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“Unique Roman Tour”

Catacombe di Priscilla
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2.5-Hour Private Rome Catacombs Family Tour
Ranked #124 of 1,972 things to do in Rome
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

We booked with a tour company for a Christian tour of Rome which included the Catacombs di Priscilla. We were very fortunate as the Catacombs are closed to the public on Mondays but our tour company got us in. We were the only 4 tourists there at that time which was great. Our tour company's own guide took us through the Catacombs. It was a fascinating and incredible place with the burial niches winding like a maze under the convent. We actually did see some bones that we were told most public tours do not get to see, but most have been removed. The paintings were interesting and included the oldest known image of the Virgin Mary. It's kind of a spooky place but its historical significance far outweighs its spookiness.

2  Thank Betsy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"early christians"
in 10 reviews
"virgin mary"
in 8 reviews
"very interesting tour"
in 8 reviews
"villa ada"
in 5 reviews
"english tour"
in 8 reviews
"biblical scenes"
in 3 reviews
"tour lasted about minutes"
in 3 reviews
"worth the bus ride"
in 2 reviews
"actual places"
in 2 reviews
"skeletal remains"
in 2 reviews
"fascinating visit"
in 2 reviews
"baby jesus"
in 2 reviews
"a small gift shop"
in 2 reviews
"no photos allowed"
in 2 reviews
"central rome"
in 7 reviews
"huge park"
in 2 reviews
"sacred place"
in 2 reviews

142 - 146 of 293 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

The tour was nice if a little too many people to hear clearly. Lots of information and interesting stories about the catacombs and the artwork inside. The best part was walking through a small mass that was being held in the chapel. The man in the front row was texting during the mass.... but the priest was using an iPad to read his script so I guess it was okay.

The catacombs are a bit outside of the main tourist area and a little tricky to get to. We took a bus out there from Termini, but didn't have tickets to ride the bus back. We went on a Saturday and there were no tabaccheri shops open anywhere near the catacombs, nor anywhere to buy a drink or snack. We ended up walking most of the way back to Termini before finding a metro station and a snack shop. So go prepared it if you go on the weekend!

1  Thank sues87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We had never visited a Roman catacomb so it was very interesting. We got to see some of the earliest frescoes from the Christian era and walked around the catacomb following the guide. However, we had the female English guide (who also doubled as the souvenir receptionist) and she moved through the catacombs at a fairly brisk pace. My companion and I were also stuck with a group of 15+ high schoolers from the US which made things really cramped and hard to see, but she did not give us the option of waiting for a second, smaller tour. There were times she was walking so quickly near the end of the tour that we almost lost the group, being at the back of the line.

Also, in case any 'newbies' like me were expecting this, you do not get to see any skeletons or significant amounts of relics in the catacombs - they were removed when looting became a problem.

If we ever go back to Rome, we'd probably go to Domitilla or some of the larger catacombs. This seemed like a much smaller operation and is not centrally located for most tourists to reach.

2  Thank robinsena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

I last visited catacombs about 20 years ago in southern Rome (San calisto, if I'm not mistaken). The catacombs of Priscilla were much more interesting and the tour was much more informative. OK, I realize it may not be fair to compare this with something 20 years ago, but it was worth the bus ride and 8eu admission price. Our kids were only 5eu each. There's a good open air market and salumeria on via nemorense where we picked up some picnic stuff- nice neighborhood with park nearby. The #63 bus will take you from the heart of Roma out there... Takes about 30-45 min depending on traffic.

1  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Reviewed April 23, 2013

We took the tour mid April, 2013. I am doing a master's thesis on early women leaders in the church and was surprised to hear our tour guide give inaccurate information on 1) the fresco of women breaking bread (she said it was men, and when I questioned her she then said that only one was a women - the 3rd from the right). However scholarship had been done on this fresco and it has been determined that it depicts women. In the catacombe's chapel, there is a mosaic, which is a copy of that earlier fresco. But here the women have been changed into men! Interestingly, she never mentioned the connection. 2) Similarly, in another famous fresco - of the woman with hands outstretched - our tour guide also misrepresented this mosaic. She said it was a wealthy woman praying with additional depictions showing phases of her life: her marriage, motherhood. Scholars have described this wealthy women as a type of priest. The depiction on her left is not of her marriage, but shows a bishop placing his hand on her shoulder conveying ordination rites. Fascinating....

2  Thank Meg724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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