As I said before, we met at Bernini Square to start our next tour: Crypts & Bones & Catacombs - Underground Tour of Rome. Honestly, this was the tour that I was looking forward to the most. I was seriously disappointed.
First of all, let me apologize for the lack of photos in this post. We weren't allowed to take photos in any of the places that this tour takes you. So disappointing for me!
Anyway, this tour was 8 people, including Philip and I. First, we took a van to the Catacombs of Santa Priscilla. It is pretty cool. You go under the church and see where the bodies of ancient Christians used to be -- the bodies have since been removed. The catacombs stretch for over 3 miles under the ground. And, it has the oldest image of the Virgin Mary. Our tour guide had some history for us, but for the most part, it was kind of a letdown. There are only so many holes in the wall that you can look at before it gets kind of boring.
Next, we went to the Capuchin Bone Crypt. I thought it would be really cool, but it lasted all of about 5 minutes and was actually creepy. It's a series of, I think, 4 or 5 rooms decorated with bones. Bones don't creep me out. What creeped me out was that there were whole bodies there with dried out skin tightened over their faces and hands. It was a little disgusting. And, like I said, it only took about 5 minutes.
It was super crowded. Basically, you walk down a hallway and look into the rooms that are decorated with the bones. Then you walk back out. Rather disappointing.
Next, we went to the Basilica of San Clemente. Above the ground, there is a 12th century church.
Below that, there is a 4th century basilica.
And, even below that, there is a 1st century Mithraic secret temple.
It was pretty interesting. It shows you how the city of Rome is just a series of layers. They just continually built new things on top of old things. That's why the third subway tunnel is taking decades to complete. Anytime they begin work, they come across more ancient ruins and have to stop work again!
Anyway, I wasn't really impressed with this tour. I thought it was seriously overpriced. I know that they had to pay for transportation for us, but it really wasn't worth the 59 Euros a piece we paid for it. I know that the guide did the best she could with it, but I don't think I would recommend that anyone spend the money on this one. If you're interested, just take the tours yourself and save yourself a bunch of cash!