Duration: 2.5 hours
Domus Romane, Basilica Ss Giovanni e Paolo, Remains of the Temple of the Divine Claudius, Villa Celimontana
On ancient customs and men the Roman state stands firm.
This is a hill of monasteries, of hospitals, of churches and of the history of the Romans, hidden beneath the feet of those who walk along the “Clivus Scauri”: an ancient road named after the Roman censor of 109 A.D. There is, in fact, a wonderfully preserved domus under the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (St John and St Paul), which became a place of Christian worship in the 4th century A.D., and which contains the oldest depiction of Christian martyrdom in all Rome and some of the best preserved frescoes in the city. Above it stands the majestic Basilica of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo: honouring the two Christian martyrs who refused to worship the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 A.D.) as a divinity. The square in front of the basilica contains a beautiful mediaeval bell-tower, which stands over the remains of what was once the Temple of the Divine Claudius, whose pillars are buried below the paved surface.
I will take you on a spiritual journey inside the Church of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo; we can enter the bowels of the hill to admire the spectacular frescoes inside the Roman “domus”, and finally we will reconnect with the natural world by entering the famous park on the hill: the Villa Celimontana.