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Private Christian Rome – Catacombs Tour
09:00 AM & 02:00 PM
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Pick-up at your hotel, more details at booking
Your private guide and driver will meet you at your hotel to take you on your fascinating tour highlighting the history of early Christians during the times of the Romans. The tour will begin after getting picked up at your hotel by your guide and driver, and will take you beyond the imposing Aurelian Walls and along the ancient Appian Way to visit one of the catacombs.
The Catacombs of Callisto are one of the biggest and most famous in Rome, dating as far back as the 2nd century. Its galleries, spreading over an area over 20 km large, contain the remains of thousands of Christians, several martyrs and sixteen popes. The walls of this catacomb are decorated with early Christian symbols and beautiful examples of the first religious representations.
If the Catacombs of Callisto are closed, then you will be visiting The Catacombs of San Sebastian instead. These were discovered after the First World War and contain over 100 000 remains spanning a complex 12 km long and spread out through three different levels.
On your way back to Rome, you will stop at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, considered one of the five great basilicas of Rome. The Basilica was founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine I and is, according to tradition, the burial place of Saint Paul the Apostle. After his execution and burial, Saint Paul’s followers erected a memorial called a “cella memoriae” over his grave. These types of memorials, built in the Byzantine style, were meant to celebrate the person to whom they were dedicated.
You will be returned to your hotel at the end of the tour.
– Private car and driver at disposal (4 hours)
– Expert local guide at disposal (4 hours)
– Entrance fees at Catacombs of Callisto or San Sebastian
– Aurelian Walls
– Appian Way
– Catacombs of Callisto or San Sebastian
– Basilica Saint Paul Outside the Walls
– Confirmation will be received at time of booking
– Voucher and detailed operator information, including local emergency numbers will be received three weeks before the date of your tour.
– Adult pricing applies to all travelers.
– The dress code for men and women is strictly enforced in Churches. No shorts, bare shoulders or miniskirts.
Pick-up at your accommodation
Drop-off at your accommodation
Between 270 and 275, Emperor Aurelian decided to build walls in order to protect the city of Rome against the barbarian invasion. The construction started in 271 and lasted ten years. This brick wall was 19 kilometers long, 8 meters high and 3.5 meters thick, and included a tower every 30 or so meters. Although built in a rush, the walls included several military buildings and no less than 20 gates to allow access to the city. Not only that but the Aurelian Walls also included houses (some small windows can still be seen) and ancient monuments such as the aqueduct of Acqua Marcia Antoniniana, the Porta Maggiore (Larger Gate), the Pyramid of Cestius and the Amphitheatrum Castrense.
Things to see
The Emperor Maxentius reinforced the walls in 354, doubling the height of some sections of the wall and apparently adding a ditch which was never completed. Many other changes appeared under the reign of Honorius (393-423), namely the improvement of both the wall and its towers. In 403, the Tomb of Hadrian was included in the wall and became a military building. Despite these many improvements, the Visigoths led by Alaric entered the city in 410.
The Porta San Paolo (“Saint Paul Gate”) is located on the ancient Via Ostensis. This road connected Rome to Ostia Antica. Originally, Porta San Paolo was named Porta Ostiensis however it was renamed after the basilica located near the gate. Its defensive system has survived time practically intact and has been preserved just as it was first installed.
Unfortunately, only 13 kilometers of the Aurelian Walls remain today; they are also obsolete as the city has long since expanded outside the protection of these walls.