The tour starts in the the Catacomb of Santa Priscilla. This is where ancient Christians were buried when their religion was still outlawed and they were considered enemies of the state. The catacomb contains extraordinary frescoes, miles of creepy tunnels and the world’s oldest depiction of the Virgin Mary. Your expert guide, hand-picked for knowledge of the catacombs, will lead your small group of 18 people or fewer through these wonderfully historic and atmospheric tunnels, while telling you the story of early Christianity. Large groups simply can’t fit into these areas, so take advantage of this truly unique access.
Next, you’ll head to one of the most singular and spine-tingling sights in Rome, the Capuchin bone crypt. The cemetery festooned with the bones and remains of some 4,000 Capuchin friars is a jaw-dropping display of life and death. Although it might appear macabre, you’ll learn why the monks actually consider the display life-affirming.
Finally, you’ll visit one of Rome’s hidden treasures, Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere. It is a voyage both below ground and back in time, but this basilica is so much more historically important. It was built in the 10th century on the site of three temples dating back to the first century BC, which themselves were at the heart of an Ancient Roman fruit and vegetable market dating to the 4th century BC. Much of the original temples, including their marble columns, were built into the structure of the existing basilica but left exposed, so when you visit today you can literally descend through the levels of time.