The Roman Houses of the Cealium: hidden treasure of Rome

The hidden treasure of Roman Houses is an archeological gem buried underneath Cealium Hill, one of the famous seven hill.

A bit of History

The site is preserved beneath a 4th century basilica and it’s like a photograph of early Roman history. The Roman Houses consists of twenty rooms, beautifully decorated with frescoes and, in some cases, with original mosaic floors. The rooms were built with different purposes, that changed time to time. Initially, they were homes, shops or storerooms and later, on 3rd century, they were transformed into an upper class residential building (domus). A century later, probably due to a transfer of relics to the site, it became a place of worship. In the fifth century the basilica, with its three-nave plan, was built on top. Dedicated to St Giovanni and St Paolo – brothers at Constantine’s court who were martyred in 363 – the basilica’s lower levels were used as a crypt. Today, the church upstairs is a popular venue for trendy weddings.

The site was discovered during the excavations in 1887 and were opened to the visitors in 2002.

Caelian Hill

It’s a tranquil oasis in centre of Rome, two minutes away from the Colosseum. Inhabited since the early Roman Empire, it is unknown to tourists. Even today, it looks like being in a small village, without the noise of the city.
Close to the Colosseum, the Caelian Hill was the residential area of Rome’s wealthy families during the Republican age. Lavish villas were littered on the left side, facing the Baths of Caracalla.The ancient Roman road Clivus Scauri is still visible, with arches that likely functioned as aqueducts carrying water into the city. The Villa Celimontana gardens are also some of the loveliest in the city.

Visit the Roman Houses with us, have a look at our tour at Roman Houses on Caelium Circus Maximus, Caracalla, Cealium Hill