The Catacombs of St. Sebastian were among the first Christian tombs to be built. The church here is one of the seven pilgrimage churches of Rome and is named for St. Sebastian, who is buried here. These catacombs are four levels deep with more than six miles of corridors. They have fascinating early paintings, graffiti, stucco work and mosaics.
Catacombe di San Sebastiano/ Catacombs of St. Sebastian
Via Appia Antica, 136
00179 Rome, Italy
Closed on Sundays
Hours: 9.00 – 12.00 and 14.00 – 17.00
Currently, 6 € full price; 3 € reduced fee – projected increase 01/01/2010
In the church, on the first chapel to the left is a smooth white-marble St. Sebastian sculpture full of arrow holes. It was designed by Bernini but carried out by Antonio Giorgetti. The adjacent steps lead down to a crypt with the urn containing the Saint’s relics.
Other Holy relics, visited by pilgrims for centuries, are in the right chapel, including what are believed to be a stone with the footprints Jesus Christ left when he met St. Peter fleeing from Rome, arrows which pierced St. Sebastian and the column to which he was bound, as well as the hands of St. Callisto and St. Andrew.
Getting here is similar to Option 3 as listed above in the Catacombs of St. Callisto posting. As you can see from the map, it’s a straight shot from one to the other once you get on the Via Appia Antica. Actually, according to Google Maps, it’s about 4/10 of a mile. If you walk it, be prepared. There are no sidewalks and it is rough cobblestone. Also, if it’s not Sunday, you’ll have to share the road with buses, cars, and motorini.
If you ride the bus 118, then it’s very simple. Rather than getting off at the CATACOMBE S.CALLISTO stop, get off at the NEXT stop, which is the BASILICA S. SEBASTIANO. This bus stop is marked by the red ball on the map above. It’s adjacent to the church and catacomb entrance. You CANNOT ride the bus 218 out to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian. After it stops at the FOSSE ARDEATINE stop adjacent to the Catacombs of San Callisto entrance, it turns in a direction AWAY from the Catacombs of St. Sebastian… so either get on the bus 118, or walk the 4/10 of a mile as shown on the map above.
Now, returning to town from the Catacombs of St. Sebastian is a little tricky. If you come out after your visit and get back on the bus 118 at the red ball – the stop you GOT OFF the bus – you are going in the WRONG direction. You’ll have to ride the bus 118 to the end of it’s run, wait for the driver to take his break… and then come all the way back. Add at least 45 minutes to your trip!
The problem is the road in front of the Church is ONE-WAY and the WRONG WAY for you if you want to head back into town. No, to get back into town, you have to walk a little. You could walk back to the Catacombs of San Callisto and catch a bus there, but there are closer options. In the map above, note the two blue balls. These are the stops of the bus 118 on its RETURN RUN, back into town. So once you exit the Church and Catacombs, walk about 100 feet and TURN LEFT onto a little road, Vicolo della Basilica. This small street connects you to the Via Appia Antica HEADED BACK INTO TOWN. Once you dead-end into the Via Appia Antica, you can go left or right to the nearest bus stops – APPIA PIGNATELLI/S. URBANO , APPIA PIGNATELLI/APPIA ANTICA .
The bus 118 will stop on the way back into town at the Circo Massimo Metro Line B station, which is a short walk from the Colosseo. You can catch the Metro Line B at Circo Massimo – or stay on the bus and it ends at Piramide Metro Line B and the Roma Ostiense Railway Station… Again, the perfect place to catch a train back to Civitavecchia is you are cruising.
This is IMPORTANT. The bus 118 is a LONG run and therefore you may have to wait 30 minutes or more for the bus to return on its inbound run. Your only other option would be to walk to the Catacombs of San Callisto and catch the bus 218, which would take you to the San Giovanni area. Going out to both of these catacombs can be a time consuming travel experience. Plan your time accordingly.
Reference material pulled from
To go to a specific Catacomb page on the Ron-in-Rome website, click on any link below
Header: Catacombs of St. Sebastian – Photos by sagredo
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