Fall 2010 Temple Rome Veronica DaSilva

Catacombs

I should have posted this last week, but school work (and being in Rome) has me constantly busy!!

Last week I visited the catacombs in Rome with my friend Anna and her two friends who were visiting her from home. We took the metro on the A line to San Giovani, got out, and took the 218 bus about 10 stops to Via Appia Antica. Once we got off we didn’t feel like we were in Rome anymore. Luckily we had a perfectly amazing crisp blue sky kind of a day with big puffy clouds, so of course we didn’t mind walking after a full week of rain! We looked around and saw signs to the catacombs through a old brick arch leading up a long road, so we made our way towards it. Passing through the arch, led to this road that went on for about a mile with vast fields of green grass on either side of us. What?! Where was I?! Still in Rome?  Yes! After about a mile of walking we came up to the entrance of the catacombs where people were buying tickets and waiting in line. We bought our tickets for 8 euros, and waited in line for the english given tour. After about 5 minutes we were assigned a group leader who brought us into a small chapel and told us the history of the catacombs before taking us down under. Over half a million people were buried in the catacombs, and it used to run underground for 12 miles. We made our way into the catacombs down sets of steep stairs leading into the cold underground burial site. Yes, I was definitely creeped out the entire time. It got colder and colder as we made our way down and empty burial boxes were lining the walls by the hundreds. Small burial boxes made up for most of the graves because of the high death rate of small children during those times. Even more creeped out now!! We entered certain rooms where there were old remains of frescoes lining the ceilings. A replica of Saint Cecilia was also in the catacombs along with other statues that were tucked away in small carved out holes. It seemed like it went on for a hundred miles, and many sections were roped off so that visitors would not wander off alone and get lost in the never ending graves. Imaging the workers that they had underground daily, carving out the graves, walking around with torches and burying people. It is known as a holy place, so although I was creeped out, I was ensured that I was safe because of the “holyness” all around. Sorry, but I was still scared! Hahaha!

After the tour was over we climbed back up the stairs and made our way out of the catacombs. Feeling back in place above ground I reassured myself that everything was fine. We made our way back down the mile road with the sky still blue as ever. Now it was time to find some good ol Kebabs and then gelato, of course!!

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