IN SHORT: Under shining mosaics of medieval churches we find our way to Roman ancient roman houses. We explore the undergrounds of San Clemente and San Giovanni e Paolo.

IN MORE DETAIL: Few steps from the Colosseum is the church of San Clemente. Underneath there are 2 buried storeys: one is a medieval church and in the deepest level there are two roman houses, the temple of a Persian God and other suprises! It’s a labyrinth of stories and today we can revive them all stepping back to history, browsing among dark corridors and fascinating architectures.

The tour proceeds with a short walk along the Celio hill, to the Church of S Giovanni e Paolo. Here, beneath the church, we find  “Roman houses”;  in this case two buildings from different periods were united to make a rich private residence. The original public path that divided them became a corridor inside the new house! And we still see the ancient cobble stones on the paving, but surrounded by rooms decorated with frescoes.

In the attached little museum we can admire the objects found during excavation: amphorae, oil lamps, fragments of sculptures and much more.

After the tour we’ll rise back to light enjoying the beautiful little park close by: Villa Celimontana


MEETING PLACE In hotel or at the first site.

DURATION 3 hours

PRACTICAL TIMES Everyday. But on Tuesdays and Thursday only St Clemente is open, in that case the tour is shorter.

SUITABLE FOR everybody. Popular among children and teenagers.
TICKETS San Clemente Underground €10, Students €5; Roman houses under San Giovanni e Paolo: Adults €58 Youth 12-18 years old €6; Under 6 free. Best with reservation.

NOTES Watch your attire: San Clemente and the catacombs are sacred places and therefore low-cut dresses and bare legs are prohibited. Remember also that underground temperature is quite low!