The Creepiest Place in Rome

I left out an important Rome attraction earlier this week when I published my post on 72 hours in Rome with kids. On the morning of our departure, we got up extra early to ensure we’d have time to visit the Capuchin Crypt — a set of six chapels made up of human bones and skulls.

Sound creepy? It’s ultra creepy!

capuchin crypt in rome - chapel made up of skulls and bones

Check out all of these skulls. Unfortunately, the church does not allow photographs in the crypt so the only way to share the macabre vision is through photos of their post cards. The bones are nailed to the walls in intricate patterns, piled around each chapel, and there are even bone chandeliers.

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church made up of bones rome italy

Four thousand friar skeletons occupy the crypt, buried by their order after being transported to Rome in 1631. People have visited these bone chapels for hundreds of years — really, this site has to been seen to be believed.

Is the Capuchin Crypt kid-friendly?

I’d say categorically this is not a good place for little kids unless you are carrying a sleeping baby. Older school-age kids, tweens, and teens, however, will think you are the coolest (or craziest) parent ever for bringing them in here.

The crypt is below the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini off Piazza Barberini on the Via Veneto. This is not a well-known attraction — I must have asked 15 people how to find the church and I got countless shoulder shrugs, even IN Piazza Barberini. Anyway, in retrospect, it’s not difficult to find if you get yourself on Via Veneto from the piazza.

Here is a link to the official website for hours and more information.

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Start a Discussion

  • I think as a kid I would have loved this, as I was all over anything that freaked me out! (That said, I’m also a huge wimp…I keep a blanket over my head during any entire horror flick I watch, ha.)

  • We spent this last January in Rome with our 5 and 2 year old for my husband’s work. My husband went here first and very much thought we should not take our 5 year old! He has a very active imagination and thought it would be a very, very bad idea. (Our 2 year old wouldhave been fine.) I loved it, amazing to see and so many bones I do not recognize! We do love Rome!

  • My husband and I visited this on our trip through Rome and Venice in 2007. It was also one of our last stops on the trip and kind of a pain to find (not as hard as the internet cafe we were looking for though!). It was incredible. I agree with the sleeping baby comment. My 1.5 year old is a little too active. I don’t think he would care about the actual bones, but he would want to touch everything. What a cool experience for your kids though! Glad you enjoyed.

  • This creepy spot was a hit with my kids, too! I also thoroughly enjoyed it, too.
    Since it isn’t often on other itineraries – SO much to see in the delightful city of Rome, that I did include it in my travel guide for kids on Rome.
    Once you find a family friendly place to stay via Ciao Bambino, come check out my book.

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