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Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas – Underground Rome Tour

The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas tour will allow you to visit a perfectly preserved underground family tomb dating back to the first century AD.


  • Historical interest 100% 100%
  • Fun 80% 80%
  • Activity Level 100% 100%

Price from 70 euros

The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas tour will let you visit a traditional underground ancient roman cemetery” and learn about the people who came to rest here.

Visit an underground “ancient Roman cemetery” on the “Appian Way” with the Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas tour...

Here you will see beautiful mosaics and ancient roman frescoes and see how people lived in the Roman Empire. The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas tour allows you to visit a perfectly preserved “archaeological site of Ancient Rome”. Discovered in 1831, the Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas was built in the first century AD, and it has been perfectly preserved throughout History. It is in “Via Appia Antica”, the ancient “Appian Way”. “Columbaria” were used by people who were not wealthy enough to afford a private tomb for their family, but still wanted to lay their dead to rest in a decent way. Through the payment of a small sum, a funerary association allowed use of the “Columbarium” and guaranteed the preservation of the dead person’s ashes, which were placed in urns. The “funerary urns” were placed in little alcoves in the walls of the “Columbarium”. The name “Columbarium” comes from the Latin word “columba”, which means pigeon or dove, and refers to the similarity between these alcoves and the places where these birds make their nests in captivity.

This Columbarium takes its name from a Liberto called Pomponius Hylas, whose name is written in a mosaic visible before the entrance to the tomb. A Liberto was a person who had been a slave and was now a free citizen. The Roman Empire took people as slaves from all over its territory, but they could be freed or buy their freedom with money, officially becoming citizens of the Empire. Pomponius bought this “Columbarium” at the end of the first century, during the reign of the “Flavian Dynasty”. Another inscription on the steps by the entrance confirms that the “Columbarium” belonged to Pomponius Hylas and his wife, Pomponia Vitalina, who was a Liberta (feminine version of the word Liberto) like him. The Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas tour will allow you to visit the final resting place of this interesting ancient couple.

The main room is rectangular and has many alcoves on the walls. The ceiling is decorated with beautiful plant motifs, and the columns are also decorated with paintings and stucco. Towards the back you can see two figures painted on the wall. They are probably the founders of the tomb, and their names are inscribed in marble right under the painting. The “Columbarium” was likely originally built between 14 and 51 AD, between the reigns of the second and fourth Roman Emperors. The many decorations in the tomb seem to be a reference to the Ancient Romans’ idea of the afterlife. One figure to which is given a lot of importance here is that of Orpheus, a legendary figure of Greek and Roman mythology. He was a skilled musician who traveled all the way to the underworld, the land of the dead, to try and rescue “Eurydice”, the woman he loved.

With the Columbarium of Pomponius Hyla tour you will visit this fascinating archaeological site and learn about how the Ancient Romans buried their dead.

Highlights and what's included
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Private local guide
  • Entrance tickets with reservation skip the line
  • Places of interest: ROME – Columbarium of Pomponius Hylas 
  • Exclusivity: All our tours are PRIVATE, not sharing with other guests
  • Languages: All languages available on request

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