Beneath Rome Underground Tour

St. Clement's Basilica & Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill
Pick-up, Skip-the-line & Transportation Included!

Duration

about 2.5 hours

Skip-the-line tickets

Pick up at your hotel

Transportation to the sight

Professional Guides

Activity level

moderate

Sights Included

St. Clement's Basilica
– Gorgeous Basilica from the 12th century
– Underground Basilica
– Underground Temple of Mithra & Roman ruins
Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill
– Underground Roman houses
– Beautiful Frescoes
– Unique archaeological sites

Tour Description

Our Rome Underground Tour is a journey through the subterranean treasures of the Eternal City.

Rome is not just one city, but many. Right beneath our feet, there are thousands of years of history.

Our Tour Experts will take you on a journey through the layers of Rome. You’ll explore impressive labyrinths of ruins and discover some of the Eternal City’s most fascinating stories.

1. The Basilica of St. Clement’s

The first place you’ll visit on your Beneath Rome Underground Tour is the Basilica of St. Clement’s. At first, it seems like a standard, beautiful old church, just like so many others in Rome. But there’s more to this place than meets the eye…

The Basilica of St Clement’s was built between the 11th and the 12th century. In the mid 19th century Father Joseph Mullooly, a Dominican friar, started excavating beneath the basilica. 

Although Father Mullooly was an amateur archeologist, he was also remarkably talented and determined. Giovanni Battista de Rossi, the “father” of underground archaeology in Rome, helped Father Mullooly in this ambitious enterprise. 

Together, the two men discovered that below the basilica there was another, much older church, from the 4th century. 

But the surprises didn’t end there. Digging under the older church, they found a Roman temple of the mysterious god Mithra, dating back to the 2nd century AD. 

And then there was more… Some years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, Father Nolan continued the exploration. He discovered another gigantic structure, right next to the temple of Mithra. 

This building is even more ancient, and dates back to the late 1st century AD, the time of the construction of the Colosseum. It was the mint of ancient Rome – the place where coins were manufactured.

During your underground tour, a professional tour guide will lead you through this maze of ruins, and help you to gain a deeper understanding of one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in Rome. 

The tour starts in the upper basilica, which is beautifully decorated with shiny mosaics and frescoes. Next, you’ll go underground to visit the older church, which is still active and used today. Finally, descending to the next level, you’ll explore the temple of Mithra and the nearby mint. 

Down here, you’ll learn all about the mysterious rituals that the followers of Mithra performed in their underground cave, and about the clash with the early Christian community. 

Your tour guide will also tell you about the life and death of St. Clement – his martyrdom and his miracles. He suffered a tragic death abroad, but his bones were eventually returned to Rome and buried here.

After exploring the deepest subterranean layer of St Clement’s, you’ll return to the surface, and head to another unique underground site – the Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill.

2. The Roman Houses on the Caelian Hill

Hidden underneath the Caelian Hill – one of the most fascinating hills in Rome – is the second stop of our Beneath Rome Underground Tour, known as the Roman Houses.  

Here, you’ll have the chance to visit one of the very few ancient houses still left in the city, and see how the ancient Romans lived. 

This intriguing underground site was built between the 2nd and the 4th century AD. As you explore the rooms, you’ll learn about its former residents. St. John and St. Paul, the leaders of an early Christian community, lived and died here. 

Your tour guide will tell you about the persecutions of the early Christians, and how the emperor Julian ordered the execution of St. John and St. Paul in the mid 4th century. 

The beautiful wall paintings are another highlight of the tour. Although the paintings are 1,700 years old, they’re still amazingly well preserved.

Many treasures of Rome are hidden underground. But only a few are open to the public. 

Don’t miss the chance to take a journey through the layers of the Eternal City. This underground tour is a time travel experience that will stay with you forever.

IMPORTANT INFO!

You MUST bring an ID, a passport or a driver’s license to enter the sights.

Your knees and shoulders must be covered.

This is the price for groups from one to seven people. If you have more people in your group, please let us know and we’ll create a customized price.​​

Pricing
399 € for 1 person
50 € per additional adult
35 € per additional kid under 18
What's included
Skip-the-line tickets
Transportation

to St. Clement's by cab or car

Pick-up at your hotel

If in Rome city center

Book now!

