Catacombe di Priscilla

Catacombe di Priscilla, Rome

Catacombe di Priscilla
4.5
Friday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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About
The Catacombs of Priscilla, sits on the Via Salaria, with its entrance in the convent of the Benedictine Sisters of Priscilla. It is mentioned in all of the most ancient documents on Christian topography and liturgy in Rome; because of the great number of martyrs buried within it, it was called “regina catacumbarum – the queen of the catacombs.” Originally dug out from the second to fifth centuries, it began as a series of underground burial chambers, of which the most important are the “arenarium” or sand-quarry, the cryptoporticus, (an underground area to get away from the summer heat), and the hypogeum with the tombs of the Acilius Glabrio family. The noblewoman Priscilla, who granted the Church use of the property, was a member of this family; her commemoration is noted on January 16th in the Roman Martyrology, which speaks of her as a benefactor of the Christian community in Rome. This cemetery was lost like all the others after the entrances were blocked to protect it from thievery; however, it was also one of the first to be rediscovered, in the sixteenth-century. A large portion of the funerary inscription, sarcophagi, stone and bodies (presumed to be those of martyrs) were subsequently taken away; nevertheless, the catacomb does preserve some particularly beautiful and important paintings, the most significant of which are included on the regular visit.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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398 reviews
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Old-Socialist
Indianapolis, IN655 contributions
Couples
This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The tour takes small groups into the extensive catacombs of saints and martyrs. The relics were removed hundreds of years ago; so, there is nothing to scare little children apart from the dark, dank paths that visitors follow with an experienced guide.

The catacombs are controlled by the Vatican and are considered religious site, so no photography is allowed during the tour. Nevertheless, the tour was still well worth the price.
Written May 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stuart
Watford, UK224 contributions
Couples
This was amazing! We turned up here just from being in the area and thought it would be worth poking our head in to see if we can have a look around. We didn’t realise that you needed to book a tour, and the lady at the ticket office was a little off when we asked for tickets. Seemingly Reluctantly she booked us into the next and last tour in English for the day. Despite this - it was fantastic! The tour guide was really good, extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer all the questions. We learned loads and would really recommend anyone in Rome visiting these. It was lovely and cool underground. There were young kids in our tour group which seemed to learn loads too so I would say it would be good for kids of a learning age. I am not good in small spaces underground, however I found this totally fine and not an issue at all.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit and would 100% recommending anyone in Rome to make the trip to these.
However - if you do plan it - Please book to make sure that you have a tour.
Written July 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark2965
McKinney, TX47 contributions
Couples
This tour provided by a sweet and knowledgeable guide was truly amazing. The history and sights were amazing. I love the quiet and intimate environment since fewer tourists come here. This is the best catacomb experience in Rome!
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pieter
Sint-Niklaas, Belgium18 contributions
Couples
This was my first visit to a catacomb so I didn't really know what to expect but it turned out great! The tour guide was really friendly and her English was pretty good. The tour only lasted about 45 minutes, if it lasted a bit longer I would have given it 5 stars. You were also not allowed to take pictures which was a bummer. So if you're visiting Rome and have some spare time I'd recommend this place!
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MKB1701
New York678 contributions
We chose this as an ad-on to our day and were very glad that we did so. We had to take a cab there as it wasn't the most accessible place; do make sure you are on time for the scheduled tours.

Mariano was a great guide, explaining how the early Christians used these as burial sites during the beginnings of the Church. Well-preserved and tastefully laid out the Catacombs are a great example of early Christian life inside the gates of inner Rome.

NOTE: it's one of the few places we encountered in Rome that was cash only.

The surfaces are a bit uneven, so it may not be the best attraction for those with unsure footing. Otherwise, we loved it - highly recommended.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lance H
Boerne, TX1,277 contributions
I was disappointed that there were no bones to see, but once I understood that, i settled in to enjoy the history. Tours are every thirty minutes or so and depend on the language. We had to wait thirty minutes, but it was worth the wait. The tour guide was informative and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this sans bones.
Written March 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aquinasmagister
Hatfield, UK362 contributions
Couples
This is a bit off the beaten track but is actually not difficult to get to. We got the underground ( directions from the metro are not actually that great . Take the tube line B to S Agnese/Annibaliano , walk up Via Massaciucccoli and turn left into Via Lago dr Lesina until you arrive at Piazza Crati (great cafe on corner ) From there take via Di Priscilla until you come to the piazza Di Priscilla. All this will take you 15 a 20 minutes . And you’ll be near the bus stop to go back into town. )

Turn left into Via Samaria (the big road with the wall and gardens opposite) and about 100 yards along is a door to the Benedictine convent hosting the catacombs

This looks unassuming. But you’ll get a warm welcome

The have a vending machine for coffee and soft drinks, snacks and toilets. They have a small gift shop with some exquisite small memories and beautiful prayer cards as well as church linen and vestments made by the nuns

The ticket office takes cash only but you can pay by card for gifts

While small and out of the way this is a jewel. You go down fairly deeply and also walk round some bits where the Greek chapel and other frescoes from nearly eighteen hundred years ago will blow your away

Not recommended if you’re claustrophobic. It’s also the most famous/humid/wet of the catacombs we visited . Wear decent shoes

We visited three catacombs sites : S Callisto and S Domitilla (within easy walking distance of each other once you get there) and Priscilla (other side of the city) . S Sebastiano is within walking distance (or several bus stops on the 118 bus from Outside S Callisto on the way back to Porta S Giovanni) but wasn’t open at a time which suited us this visit.

