Roman Houses of Caelian Hill
An Extraordinary Archaeological Complex
This tour offers visitors the opportunity to discover one of the most extraordinary archaeological complexes of underground Rome. Below the Basilica of Saints John and Paul is an area known as the Roman houses of the Caelian Hill. The archaeological area is located in the heart of the famous Caelian, or ‘Celio’, district, a hill known in antiquity for having remained verdantly green in spite of the surrounding urbanized area.
After having reconstructed the history and development of the area we will follow the fascinating internal route, covering two levels and divided into approximately 10 rooms that show visitors the various construction phases.
The tour will allow us to elaborate on the change of the structure which was born as a domus (a stately house for the upper class) before being partly transformed into tenements for intensive use, before reverting once again to one dwelling: a large house of about 300 square metres. An exceptional site able to recount four centuries of history, also offering some important frescoes of the imperial age including a marvellous marine-themed scene of the nymphaeum of Proserpina.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the complex is the memory of two Roman martyrs, John and Paul, who suffered martyrdom here.
The domus ecclesiae, or ‘religious house’ will be transformed into the current basilica only at the end of the 4th century AD, built exactly on top of the archaeological complex, to give due importance to the two saints.
An ideal tour to immerse yourself in the daily life of shops, insula (Roman apartment buidlings) and domus (Roman houses), between paganism and christianity.
- Video camera
It is obligatory for groups larger than 10 people to also book ahead of time directly with the venue.
- Certified Guide
- Site is opened all days from 10 am until 6 pm
- Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am until 2 pm
- Ticket Price: €8
- Concessions: €6
- Free Entrance: Children under 12 years accompanied by a paying adult