The Catacombs of Saints Marcellinus and Peter

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

What to expecct?

  • Visit the burial place of venerated 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.

Marcellinus and Peter are Roman martyrs of early Christianity, saints of the Catholic Church. They suffered death by beheading during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). According to tradition, their bodies were thrown into a grave that they themselves had to dig. The site of the terrible martyrdom of the two saints was known as 'Selva Nera' (meaning 'Black Forest'), but after their death it was renamed 'Selva Candida', that is 'White Forest', along Via Cornelia. Their bodies were retrieved from their original grave by Saint Lucilla, who reburied them with due reverence along the Via Casilina, in a place named ad Duas Lauros, where there was already a cemetery in those days (the bodies of some 15,000 people were deposited there).

Catacombs named after these saints are located in Rome on Via Latina. In one of the crypts there is a fresco depicting the two martyrs along with St. Gorgonius and St. Tiburtius next to Jesus Christ, standing in the middle in the form of a lamb. The area where the catacombs extend is 18,000 square meters. They are the third largest catacombs in Rome.

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

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.