All catacombs are guided tours only, and if your language is English you wait until there are enough of you for a guide. At Priscilla we only waited five minutes for the tour and they had a film to watch

Each of the catacombs is very different and I highly recommend them all. Not for people wh

These catacombs are important because of their artwork . This is the one with the good shepherd image of Christ in a ceiling vault. You will also pass a still sealed grave with the body of an early christian martyr inside. Like S Callisto Popes we’re buried here.

Our guide genuinely wanted us to know abo the place and he showed us lots of areas which were open. This is probably the more cramped or least spacious of the catacombs but as someone who gets claustrophobic this didn’t bother me at all.

I will happily do this multiple time’s. I’m really glad I did the three different catacombs because each is different and has different things to see

The next day we went to the Vatican museums and the museo pio Cristiano (museum of early christian stonework tombs and inscriptions) is made much understandable having been to the catacombs.

S Callisto has the best stocked gift shop with a wide selection of goods including books

Parking didn’t seem great and it doesn’t look as well set up for large groups but while we were there there was a group of 20 coming out as we went And another group going in as we came out

Wear sensible shoes and expect to climb several flights of stairs

To go back to town turn right outside the door, right into Piazza Di Priscilla and left into via di Priscilla and a bus stop about three hundred yards along (with a sports shop and a Chinese/Japanese restaurant right by it ) will give you several buses to take you back to different parts of town including stazione termini or via del coral. Or alternatively retrace your steps to the metro

You may be tempted not to visit this. That would be a real mistake
Written December 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TaraNicole C
32 contributions
Solo
This is a real jewel and you do not have to go outside of Rome to the Appian Way to see catacombs if you choose to go here. Don't get me wrong... the catacombs along the Appian Way are fantastic too (Catacombs of St. Sebastian and St. Callisto), but these are closer if you are pressed for time or wish to have an easier time of visiting a catacomb. You will be part of a guided tour and both times I have visited, the guides were very good.

This catacomb has some amazing history to it. You will see what is thought to be the first depiction of The Virgin Mary. Here is a quote from their website:
"The Niche with the oldest image in existence of the Virgin Mary-
The image of the Good Shepherd in stucco, (much of which has unfortunately fallen off,) is found on the upper part of a niche which was later expanded into a gallery, most likely because of the presence of a venerated tomb. He is standing among some trees which are stucco on the bottom, but fresco on the top, where we see leaves and red fruits painted in vivid color. On either side of the trees there were two more images, but the one on the left has completely fallen away. On the right is preserved an image of the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus on her knee; a prophet stands next to her, holding a scroll in his left hand, and pointing to a star with his right. This seems to refer to the prophecy of Balaam, “A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a scepter shall spring up from Israel” (Numbers 24, 15-17). The presence of the prophet indicates that the Child is the Messiah awaited for many ages."

As an art history teacher, this was an awesome thing to see as it is hugely significant to Christian iconography.

The tunnels are carved out of soft volcanic earth called "tufa" and the niches where the dead were buried are called "Loculi". It is pretty overwhelming as you tour the catacomb how MANY niches there are!!! The whole complex is three or four levels deep and there are other types of rooms you will see including a small temple area.

The temperature is cool so on a hot day, it is so nice to visit. The ground of the tunnels is a bit uneven so wear good shoes. If you fear small spaces and darkness, this place could make you uneasy, although it is very well kept and lighting is good.

I have visited twice and I love going here. If you are in Rome and you are interested in its history beyond the main tourists sights (Vatican, Coloseo, Forum), this place is a must-see.
Written June 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Harriet58
East Wenatchee, WA74 contributions
Friends
We selected these catacombs to visit because of Rick Steves recommendation that these are less commercialized and feel more intimate. On the guided tour you are led down a passage underground to see the actual places where early Christians were buried. Some of the walls and ceilings display fine decorations illustrating biblical scenes.You will see the niche with the oldest image in existence of the Virgin Mary with Jesus. We’d never seen a catacomb before, so we found it educational and interesting.
Written April 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

oakleys03
Toronto, Canada17 contributions
Couples
I personally did not think it was worth the bus trip and 8 euros entrance fee. It was a bit out of the way from downtown and when we arrived, the only available tour was in spanish which we had to wait 15mins for to begin. We had no choice but to join that tour. CAUTION: if you are looking to visit this catacombs, try to avoid sundays!! There were a over 20 local teenagers from a local church which were apart of our tour that wouldn't stop talking which made it difficult to see and hear the tour guide in such a dark confined space. The tour lasted for 30mins which seem Iike you are just walking into someone's wine cellar from one end to another. For anyone who thinks you will see any kind of skeleton or bones, you do not. And no pictures are allowed either, they have cameras installed all over the premise keeping an eye for photo takers.

After our tour, we had to endure another long bus ride back to downtown.

I will not recommend this catacombs, but who knows maybe other catacombs site are more fascinating than this one.
DIsappointment!!
Written September 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Catacombe di Priscilla is open:
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  • Fri - Sun 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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