Rome is a city full of art and history.
One of the most important historical features are the Catacombs. We can count more than 60, consisting in hundreds of miles of tunnels and tens of thousands of graves.
The system of the catacombs was not invented Christians. Underground excavation as such can also be found in Naples, Chiusi, Bolsena and even in North Africa. So Christians didn’t use them as the result of prosecution.
It was meant to be a collective cemetery under the ground. They were in fact a very numerous and closed community and, even in that time, burying people could be a problem.
They became more and more important thanks to martyrs. They were buried there and people started to go there to pray or simply wanted to have a tomb close to the one of the martyr to have him close for protection.
Nowadays catacombs are visited by a huge number of Italian and foreigner visitors. They came here for faith or just for curiosity.
Beside the religious character of this peculiar wide monument, it is possible to admire really well conserved sculptures, inscription, paintings and so on. All of them are clearly understandable examples of customs and habits of people of the early Church.
Those people use to live a normal life in their family and society, but having as reference point the spiritual life of the Catacombs, from which they use to take the strength to face real life heavy problems and prosecutions.
The atmosphere is the one of a Church, a church made out of human heavy work and severe pain, enlightened by the light of a faith so strong and deep to surprise contemporary people.
Visiting the catacombs is not just a tourist excursion, but it can be an human adventure and a pilgrimage .
The Catacombs of San Callisto are one of the largest and most important in Rome.