St. Clement Basilica Tour

Near the Colosseum are two undiscovered gems of Rome: the Basilica from the 12th century and the antiquity of San Clemente. Explore the three underground levels of this amazing place and be amazed as you discover its more than 2,000-year history on St. Clement Basilica Tour. It wasn't until 1860 that the Basilica's basement levels were found. This area might still be unknown today if it weren't for a flood that occurred in that year, which led an Irish Dominican Roman Catholic priest and an archaeologist to uncover it. Even though the excavations are not yet complete, you can travel 100 feet underground. 

A fourth-century basilica can be found on the lower level. It had been abandoned for a very long time until the basilica that now stands above it was constructed. A historic Mithraic temple with an altar is located further down. Learn about the historical relics that most tourists to Rome overlook—those that are buried beneath St. Clement's Basilica. Explore ancient pagan temples, St. Clement's first-century residence, a fourth-century basilica with unique paintings, as well as an underground river, by following your guide three levels below ground. Finish your St. Clement Basilica Tour with a visit to the above-ground basilica from the 12th century, which is renowned for its stunning mosaics.

What To See At St. Clement Basilica

Level 1 – The Current Basilica
Level 1 – The Current Basilica

Even if you have no idea what lies beneath, a trip to the contemporary basilica is a fantastic addition to your travel plans to Rome. Today, visitors on St. Clement Basilica Tour will witness examples of both because it was initially built in the Romanesque style and afterwards refurbished in the Baroque style. The floor is a stunning illustration of the Cosmatesque style, which gained popularity in the 12th century and is composed of vibrant geometric patterns in marble. On St. Clement Basilica Tour one can also view a wood and gold ceiling that is ornamented with geometric shapes and symbols by looking up. Carlo Stefano Fontana created it in the 18th century. The apse, which features letters and symbols in dazzling gold mosaics, and the Schola Cantorum, the choir section defined by a lovely set of marble panels covered in gold leaf, are two noteworthy features.

Level 2 – The First Basilica
Level 2 – The First Basilica

In this section, the 11th century, a wealthy family funded the second-largest collection of early Medieval murals in Rome. There are other frescoes as well, some of which date back as far as the sixth century, although the majority of them depict the life and miracles of Saint Clement. You can observe that some of the frescoes contain conversation if you look closely on a St. Clement Basilica Tour. The first writing in early Italian vernacular is found on one of them. Italian was once referred to as "volgare," which means "belonging to the common people," while Latin was still the empire's official language.

Level 3 – The Mithraeum
Level 3 – The Mithraeum

One more flight of stairs on St. Clement Basilica Tour will bring you to the ruins of a third-century temple, which are housed in a maze-like arrangement of chambers from a second-century home. During this time, males in Rome began to follow Mithras, a Persian god who had become popular. An altar made of marble that resembles a sarcophagus and shows Mithras killing a bull is located in the temple's main chamber. Stone benches surround the altar, where worshipers would have sat throughout the rituals.

History of St. Clement Basilica

History of St. Clement Basilica
  • The remnants of a building from the Roman Republic that was presumably burned in a fire in 64 CE have been found by archaeological research. 
  • This Basilica was the oldest structure at the location.
  • The temple was demolished and replaced with a true basilica sometime in the fourth century. It was devoted to the enigmatic St. Clement, who is thought to have been one of the first popes.
  • Because of his faith, he received a harsh labor sentence and ultimately a death sentence.
  • Before the Norman invasion of Rome in 1084, the first basilica was in continuous use for more than seven centuries.
  • They destroyed the church as a result of the city's siege. After that, it was forgotten and buried beneath the street. 
  • Today, visitors and knowledgeable Romans alike frequent St. Clement Basilica, which is thought of as somewhat of a hidden gem.

Checkout: History of St. Clement Basilica

Plan Your Visit To St. Clement Basilica

Essential Information
How To Reach
Essential Information

Location: Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

Timings: 9:45am - 5:30 pm 

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the St. Clement Basilica Tour is in the month of April to September when the weather is pleasant. It is advisable to take the tour early in the morning so that you can enjoy it without any rush and crowd.

FAQ's About St. Clement Basilica

What to do on the Clement Basilica tour? 

    • You will start this excursion with the St. Clement Basilica Tour. There are few places in Rome where the history of the city is more obvious than in the Basilica of San Clemente. Tall, unremarkable walls characterize this church.
    • You will explore its underground archaeological sites with your guide on your tour, yet it would be simple to walk right by them. With each step you take in this magical area, you may immerse yourself in 2,000 years of history. 
    • Then proceed to the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli to view Michelangelo's Moses statue. Admire the statue, which is regarded as one of Italy's greatest works of art and a display of exquisite craftsmanship and unsurpassed beauty.
    • Finish the journey in style with a variety of local cheeses, fine salami and hams, smoked fish, hot handmade foods, and, best of all, Italian wines!

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