Catacombs of Domitilla

Rome, Italy

Close to the Catacombs of San Callisto are the large and impressive Catacombs of Domitilla (named after Saint Domitilla), spread over 15 kilometres of underground caves.

The Domitilla Catacombs are unique in that they are the oldest of Rome's underground burial networks, and the only ones to still contain bones. They are also the best preserved and one of the most extensive of all the catacombs. Included in their passages are a 2nd-century fresco of the Last Supper and other valuable artifacts. There are almost 150,000 bodies buried in the Catacombs of St. Domitilla.

They are the only catacombs that have a subterranean basilica; entrance to the catacombs is achieved through this sunken 4th-century church, at via delle Sette Chiese 282. In the past, the basilica had become unsafe, and was abandoned in the 9th century. It was rediscovered in 1593, and much of it was reconstructed in 1872.



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Founded: 2nd century AD
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Italy

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User Reviews

Christopher Gorrie (3 years ago)
I had an incredible experience at the Catacombs of Domitilla. I highly suggest taking a guided tour. My guide gave us great contextual information and helped me understand the history of Christianity in Rome and the birth and existence of the catacombs. Of course there is the incredible highlight of this particular series of catacombs — the painting St. Peter and St. Paul, which is the oldest fresco image of them in the world. It’s amazing that it is left exposed — in other countries something like this might be under bulletproof glass. The entrance to this site is slightly out of the way, so be sure you prepare to get there. Taking a taxi or bus is probably easiest. You can also get here by electric scooter or bicycle, though it’s slightly risky. Walking might take quite a while. Hydrate and use the bathroom before going under!
Prince Ruby (3 years ago)
My first real guided tour through catacombs of any kind and I was impressed by the knowledgeable guide and the preservation of the pieces.
Amanda Harper (3 years ago)
Really fun! One of our favorite things we did on the trip. Was nice and cool down there as well, so was a nice way to beat the heat.
sherri aragon (3 years ago)
It was very informative my tour guide John was incredibly knowledgeable we went to a chruch I loved it and beautiful
Josiah Brunette (5 years ago)
Excellent and very knowledgeable tour guide. Few things to be prepared for the catacombs are a bit brisk, a light jacket is recommended. The catacombs are dark, rocky, small, and narrow. So watch your step. Our tour guide did a very good job at looking out for our group and catering to the needs of the group. Enjoy!
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