Everyone knows about the wonders of the “Eternal City”. At least the ones that … are visible. But very few people know about the incredible amount of underground sites that dot almost every district of Rome.
If we exclude the most well-known and long open to the public, as the underground floors of San Clemente or the Roman Houses on the Celian Hill, the Balbi Crypt by the Sacred Area of Largo Argentina and, of course , the Catacombs, many are the “hypogea” of Rome practically unknown or nearly so.
Among the most fascinating we can certainly count the numerous shrines of Mithras, a god brought from the East by the Roman legionaries, whose cult was widespread in Rome. Among the most beautiful are the Mithraeum of Caracalla in the basement of the Baths dedicated by this same Emperor, the ones under the churches of Santa Prisca and Santo Stefano Rotondo or even the extremely complex one in the basement of the Circus Maximus.
Among the most beautiful and best preserved underground tombs are the Colombaria of Villa Pamphili decorated with paintings and stuccoes, those of Vigna Codini, the Hypogeum of Scipio and that of Pomponius Hylas in the Park of the Via Latina .
Then there are the major domus that belonged to wealthy Roman aristocrats who converted to Christianity and donated their properties to the primitive Christian communities. These built their churches on top, sealing under them the ancient Roman structures that were and are still found by modern archaeologists, like under Santa Cecilia , Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Susanna , San Martino ai Monti, Santa Pudenziana , San Crisogono, to mention only a few of the most important .
Among the most unique buildings hidden in the subsoil of Rome the beautiful Auditorium of the Villa of Maecenas, the Excubitorium of the Firemen in Trastevere , the Stadium of Domitian in Piazza Navona , the small mosaic decorated Nymphaea of Via Livenza and Via Annibaldi or the water cistern alongVia Cristoforo Colombo .
Those mentioned in our article are just a few of the myriad of unexpected and mysterious places that “populate” the subsoil of Rome.
Contact us to arrange your tour to explore this fascinating “Underground Rome “.