tourist experience with wash-rooms, clear lighting and a cafe along the way!

Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano

The largest catacombs in terms of what is open to the public, the Catacombs of San Callisto is arguably the most commercialised and is the most popular catacomb with tour groups.

If you just turn-up ad-hoc you will probably have less wait for an English language tour.


The Catacombs of San Sebastiano are located just a few hundred yards/metres from the Catacombs of San Callisto, you can walk between them in 5 minutes through the very pleasant parkland grounds of the Catacombs of San Callisto.


The Catacombs of San Sebastiano were the first to be called catacombs. Though the tunnels themselves run for seven miles and the bones of Saints Peter and Paul were once hidden here the Catacombs of San Sebastiano is one of shortest tours available.


Travelling to Catacombs of San Callisto and Catacombs of San Sebastiano

It is quite easy to get to both catacombs independently from the centre of Rome by public bus or even one of the Rome hop-on, hop off sightseeing buses that come out here.

We have a dedicated page devoted to your options visiting the Catacombs of San Callisto and Catacombs of San Sebastiano.

Getting to the Catacombs of San Callisto and Catacombs of San Sebastiano from Rome

Tours from Rome visiting Appia Antica Catacombs

The easiest way to visit the Via Appia Antica & Catacombs is by tour.

Its a time efficient way of visiting for time poor visitors and of course the guide will keep you informed of what you are witnessing as well as making sure you don't miss any highlights.


Option 1 - Catacombs and Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) Half-Day Walking Tour

Visit the Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) and visit the fascinating Catacombs of San Sebastiano or San Callisto, where you’ll walk through underground tunnels, and be wowed by the sophisticated engineering of the Roman aqueducts.

Salient points of the tour are:

  • Morning tour on Mondays, Thursdays or Saturdays

  • Coach or van between Rome city centre and the Appian Way

  • Walking tour exploring the Italian countryside and Appian Way

  • Visit to the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastian

  • Admire the mighty arches of Rome's ancient aqueducts

Catacombs and Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) Half-Day Walking Tour

Option 2 - Catacombs and Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) E-bike Tour

Similar to the walking tour in option 1 but you use an electrically assisted to bike to get around.

The bikes are outfitted with a small motor that kicks in when you pedal, allowing you to cover a lot of ground with minimal effort while you enjoy the fresh air of the Roman countryside. (If you prefer a little exercise, however, standard bikes are also available.)


Similar to the walking tour in option 1 but you use an electrically assisted to bike to get around.

The bikes are outfitted with a small motor that kicks in when you pedal, allowing you to cover a lot of ground with minimal effort while you enjoy the fresh air of the Roman countryside. (If you prefer a little exercise, however, standard bikes are also available.)


Salient points of the tour are:

  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people running daily

  • Coach or van between Rome city centre and the Appian Way

  • 4 or 6 hour bicycle tour along the Appian Way

  • Visit to the Catacombs of San Callisto or San Sebastian

  • Check out the ruins and landmarks along the Appian Way

Catacombs and Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) Half-Day E-bike Tour

Catacomb of Santa Domitilla and Capuchin Crypt Tour

The Catacomb of Santa Domitilla is not far from the Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, perhaps only a 10 minute walk.

The Catacomb of Santa Domitilla is the oldest and most extensive network of catacombs (but only a fraction is open to the public) and the only one with bones still on display.


Salient points of the tour are:

  • Afternoon tour of around 3.5 hours running daily

  • Coach or van between Rome city centre and the Appian Way

  • Visit the Capuchin Crypt at the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione.

  • Visit the Domitilla Catacombs underneath the Appian Way

  • Visit the Basilica of San Clemente

Catacomb of Santa Domitilla Tour

Catacomb of Santa Priscilla Tour after closing and Bone Chapel tour

Unlike the previous catacombs detailed on this page Catacomb of Santa Priscilla is not south of Rome off the Apian Way but to the north east of Rome city centre by Villa Ada Park..

Among Rome’s extensive network of catacombs, Catacomb of Santa Priscilla is renowned for holding the oldest known image of the Virgin Mary.

The Catacombs of Santa Priscilla were the original resting place for the remains of seven Popes, and the 8 miles (13 km.) of tunnels are illuminated with bright frescoes.


Salient points of the tour are:

  • Evening tour running daily with after hours access to the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla

  • Small group maximum 15 people using private, air-conditioned minibus

  • Visit the Bone Chapel after dark

  • Visit the Santa Priscilla

Catacomb of Santa Domitilla Tour


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