The Capuchin Crypt is located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini on the Via Vittorio Veneto not far from the Piazza Barberini. The Crypt contains nearly 4000 skeletal remains (arranged into ossuary art) and several bodies on display. The Order desired this fate for their mortal remains, and a visit to the Crypt is meant to be a reminder of one's own mortality. In order to illustrate this point, one of the bodies is displayed with a card in multiple languages stating: 'As you are, we once were; as we are, you will be
Entrance to the Crypt
The Crypt is preceded by a museum which gives a brief history of the Order and their beliefs, relationship to past and present Catholicism, and a display of some historical objects and holy relics.
Saint Rocco (patron saint of plague), Crypt Museum
The Crypt is divided into 6 chapels:
1. Crypt of the Resurrection
2. Mass Chapel (used to celebrate mass and does not contain skeletons or remains)
3. Crypt of the Skulls
4. Crypt of the Pelvises
5. Crypt of the Leg Bones and Thigh Bones
6. Crypt of the Three Skeletons
As the names of the chapels indicate, thousands of different bones form elaborate decorative arrangements. The chapels also contain the desiccated remains of friars still wearing their distinct Capuchin robes and hoods.
Photo by Dnalor 01, Wikimedia Commons
Photography is not allowed inside the Crypt. There is no stated age restriction for entry (children are permitted). Appropriate clothing (no shorts or tank tops allowed) is required to enter the museum and crypt. You can purchase a cover-up for 1.00 euro if needed.
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to visit the Crypt. The space is small and the single-file queue moves at a moderate pace. Audio tours are available in English, Italian, and Spanish for 5.00 euros. Guided tours are available in Italian for 65.00 euros or in English, Spanish, or French for 80.00. Audio tours are available at the entrance to the museum, while guided tours must be booked 15 days in advance of the visit.