Day 3: Capuchin Crypt

Them/Them Travel: Capucin Crypt, Rome, Italy

Content Advisory. The following topic regarding human remains and burial sites may not be suitable for all audiences.

The Capucin Crypt is just a morbidly fascinating experience. Photography is not allowed, so we mainly got photos outside, in the evening after we visited to add some extra shadowy dimensions. You can do a Google image search to find photos (like this one, click here!). Later, when we visited the Palazzo Barberini, there was an art-sized photo of one of the crypts, and a copy of the Caravaggio at the Museo Cappuccini, so I took a photo of those (of course!) to post.

From what I understood from the audio tour, the Capuchin Friars Minor had a limited amount of soil from the Holy Land to bury deceased monks of their order. So, in a combination of both respecting the wishes of all monks who wanted to be buried in the sacred soil, along with moving from one monastery to another around 1730(ish), someone got the idea to use the “extra” remains as art to decorate the burial plots at the new (now current) location. I never knew you could use ribs and pelvises as arches, rainbows, and wings. It was totally gross and completely fascinating.

The “Bone Chapel,” as it is nicknamed, was close to our apartment in Piazza Barberini and is a short walk from the Barberini Metro stop.

Please note that Il Convento dei Cappucini, that houses the crypt, is a church and has a dress code, even for tourists. Every time I go to their website, it seems like it says its re-opening in 3 days … but here is the link anyway in case they ever do finish the redesign, so you can check the dress code.

There are “skip the line” tours, but I am not sure it is necessary to book in advance. Possibly in summer, but, given how I had to put a content warning on this page … this is one of the less well known attractions in Rome!