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Contact us if you want more info or to design a tailored tour!
Send us a message using the form below, contact us via whatsapp icon Whatsapp, or call us at +39 376 165 1457

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    Our Clients' Feedbacks

    Michelle
    Michelle
    Above & Beyond
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    We were amazed by the service we received in Rome and even in Benevento. Giovanni went above and beyond to organize tours and transportation for our family of 15 traveling. Massimo was an incredible and knowledgeable tour guide in Rome. He made it fun for the kids and knew when to take a break. Provided water and an amazing lunch spot for us all. We still are talking about some of the stories he told us. Stefano met us at the train in Benevento and was only supposed to drive us through San Bartolomeo, my father's hometown. But he pulled up my father's and grandfather's genealogy and found some interesting facts that were amazing to find out. He printed and laminated it for us to take. It was an emotional day but such a wonderful part of the trip. The minibus was perfect for everyone to fit comfortably and head over to Almafi. Thank you Giovanni and your amazing staff for making this trip one of the most memorable trips ever!!!
    Rosa
    Rosa
    Exceptional!
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    Giovanni was so exceptional at his job that you left the trip feeling torn between wanting to tell the World and also keeping him a best kept secret. Everything that he had orchestrated happened, seamlessly for us as if he had choreographed the entire country of Italy to show up, act, behave on queue. I put together a lot of trips, all over the world, for a group of around 20 friends each adventure. As the chief coordinator, you are always a little concerned about third party tours and tour guides: will everyone show up, is this a scam, can they speak English? Giovanni had infinite patience answering my questions and provided so much detail about our adventure, that everyone knew what to expect ahead of time. He took into consideration everyone’s interest, abilities and aptitudes. We saw a side of Italy that felt intimate and entertaining. There are not enough stars in the galaxy to award him.
    Kara
    Kara
    Great Experience!
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    What a great experience for me and my family to have these private tours planned by Giovanni. We wanted a curated set of events during our time in Rome and Florence and Gio delivered such a wonderful set of activities to suit my husband and I and our two teenagers. Each of the four days was a memorable experience. Alex was so fantastic and I would recommend him highly- we had one our best meals with him just learning from him and having great conversation. Andres in Florence was a blast and incredibly connected to the history of the area, just a wealth of information so much so that we are definitely coming back to Florence to spend more time. Caterina walked us through the Roman ruins and the Colosseum which was awe inspiring. And, one of the best things we did which I highly recommend is a pasta making class with Romina. We learned to make two dishes with her and then ate the food we had prepared. Such a great way to spend our time connecting to Roma. Thank you Gio and to all our guides! We will cherish our memories made together.
    Brian
    Brian
    Thank you!
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    Giovanni-thank you for a wonderful itinerary of guided visits to all the sights in Rome! We so appreciated the communication and detailed planning that ensured our visits to the Vatican/St. Peter's, Colosseum, Hadrian's Villa and Florence came off without a hitch.
    Your guides are so friendly and knowledgeable. They made the history accessible and enriching.
    You covered every detail, down to lunch reservations, business class train tickets and wonderful air-conditioned transportation with friendly drivers!
    Thank you again for all the e-mails to develop a personalized itinerary for a special trip! We give you 5 1/2 stars on a 5 star scale!
    Bonnie
    Bonnie
    Highly recommended!
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    I highly recommend Italian ArtVentures. We decided to use a private tour company, rather than the cruise ship excursions, and we were not disappointed. Giovanni was excellent at planning. We booked a tour in Rome and Pompeii. Giovanni was able to customize a tour that was special to us, so we could visit the LDS temple. Maria was our guide at the Vatican. She was fun, smart, and thoughtful. She translated for us as needed and was able to answer all of our questions. One major bonus of having a tour guide is skipping the line for St. Peter's Basilica. Our driver was awesome, traveling quickly and safely. The van was new, clean, and comfortable. We asked for a restaurant recommendation, and Giovanni made us reservations for Amalfi. It was incredible. The next day, we went to Pompeii with Stefano. He was fantastic. He made sure we saw the highlights and we avoided the crowds because of his expertise in the area. Booking was simple, communication was excellent, the cost was well worth what you get. This company is very professional. Totally awesome experience!
    Kevin
    Kevin
    Perfect Tour
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    Truly outstanding experience visiting the Vatican with Maria! She was the perfect guide - knowledgable, smart, funny, passionate about the subject matter. She had a deep knowledge of the art, architecture, history, and the religious significance of the whole area, and gave us thoughtful, interesting commentary throughout our tour. Although she seemed to have a bottomless knowledge of everything, she also knew how to present the information in a way that was considered, insightful, and crucially, not too overwhelming for us. As we walked, she called attention to many things, some big, others details that could easily be missed. She was well prepared, but also brilliant at answering questions and flexible about following our interests. Several times she pointed out a small detail, then drew a connection back to it later in the tour. She knew the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, courtyard and Basilica like the back of her hand, steering us to less crowded routes and perfect viewing vantages. One of us is Catholic, and one of us loves art, and Maria brilliantly held both our interests throughout the tour. Highly Recommend!
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