This last picture wasn’t taken from the bus, as you might be able to tell, it was inside a building… After we finished at Vatican city, we caught a train and a bus to seemingly the middle of nowhere to take a tour of one of the dozens of catacombs on the outskirts of Rome. We headed for the catacombs of San Sebastiano, and were just in time to hop on the last English tour. The coolness of the catacombs was a welcome reprieve from the heat outside, and the stories our tour guide told held our attention the entire time as we wound through the tunnels underground. He told us how they moved all of the bodies over fifty years ago and then opened the catacombs to the public. He also told that there was strong evidence that Saint Peter and Saint Paul were buried here, as people would make pilgrimages to the catacomb and leave carved graffiti with appeals to the Saints. When we left the tombs we emerged into a church, and saw this sculpture of Jesus. Apparently it was discarded and then found some years later and after much digging was found to be the work of Salvatore di Gian Lorenzo Bernini. I had never heard of him, but our friend had, and apparently he was quite influential and famous at the time.
I mentioned before that we got a two day ticket for one of the tour buses that go around the city, and I’ll stress again – in Rome it’s a great idea! It’s a great way to rest your tired feet as well after roaming for a whole week around Italy. So here are some pictures taken from the top of the bus around the city.
If you find yourself in Rome, the catacombs are definitely something you should squeeze in.