The Catacombs of Saint Agnes

starting from 14
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Priority access
  • Mobile Ticket
  • Photos and filming not allowed

What to expect

  • Visit the burial place of one of the most famous saints
  • 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.

St. Agnes lived in Rome in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries. Her parents were Christians and raised her according to the tenets of the faith. The saint died a martyr's death during the persecution during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian or Decius (3rd century), confessing her faith and defending her virginity. St. Agnes died at the age of twelve and was one of the most popular Christian martyrs in the Roman Empire. St. Agnes' resting place was in the catacombs that existed along the via Nomentana. Today her remains can be seen in an ornate reliquary in the crypt of the Basilica of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura, according to accounts deposited exactly above her original tomb.

Before Christian catacombs were built at the site, pagan catacombs had previously existed here, as well as a Praetorian Guard cemetery. The earliest burials took place around II AD. Today, in the vast underground corridors with a total length of 10 km, one can see niches carved into the soft tuff, into which the bodies of the dead, wrapped in sheets, were placed. They were closed with stone slabs, sometimes inscribed with inscriptions or symbols of the Christian faith. In the midst of the labyrinth one can find a cubicula - a kind of small chapel where wealthy Christians were buried, away from the poor. In the catacombs, not many paintings have survived, while many inscriptions and graffiti can be seen.

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, French, Spanish and 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.