The Queen of the Catacombs

The Catacombs
of Priscilla

An unforgettable experience for lovers of History, Art, Archeology and Faith of the first centuries of Christianity.

A journey of Faith and History

During the visit of the Catacomb you will be able to admire the ancient tombs of Christian martyrs,
the thousand-year-old frescoes and the silent beauty of this unique place.

One of the oldest underground cemeteries in Rome.

Over 13 km of tunnels on two levels.

A journey into the past through the history, art and culture of early Christianity

Discovering the fascinating Underground Rome

Rome is splendid, but Underground Rome preserves unique wonders in the world, such as the Catacombs of Priscilla: a true “city of the dead” excavated between the end of the second and fifth centuries, located on the Via Salaria.

Of the over 60 roman Catacombs, only 7 are open to the public

The Catacombs of Priscilla offer visitors the opportunity to admire evocative environments, often decorated with frescoes (cubicles, arcosolia and niches), excavated in underground galleries, testimony to the history of the first Christian community of Rome.
They are one of only 7 Catacombs open to the public: don’t miss a visit during your stay.

The Queen of the Catacombs

The Catacombs of Priscilla welcomed the remains of numerous martyrs, such as the brothers Felice and Filippo, sons of the martyr Felicita, and 7 popes, including Pope Sylvester, hosting thousands of burials overall.

The Art of the Catacombs

The first and oldest level of the Catacombs of Priscilla is a fascinating labyrinth of irregular galleries where you can admire frescoes, inspired by the stories of the Old or New Testament, expressing faith in salvation and resurrection.

Along the way you will encounter:

The Velata's Cubicle

Its name derives from the presence of a “Veiled” woman painted in the background lunette in a praying attitude. The scenes depicted, unique in early Christian art, are interpreted as important moments in the life of the deceased, marriage, motherhood and her admission among the blessed.

The frescoes, dated to the second half of the 3rd century, include depictions such as the Good Shepherd among birds and scenes of salvation taken from the Old Testament such as the prophet Jonah, the three young Jews in the furnace and the sacrifice of Isaac.

The Cryptoporticus

The cryptoporticus represents one of the oldest nuclei of the catacomb.

The famous “Greek Chapel” opens onto this, with frescoes dating back to the time of the emperor Gallienus (253-268), decorated with the stories of Susanna, the adoration of the Magi and a well-known representation of a banquet, known as Fractio panis.

The oldest depiction of the Virgin

Considered the oldest in the world, the image has been dated to the beginning of the 3rd century (230-240).

The painting represents the Virgin and Child and a prophet who points to a star above the Virgin’s head.

This character can be identified with the Old Testament prophet Balaam, who predicts the coming of Christ.

The Basilica of San Silvestro

In the basement of the catacomb of Priscilla, excavations have revealed the foundation walls of a basilica built on the tomb of San Silvestro, elected Pope in 314.

For groups of pilgrims we offer the possibility of celebrating Holy Mass here, upon reservation.