Rome is a continuous discovery … When you turn your eyes, there is always a statue who is observing you or a monument ready to intrigue you with its old stories and legends.
Roma Luxury accompanies you even a short distance from the center, to discover, through a tour on a Vespa or with the out buggy-riding, the wonders of the Appia Antica and more particularly the Catacombs with a unique bespoke tour.
When you think of romantic Rome, probably the first things that come to mind are not mysterious corridors and old crypts. The Catacombs of Rome are located just outside the city and are made up of a series of underground tombs dug in the second century AD. The most significant are the Catacombs of San Callisto, in which 16 popes and about 30 martyrs were buried.
The Catacombs of San Callisto owe their name to the deacon Callisto, who was entrusted with the administration of the cemetery by Pope Zephyrinus in the third century. The catacombs became the official burial site of the Church of Rome. Christianity, at that time, was a faith still not widespread and while the Romans cremated their dead, the Christians preferred to bury them. Roman religion prohibited burial within urban boundaries, so these catacombs were chosen.
The catacombs in theunderground: The small Vatican
There is an air of mystery in the corridors. The catacombs have a number of floors no lower than 4, some of which are located 20 meters below ground level. The most important section is dedicated to the popes, also known as the “Little Vatican”. The crypt of the popes of San Callisto is considered the most beautiful crypt of the catacombs and on its walls you can still see original inscriptions.
The crypt of Santa Cecilia is another important site. Saint Cecilia, patron of music, remained buried here for 5 centuries. He died as a martyr around the year 230 and his body was lost for a long time. His tomb was rediscovered together with the catacombs of San Callisto in 820. Pope Pasquale I ordered to rebuild a church in the place where the saint died, and transferred her body here. The basilica of Santa Cecilia can still be admired in the fascinating district of Trastevere.
The catacomb of Santa Cecilia: Underground symbolism
The corridors and rooms of the catacombs are rich in decorations with Christian symbols. Since at that time the Christians could not practice their faith openly, they painted and engraved symbols to express their beliefs. The most famous are the monogram of Christ, the fish and the Good Shepherd. The monogram consists of the Greek characters X and P, the first two letters that make up the Greek word meaning Christ. When these letters are engraved on a grave, it means that a Christian is buried there.