€ 52,00 4 hours

Rome’s sacred art treasures: mosaic masterpieces

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Why does Rome Underground exists?

Rome has been here nearly 3000 years. Can you imagine it all just staying the same through time? Of course it didn’t. Although many remnants of ancient Rome stand proudly on display around the city, many more ruins lay dormant underground. You can really say: there is a City beneath the City. The street level in ancient Rome was significantly lower than what it is meaning most of the original houses, baths and temples became buried over the years as new structures were continuously built on top. Rome Underground tour will take you Saint Clement’s Basilica, which boasts shimmering mosaic.

Mosaic is an ancient decorative art

The first mosaics date back to 2500 BC. Ancient Greeks and Romans decorated homes and temples with colorful mosaics, made of little pieces of stone, glass and gold. A Rome off-the-beaten-path church tour will show you Rome’s finest Mosaic Art and takes you to some beautiful churches, such as Saint Clement, Saint Prassede and Saint Mary Major.

Our signature
Knowledgeable English-speaking tour guide
Small group of 15 pax or fewer
Rome Underground :Ticket to Saint Clement archeological  site
Tour of Saint Prassede and Saint Mary Major
Headsets radio system

Saint Mary Major

This monumental church stands on Esquiline Hill, right where  is believed that snow fallen in August during the summer AD 358. To commemorate the event, each year on August the 5th, thousands of white petals fell down from the basilica’s ceiling.  Saint Mary Major Basilica is known for its magnificent interior, rich of glorious mosaics art.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, one of the greatest artists in history, is buried here. Very much aware of his own greatness, Bernini designed a monumental tomb for himself during the last decade of his life.
In the middle of the square in front of the church, stands a column with a Baroque bronze statue of Saint Mary. The obelisk located at the other side of the church, at the Piazza dell’Esquilino, was originally located near the entrance of the Mausoleum of Augustus.

Saint Clement

One of the most fascinating and yet less known sites in Rome is the Medieval church of Saint Clement, that holds a treasure beneath its floor. When you look the church from outside, you never say that under the current Basilica, built on 12th century AD,  there are two more storeys:  a 2nd century AD Mithraeum, the house of a Roman nobleman, and an ancient lower basilica dating back to the  4th century AD. Visiting Saint Clement  literally means to travel back in ages. Walking along narrow passages, you will go 200 feet under the street level. Why does a building like this exist? Since ancient times, Romans chose to build over existing houses. Think of Rome as a multi-storey building with  the oldest one hidden underground and inaccessible. That’s absolutely amazing!

Saint Prassede

Tucked away a stone’s throw from Saint Mary Major, this hidden gem offers some of the very finest medieval mosaics in Rome. The church of Saint Prassede houses Saint Zeno Chapel, shining majestically in the church’s apse,  is a massive and incredibly vivid ninth-century mosaic. Pope Paschal planned Santa Prassede as small-scale copy of the former Constantinian Basilica of St Peter’s in Vatican. The mosaics were made by artists whom Pope Paschal had brought in specially from Byzantium.

Our signature “Do as the Romans do”
After our rome Underground tour and Mosaic Art tour we would love to share some moments with you. So it’s time to have a drink and something to eat. Our tour leader will take the group to one of our favourite small,  cozy cafes,  where Romans are used to have  a drink and some appetizers.

Knowledgeable English-speaking tour guide
Small group of 15 pax or fewer
Ticket to Saint Clement archeological  site
Tour of Saint Prassede and Saint Mary Major
Headsets radio system

Not included:
Shuttle service to and from the Hotel (we can provide extra charge)
Any additional services not previously listed

Dress code:
All churches  are places of worship; both men and women should wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Please wear comfortable shoes: this a walking tour.
Rome Underground tour will take place with a minimum number of 12 pax..


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