Catacomb of Santa Savinilla

Catacomb of Santa Savinilla

The access to the Church of San Tolomeo

The catacomb of Santa Savinilla is located in the thereabouts of Nepi’s cemetery. By passing through the Church of San Tolomeo alle grotte, one can access the underlying galleries.

The church was built during the 17th century, in place of the previous building which lay here, that was demolished at the orders of Pier Luigi Farnese, son of Pope Paolo III. The structure was purposely destroyed as a safety measure, so as to avert enemy armies from using it for shelter.

Chiesa di San Tolomeo - Entrata della Catacomba

Chiesa di San Tolomeo - Entrata della Catacomba

Catacomba di Santa Savinilla

Catacomba di Santa Savinilla

The catacomb of Nepi

The catacomb of Santa Savinilla consists of three main galleries, excavated into the characteristic local tuff rock. From these three, several minor tunnels branch off into intricate ramifications which make up the rest of the catacomb.

The three main galleries stretch out for approximately 35 metres in length and 3,5 metres in width. The considerable size of these underground spaces was made possible thanks to the peculiar feature of the tuff rock in which they were built, a material which is known for its softness. It is its very dimensions which make of the catacomb of Santa Savinilla one of the most outstanding funerary subterranean complexes of both the Lazio region and the whole of central Italy.

 

The tombs

The catacomb homes over one thousand tombs, bearing witness to the continuity with which the funerary complex was used throughout the centuries.

Several tombs occupy the walls of the galleries, most of them being burial recesses sealed by tiles and plastered with white mortar. Some of these tombs also present funerary inscriptions, both painted or scratched upon the mortar plaster, whereas other sepulchres are decorated by paintings by local artists, mostly to be dated to the 14th century.

The typology of these tombs, the inscriptions, and some of the materials employed, are all clues which lead us to assume the catacomb’s period of active use is sometime between the 4th and 5th century.

 

The legend of the saints Tolomeo and Romano

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Timetables and contacts

To visit the Catacombs, contact the operators of the Civic Archaeological Museum, at the times indicated below.

Tuesday, Wedenesday, Thursday, Friday: 11:00 – 13:00 16:00 – 18:00

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 – 13:00 15:00 – 18:00

Address: Civic Archaeological Museum - Via Falisca, 31

Telephone: 0761/570604

 

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Where is the Catacomb of Santa Savinilla

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