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RomeMamertine Prison

Mamertine Prisons | Ancient Roman Dungeon

Built in the 7th Century BC, the Mamertine Prison is an ancient Roman dungeon steeped in legend and lore. Also known as the Tullianum, this formidable Carcer was reputed to have held several key historical figures, including, according to tradition, Saints Peter and Paul.  Discover the secrets of the Mamertine Prison, find out how to secure your tickets, and prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Rome's Christian history.

Why visit Mamertine Prison?

Mamertine Prison
  • Ancient cradle of justice: As the oldest prison in ancient Rome, the Mamertine Prison stands as a testament to the Roman approach to law and order, offering visitors a rare opportunity to step into a space where the city's earliest justice was dispensed.
  • History of significant prisoners: Learn more about some of the notable prisoners of Mamertine Prison including the King of Numidia, Jugurtha, and the King of Gauls, Vercingetorix.
  • Christian heritage: For those interested in early Christian history, the Mamertine holds a special place as the traditional site where the Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned.
  • Unique architecture: Visitors can explore the remains of this ancient structure, including its lower dungeon, which showcases the ingenuity of Roman engineering and the austere conditions of ancient incarceration.
  • Legends and lore: Uncover the legends surrounding the prison, reputed to be an escape-proof fortress.

Things to know before buying Mamertine Prison tickets

  • Tickets can be purchased on-site, but to avoid potential queues, consider buying them online. While there's no skip-the-line options, pre-booking can secure your spot, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • To fully grasp the historical context of this ancient prison, opt for a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides bring to life the stories of notable prisoners and provide insights into the prison's architecture and history. For self-exploration the virtual audio guide offered in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
  • Note that the Mamertine Prison might not be accessible for those with mobility impairments, as it may have uneven terrain or steps. Wheelchair and stroller users might find it challenging due to the historical nature of the site.
  • There are no age or height restrictions, but the somber history of the Mamertine Prison may be intense for younger visitors. It is advisable for parents to use discretion when bringing children.
  • If you're visiting Capitoline Museums at the Mamertine Prison, plan to arrive at the museums' entrance at least 15 minutes before your booked time.

Your Mamertine Prison ticket options explained

Mamertine Prison
Mamertine Prison
If you want to explore beyond

If you want to explore beyond

Go for: Combo tickets
Duration: Half a day to a full day, depending on your pace.
Guide Access: Yes, with a multimedia tablet

  • Combine a visit to Mamertine Prison with the Capitoline Museums, allowing you to delve deeper into Rome's history and art.
  • The multimedia tablet provides in-depth information in multiple languages, enriching your exploration of both monuments.

Recommended tickets:
Tickets to Mamertine Prison & Capitoline Museums

Super Flexible Cancellation Policy

Book your Mamertine Prison tickets online and enjoy a super flexible cancellation policy, with which you can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Explore Mamertine Prison

The Mamertine Prison, with its two distinct levels, offers a glimpse into the ancient history and architecture of Rome:

Mamertine Prison


The oldest part of the prison, believed to be from the 7th century BC, known for its ancient construction and historical significance.

Access: Yes, with general entry ticket.

Carcer - Mamertine Prison


The upper level of the prison, constructed in the 6th century BC and underwent several renovations, including a travertine façade during the early Imperial period to enhance its visibility.

Access: Yes with general entry ticket.

Church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami

Church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami

Although not within the prison itself, this church sits above the prison. Dedicated to Saint Joseph the Carpenter, it was built much later, in the 16th century, and adds a layer of Renaissance architecture and Christian history atop the ancient Roman prison.

Access: Access to the church is separate from the prison.

Mamertine Prison

San Pietro in Carcere

According to Christian tradition, Saint Peter was imprisoned in the Mamertine Prison before his crucifixion. The Cross on the altar is placed upside down keeping with the tradition that Saint Peter was crucified that way.

Access: Included with the general admission ticket



The Lupercale, nestled within the Mamertine Prison complex, is an ancient cave-like structure believed to be a sacred site associated with Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Mythically linked to the she-wolf who nursed the twins, this cryptic space offers insight into Rome's legendary origins.

