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Underground Rome - The Tiber Island and St. Nicholas in Prison Small Group Exclusive Tour

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Here's a fascinating way to discover ancient Rome underneath the cobblestones of the Baroque Rome! It's for anyone fascinated with the mysteries of places ignored by the "normal" tourists. Go to Tiber Island, the "island between the two bridges," and learn all the legends and myths surrounding the Island. Visit the church of San Nicola in Carcere (St. Nicholas in Prison), absolutely unique in the world! Even at a distance, you can see the six imposing columns of an ancient Roman temple built into the side walls of the church.


The Tiber Island is one of the two islands in the Tiber river, which runs through Rome. Located in the southern bend of the Tiber, the island is boat-shaped, approximately 270 m long and 67 m wide, and has been connected with bridges to both sides of the river since antiquity.

Being a seat of the ancient temple of Asclepius and later a hospital, the island is associated with medicine and healing. The island has been linked to the rest of Rome by two bridges since antiquity, and was once called Insula Inter-Duos-Pontes which means "the island between the two bridges."

From the island, you will reach an ancient church that hides the remains of three ancient temples, namely, the temple of Spes (Hope), Juno Sospita (Junio the Savior) and Janus. It was once thought that these cells could have been the prison of St. Peter (hence the name "carcere" which means prison).

From the crypt under the altar, you will descend to the underground level and arrive in the spaces - at the time open to the sky - between the three temples. You are on the beaten path of the Romans, who for centuries passed this way on their daily comings and goings to the vegetable and cattle market a few steps away. The foundations and the massive load-bearing structures of the temples survived the collapse and devastation of the centuries, wars and destruction.

During the reconstruction, around the 9th century AD, the strong arms of the temples where reused to anchor a church. On the inside of the church, among the many historical details, one of the columns preserves an interesting engraving from the 8th century AD, while the bell in the medieval tower is still the original one from the end of the 13th century AD.


  • Admission

  • English-speaking guide
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Underground Rome - The Tiber Island and St. Nicholas in Prison Small Group Exclusive Tour

Duration: 2:30 hour(s)
Available: Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun
Pick-up: Not available
Inclusions: Admission / English-speaking guide
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  • 10:15

    Check in at Piazza San Bartolomeo

  • 10:30

    Start of Tour

  • Tiber Island

    This unique parcel of land is shaped like a boat and has been connected to the mainland by two ancient bridges, earning it the name "the island between the two bridges." The area has always been associated with medicine and healing due to the fact that it was used as a hospital in the past.

  • The Church of San Nicola in Carcere (St. Nicholas in Prison)

    Head to an ancient church for access to 3 temples. Proceed to the underground level and arrive at an open space which used to be an ancient pathway for Romans to their market. Be amazed by how the structure has stood still for centuries.

  • 12:30

    Tour Ends at San Nicola in Carcere

  • (For Check-In) San Bartolomeo Square (Tiber Island, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy) Time: 10:15:00

  • (For Check-Out) San Nicola in Carcere (San Nicola in Carcere, Via del Teatro di Marcello, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy) Time: 12:30:00

Check-in Time & Location

  • (For Check-In) San Bartolomeo Square (Tiber Island, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy) Time: 10:15:00

Check-out Time & Location

  • (For Check-Out) San Nicola in Carcere (San Nicola in Carcere, Via del Teatro di Marcello, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy) Time: 12:30:00

Price & Options

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  • This activity is not wheelchair accessible.

  • Guests should not have serious fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia).

  • Guests with a limited range of movement are not permitted to participate in this activity.

Required Items to Bring & Attire
  • Walking shoes

  • Comfortable clothing

Additional Note(s)
  • The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions. In this circumstance, the participation cost will not be refunded.

Booking Requirements (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
  • You can book a minimum of 2 and maximum of 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Cancellation Policy

  • Any cancellations made within 3 business days of your activity (after 10:30:00 local time) will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.

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