The Catacombs of Saint Domitilla

15
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Priority access
  • Mobile Ticket
  • Photos and filming not allowed

What to expecct?

  • Visit one of the most extensive Roman catacombs
  • Admire the testimony preserved over the centuries
  • Learn about the history of customs related to the burial of Romans and Christians
  • Skip the line and don't waste your time

A place of spiritual pilgrimage

The catacombs are a place of spiritual pilgrimage, a powerful experience and at the same time a romantic reverie on the passing of time. In fear of epidemics and according to custom the Romans buried their dead outside the city walls: along the Via Appia, stretch the tombs of Romans, Christians and Jews, and, for the less wealthy, the catacombs, whose multi-level galleries and niches (loculi) form a labyrinth carved into the tuff.
Christians and Jews buried bodies, while Romans cremated corpses and deposited ashes in urns. Embalmed or shrouded bodies of Christians were placed on rock shelves, placed under marble slabs in the floor or in family crypts.

These catacombs are a former cemetery belonging to Domitylla, a Roman noblewoman related to the imperial family, the granddaughter of consul Flavio Clemente. The Catacombs of Domitylla are located in via delle Sette Chiese and are one of the most extensive Roman catacombs. They contain a partially underground basilica and 17 km of galleries and corridors arranged on four different levels with 150,000 graves.

The catacombs date back to around the 3rd century, while they have been rebuilt and expanded several times over the following centuries. They are often referred to as the catacombs of St. Nerus and Achilleus, due to the ruins of the basilica of these saints located here.The first galleries were carved between the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries. They were located near an already existing underground tomb called hypogeum of the Flavians.

A visit to the Catacombs of Domitilla is a unique opportunity to get an up-close look at some aspects of the life of the Christian communities of the first centuries, their belief in the resurrection and eternal life. It allows you to admire the testimony preserved over the centuries, recorded in the symbolic decorations of tombstones and frescoes, signs of the bond with God and worship of the holy martyrs buried in this ancient cemetery.

What is included?

  • The ticket includes a guided tour of the Catacombs with internal staff
  • Booking and management fees

Available options

  • Languages available for guided tours: English, Italian, Spanish, German

Price reductions

Reduced tickets

  • Minors aged between 7 and 16
  • Groups of students from primary and secondary schools and institutes (7 to 16-year-olds)
  • Archaeology, Architecture, Art History and Cultural Heritage students up to the age of 25 upon exhibiting the required certification
  • Men and women of the clergy, nuns, seminarists and novices upon exhibiting the required certification

Free tickets

  • Children up to the age of 6
  • Disabled visitors and chaperones
  • Students of the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology (upon exhibiting the card issued by the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology)
  • Priests and nuns of the Religious Community of Custodians of the Catacombs. Teachers, university tutors and catechists accompanying a group (one free entrance for every 15 paying visitors)
  • Groups of 35 or more visitors paying full price can benefit from two free entrances
  • Tourist guides with valid licence and researchers who provide documentary proof of their studies may apply for free entrance with the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology.

Meeting Point

To remember

  • Given the specific nature of the sites, there are specific limitations for disabled visitors
  • We recommend visitors to wear shoes appropriate for an ancient often uneven surface and, according to the time of year, clothes appropriate for underground temperatures
  • No photos or filming in the Catacombs
  • No smoking inside the monuments