Access: Included with the general admission ticket.

Plan Your Visit to Mamertine Prison

Getting There
Mamertine Prison
Mamertine Prison
Mamertine Entrance

The entrances to Mamertine Prisons are located as follows:

  • Main entrance: The main entrance to Mamertine Prison is situated on Clivo Argentario, in close proximity to the Roman Forum. Visitors can easily access the prison from this location.
  • Secondary entrance: Another entry point is located on the Capitoline Hillside, near the Tabularium. While it is a secondary entrance, it offers an alternative access point for visitors exploring the Capitoline Hill area.

These entrance points are strategically placed to allow convenient access to different parts of the Mamertine Prisons complex and the surrounding historic sites.

Dress modestly
  • Religious significance: Dress modestly and behave respectfully due to the site's religious importance.
  • Security measures: Prohibited items include sharp objects, lighters, alcohol, and knives.
  • Entry time slots: Follow your designated 30-minute entry slot for an organized visit.
  • Identification: Provide passport and ID details upon arrival.
  • As Mamertine Prisons hold religious importance, dress modestly and behave with reverence during your visit.
  • Entry is organized in 30-minute slots. Arrive on time to make the most of your visit and avoid delays.
  • Consider joining a guided tour to gain deeper insights and context about the site's historic significance.
  • Aim for less crowded times, such as early mornings or weekdays.
  • Wear comfortable footwear for exploring uneven terrain within the prison.
  • If driving, use on-site parking facilities for convenience.
  • Take moments to reflect on the historical and religious significance of the site and observe the architectural details and artifacts.

Explore Mamertine Prisons

Roman Colosseum
Castel Sant'Angelo

Frequently asked questions about Mamertine Prison tickets

How much is a ticket to Mamertine Prison?

Ticket prices for Mamertine Prison can vary based on factors like age, nationality, and the type of ticket (e.g., standard, reduced, or guided tour). The tickets start from €10.

How to book tickets to Mamertine Prison?

Tickets to Mamertine Prison can typically be booked online through authorized ticketing platforms, or in person at the site's ticket counter. Online booking is recommended to secure your entry and potentially skip the lines.

What do Mamertine Prison tickets include?

Mamertine Prison tickets usually grant access to the prison itself, including its historical chambers, religious significance, and multimedia guides (if applicable). Specific inclusions may vary, so it's wise to review the ticket details when booking.

Can I get skip-the-line tickets for Mamertine Prison?

While the Mamertine Prisons don't currently offer skip-the-line tickets, booking online helps secure priority access and reduces waiting times. It's recommended to make online reservations to save time and avoid hassle.

How do I access the Mamertine Prison?

To access the Mamertine Prison, you can visit its location in Rome's historic center, specifically within the Roman Forum. Various transportation options, such as buses, metros, or trams, can bring you close to this area. Upon arrival, you'll need to purchase an entry ticket at the site or consider booking tickets online in advance to ensure admission.

Where is Mamertine Prison located?

Mamertine Prison is in Rome’s Capitoline Hill. It is located at Clivo Argentario, 1, 00186 Roma RM, Italy.

What are some of the highlights of Mamertine Prison?

Mamertine Prison has two cells – Tullianum and Carcer. The prison is also linked to Christianity as martyrs St. Paul and St. Peter were imprisoned here during their trial. According to history, many important and notable figures were imprisoned at Mamertine prison. 

How to reach Mamertine Prison?

If you are in the city, Mamertine Prison is easily accessible by bus and tram. 

What are the timings of Mamertine Prison?

Mamertine Prison is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Is Mamertine Prison wheelchair accessible?

No, unfortunately, Mamertine Prison is not suitable for visitors in a wheelchair.

Is photography allowed in Mamertine Prison?

Yes, visitors can click pictures inside Mamertine Prison. However, professional photography is not allowed.

Is it worth visiting Mamertine Prison?

Yes, Mamertine Prison is worth visiting as it was the only prison in the Roman empire. It is related to some of the important historical figures in antiquity. If you are a fan of Roman history, culture, and architecture Mamertine Prison is a must-visit historical site.  

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