This tour will take you underground, exploring the insolit part of history of Rome, up to the core of this ancient city.
We will start with a tour of the Crypts and Catacombs. This extensive network of tunnels snaking beneath the city dates all the way back to the 2nd century AD. They were once both a burial ground and a hiding place for the first Christians in Rome. Established in the days when Nero was famed for torturing Christians, the tunnels became a place for refuge as much as for burials and celebrations.
Then, we will visit the Basilica San Clemente, a site that is not often included in tourists' paths. Your guide will begin with the tale of a priest who thought he heard running water inside the basilica. Several years and a sledgehammer later, he and his brothers had mined through the floor of the 12th-century basilica, a 5th-century church, and a 4th-century cult temple. Underneath it all, they finally found an original 1st-century Roman street and the ancient aqueduct that had tormented the priest. You will go through this story with your guide through spaces that have been opened now to reveal these incredible layers of history.
We end this part of our tour on a high note, with a visit to the Capuchin Crypt, known locally as the ‘Bone Chapel’. It was here that the Capuchin monks have used the bones of 4,000 of their brothers to decorate the walls and ceilings. In this scenario we can only ask ourselves: is this art or morbidity? Either way, this is something you will never forget.
At this point we will have some free time to enjoy a late lunch, dinner or appetizer or go for a stroll in the historical center of Rome, experiencing the city at sunset.
As darkness sets in over Rome, a different city comes to light – a city of legends and mystery, where thousands of years of history left a story behind every stone.
Having gone through the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, Rome has many stories to tell that are far from the average bedtime tale. Your knowledgeable English-speaking storytellers, will guide you to the River Tiber and wander across piazzas, all the while telling you about unknown stories of murders, executions, and betrayals.
You will see the house of the most notorious murderer ever to work in the Eternal City and visit the bridge that, according to the legend, is haunted by the ghost of the female Pope.
For an hour and a half, your guide will take you back in time to a city that burned heretics like spit roasted pigs and cured its crime problems by hanging pictures of the Virgin Mary on every corner.
Guided tours of Crypts & Catacombs and Dark Heart of Rome last respectively 3.5hrs and 1.5hrs, with a break in between. No transfer is provided.