San Clemente Underground and Basilica Tour
Experience the San Clemente Basilica underground as part of a small group tour at one of Rome's most well-known locations!
Basilica of San Clemente in Laterano and the archeological site
St. Peter in Chains and Michelangelo's Moses
Entrance tickets to the archeological site of San Clemente
Pick-up and drop-off
When you go to the Basilica of San Clemente, which was built in the 12th century, you can see a gold mosaic shining above the central apse. In the first century, St. Clement's was a private home where a Christian worship service was held in secret. Over several decades, it was transformed into an impressive basilica. Until 1860, when floods brought an Irish Dominican Roman Catholic priest and archaeologist into the floors beneath the basilica floor, it was unclear what was beneath them. The excavations are still in progress. In modern times, it is possible to go as far underground as one hundred feet over three floors. After the building of the 12th-century Basilica located above, the 4th-century Basilica situated on the first level was neglected for a long time. So take your time and discover the ruins of an old Mithraic pagan temple buried under the surface. Even farther down, there are the remnants of ancient Roman dwellings.
An in-depth tour of the Basilica of San Clemente is a great way to understand Rome's current history better. Consider how the excavations revealed previously hidden strata beneath the church. Your guide will let you avoid the wait for admittance, and you will start in the church that was built in the 12th century and is located at street level. In addition to the floor, the Basilica's apse features some exquisite mosaics dating back to the 13th century. Before going down the steps, you should get some information on the Schola Cantorum, which incorporates certain features of the previous Basilica.
Learn about the saints shown in the paintings on this level, including San Clemente and Sant'Alessio, as you explore what is left of the Basilica constructed in the 4th century, including the ancient central nave and aisles (Alexius). Keep going further into the Basilica to reach a tiny temple room where the ruins of a Mithraic altar dating back to the 3rd century may be found. You may see a portion of a Roman dwelling built in the first century when you get to the very lowest level under the church. After that, go to the Santi Quattro Coronati Church. It was built in the 4th century to memorialize four Roman soldiers killed because they didn't want to worship Esculapio. The church was named after them. Visit the Oratorio di San Silvestro, which has paintings from the 13th century that show scenes from the Costantino legend.