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  1. Italy
  2. Sicily
  3. Palermo
  4. Capuchin Catacombs

Capuchin Catacombs and Monreale Cathedral Private Tour

Product ID: 27015
Discover the gruesome burial chambers of the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, filled with the mummified bodies of friars and local luminaries on a private tour. Continue to the exquisite 12th-century Norman cathedral of Monreale.
About this activity
Duration: 3 hours
Skip the line through a separate entrance
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Host or greeter
Spanish, English, French, Italian
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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Experience

Highlights
  • Wander the gruesome corridors of the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo
  • See the mummified remains of friars, virgins, children, and the painter Velazquez
  • Learn about the mysterious preservative that could mummify the dead
  • See the mummy of the young girl Rosalia Lombardo, who died in 1920 and was the last person to be buried in the catacombs
  • Visit the 12th-century cathedral of Monreale, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world
  • Stroll around the beautiful gardens of the Benedictine Cloisters, admiring the delicate arches and marble columns
  • Enjoy the benefits of a private tour
Full description
Explore the ghoulish remains of friars and luminaries at Palermo’s Capuchin Catacombs on a 3-hour sightseeing tour. Wander along dank corridors through a vast human library of mummified bodies.

Inaugurated in 1599, when Capuchin monks discovered that their catacombs contained a mysterious preservative that could mummify the dead, the goal of the site is to reflect on the fragility of life and consider the pettiness of worldly goods.

Some 8,000 bodies of men and women were ultimately buried in the catacombs, including the mummy of friar Silvestro of Gubbio, the first body to be buried in the catacombs. The corpses are divided into categories, such as friars, virgins, and professors, and often recognizable by their decaying clothing. As you walk through the corridors, you will see ghastly bodies that include the mummified corpse of the painter Velazquez.

Emerge from the gruesome catacombs and travel to Monreale, 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Palermo. Here you will swap corpses for gold and marble as you visit the 12th-century Arab-Norman Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world.

End your tour at the Benedictine Cloister, completed at the turn of the 13th century. Wander around the beautiful garden, surrounded by delicate arches and white marble columns.
Includes
  • Private car and English-speaking driver
What’s Not Included
  • Airport pick-up and drop off (available on request and for an extra fee)
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off (available on request and for an extra fee)
  • Entry to the Catacombs of Capuchins, Monreale Cathedral, and the Cloister of Monreale
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Piazza Verdi at the stairs of the Theatre Massimo

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Important information
Not allowed
  • Sleeveless shirts
Know before you go
• This is a private tour
• A different schedule is possible on request
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 18 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.4 / 5
  • Organization
    4.6 / 5
  • Value for money
    3.6 / 5
  • Safety
    4.7 / 5
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This tour is our most bizarre experience but very interesting one, children were thrilled to see all the mummies in the touchable distance. Climbing up the church was very fun and the view was spectacular, too. The cathedral is not as amazing compared with the others. Our guide Patricia is friendly and fun to be with, but overall this tour seems to be overpriced.

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July 1, 2018

Outstanding tour most memorable dinner to complete the day

Patricia was a splendid guide, knowledgeable understanding and a great communicator. In encouraging our interaction and meeting our interests we could learn so much more about Palermo, Sicilian culture and lifestyle in addition to the history before our eyes. The home cooked meal allowed us to share recipes, techniques and cooking preferences in congenial surroundings. A cooking lesson in her studio apartment kitchen would be a wonderful experience and greatly to be recommended. Its position amid a maze of dark and narrow lanes allowed it to stand out as a true centre of good taste and impressive hospitality.

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September 15, 2017

Patrizia was lovely and very knowledgeable.

May 20, 2019

Organized by

SicilianDays

Product ID: 27015