The Non-Catholic Cemetery (Rome, Italy)

The Non-Catholic Cemetery (Rome, Italy)
Rome's Non-Catholic Cemetery contains possibly the highest density of famous and important graves than anywhere else in the world.

About the cemetery

This cemetery is the final resting-place of many important persons, such as poets Shelley and Keats, of many painters, sculptors and authors, a number of scholars, several diplomats, Goethe's only son, and Antonio Gramsci, a founding father of European Communism, to name only a few.

The Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners in Testaccio, Rome (to give it its full name) is also widely known as the Protestant Cemetery although it contains the graves of many Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians. It is one of the oldest burial grounds in continuous use in Europe, having started to be used around 1730. It was also referred to in the past as ‘The English Cemetery’ because of the many English people buried there.

It is hard to think of another urban site quite so glorious. Its towering cypress trees and abundant flowers and greenery shelter a heterogeneity of elaborate and eclectic graves and monuments, nestled on a slope in the shadows of the Pyramid of Cestius (dated between 18 and 12 B.C.) and adjacent to a section of Rome's ancient Aurelian wall.

"It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place," wrote Shelley, not long before he drowned and was buried here.

Throughout the 19th century and into the 20th, the little Cemetery was something like a pilgrimage site, revered by authors. Daisy Miller, the heroine of Henry James's eponymous novella, was buried there. After an audience with Pope Pius IX in 1877, Oscar Wilde visited the Cemetery, proclaiming it "the holiest place in Rome." 

The Cemetery is a private one but is operated in accordance with national and municipal regulations concerning cemeteries and historic sites. A board of foreign ambassadors resident in Rome is ultimately responsible for its operations (Governance and Funding). Burials continue to be made today of those who qualify. Other than income derived from burial and tomb maintenance fees, we are dependent on donations, fundraising and volunteers to keep the Cemetery the tranquil and beautiful place that it is.

Tourist information

Group Visits 

The Non-Catholic Cemetery welcomes group visits. For organisational reasons we ask you to please email the Cemetery on at least a week in advance to book your visit specifying where the group is from, name and contact details of group leader/guide, date and time of visit and approximate number of people.

Groups are kindly asked to leave a donation of at least 3,00 EUR per person. All donations go towards the upkeep of this important historical site.

Guided Tours 

The Cemetery can provide a guide in Italian, English or German for groups of 5 to 20 people. The tours last approximately one hour. Please book your tour at least a week in advance as described above.

For guided tours kindly leave a donation of 6,00 EUR per person (for schools 3,00 EUR per person). All donations go towards the upkeep of this important historical site.

Notes for group leaders 

Group leaders should read the Regulations for Visitors and make sure their group members abide by these. If you book a tour and need to cancel or think you might be late, please call the Cemetery as soon as possible.

On arrival please report first to the Visitors’ Centre to leave donations and gather further information.

You are reminded that the ground in the Cemetery is uneven – comfortable shoes are a must! Toilets are available but there are no refreshment facilities – there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the nearby Testaccio area a few minutes walk from the site. To plan your tour better, you might like to consult the map of the Cemetery. To find out about our latest activities see our Newsletters. If you would like to support the Cemetery click on Friends or become a Volunteer.

There is an excellent view of the Pyramid of Cestius from the site, but it is not possible to access the pyramid from the Cemetery.

Cemetery address

Cimitero Acattolico
Via Caio Cestio, 6
00153 Roma


Tel: + 39 06 574 1900
Fax: + 39 06 574 1320

Main entrance address

Via Caio Cestio, 6
00153 Roma

Opening hours

Monday - Saturday: 9.00 - 17.00
(last entrance at 16.30)

Sundays and public holidays: 9.00-13.00
(last entrance at 12.30)

How to get there


Underground B line to Piramide