This three hour private walking tour will take you to visit three “mysterious” and unusual places in Rome. You will visit the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini and its macabre collection of bones. The crypt is located just under the church. Cardinal Antonio Barberini, who was a member of the Capuchin order, in 1631 ordered the remains of thousands of Capuchin friars exhumed and transferred from the friary Via dei Lucchesi to the crypt. The bones were arranged along the walls, and the friars began to bury their own dead here, as well as the bodies of poor Romans, whose tomb was under the floor of the present Mass chapel. Here the Capuchins would come to pray and reflect each evening before retiring for the night.
The crypt, or ossuary, now contains the remains of 4,000 friars buried between 1500 and 1870, during which time the Roman Catholic Church permitted burial in and under churches. The underground crypt is divided into five chapels, lit only by dim natural light seeping in through cracks, and small fluorescent lamps. The walls are decorated with the remains in elaborate fashion, making this crypt a macabre work of art. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits, but for the most part, individual bones are used to create elaborate ornamental designs. The crypt originated at a period of a rich and creative cult for their dead; great spiritual masters meditated and preached with a skull in hand. A plaque in one of the chapels reads, in three languages, "What you are now, we once were; what we are now, you shall be." The entrance ticket here costs Euro 6.00.
This private tour will then take you to visit the archeological area of Vicus Caprarius where you will see an underground Roman home from the 1st century AD. Entrance ticket is Euro 3.00. Next you will visit the church of San Silvestro in Capite where according to tradition the head of Saint John the Baptist is preserved. This 8th century church, restructured in the Baroque style in the 17th century today is the home an English order of the Benedictines and is considered to be the “English Church” of Rome. less >>
The proposed itineraries are only examples of possible tours. For different pick up / drop off locations or customized itineraries we invite our clients to contact one of our tour coordinators to help them design their own tour.