Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano

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Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano: Our most recommended tours and activities

Rome: Roman Catacombs Semi-Private Tour

1. Rome: Roman Catacombs Semi-Private Tour

Meet your guide in the city center and head towards the Appian Way in a comfortable minivan. Reach one of the largest and oldest catacombs of Rome and venture 52 feet (16 meters) below the surface into the otherworldly crypts of Domitilla. Explore its endless maze of underground burial chambers, spread across 4 levels. Be captivated by ancient wall paintings of mythological and biblical figures and discover the religious symbolism of the frescoes. Learn about the shift from paganism to Christianity and hear about early martyrs and persecutions. Live the excitement of gradually exploring different layers of history. Complete your underworld experience in the 4th-century subterranean Basilica of Nereus and Achilleus. Then jump back in the minivan return to the city center.

Rome: Catacombs & Crypts Tour with Roman Aqueducts

2. Rome: Catacombs & Crypts Tour with Roman Aqueducts

Escape the crowds of the Colosseum and Vatican, and explore the darker side of Rome on a 3-hour and 15-minute small group tour of the ancient catacombs and crypts. Venture to parts of the city that few visitors ever see, traveling between sites by air-conditioned minibus. First, follow your guide to 3 memorable sites, each revealing the extraordinary secrets of Ancient Rome. They include the labyrinthine Roman Catacombs that were part burial ground and part refuge for the persecuted early Christians of Ancient Rome. Then, visit the Capuchin Crypt, known locally as the “Bone Chapel,” and marvel at the walls, decorated with the bones more than 4,000 monks. To finish out the day in style, visit perhaps one of the most spectacular sites in all of Rome - the Roman Aqueducts. Enjoy time to explore and understand this monumental landmark from a stunning vantage point.

Rome: Underground Temples of St. Clement's Basilica Tour

3. Rome: Underground Temples of St. Clement's Basilica Tour

Cross three layers of history and earth as you venture 14 meters below St Clement's Basilica. Discover the best-preserved Mithraic temple of the City 14 meters underground. Find out about the pagan cult of Ancient Romans before Christianity and be intrigued by its sectarian and esoteric side. Meet your guide after checking in at the meeting point and head towards Rome's best-kept secret. Learn about the early-Christian persecutions, martyrs and hear the legend of St. Clement, while standing in the 1st Century structure that was once his home. Feel the eerie atmosphere and touch the waters of an underground river. Journey higher into the remains of the 4th Century Underground Basilica, built on top of the martyr’s house and below the actual one. Walk along its imposing walls and be fascinated by the ancient frescoes while learning about the scenes and the lives of the martyrs they portray. End your tour in the beautiful 12th-century Basilica at ground level. Marvel at the stunning golden mosaic in the apse, and learn about the hidden symbolism in it.

Rome: Catacombs & St Clement's Underground Semi-Private Tour

4. Rome: Catacombs & St Clement's Underground Semi-Private Tour

Explore 2 contrasting underground sights with an expert guide. Discover a hidden gem 14m below St. Clement’s Basilica and descend into the twisty tunnels of the Roman Catacombs. Meet your guide in front of St. Clement's Basilica and venture deep underground below its foundations into a mystical world of ancient cults and legends. Journey through several layers of history and earth, down to 14 meters below ground. Live the excitement of gradually exploring the later structures built on top of it on your way up to the surface. Go back in time down to the deepest point and discover the best-preserved Mithraic temple of the city. Touch the waters of an underground stream before going higher into the remains of the 4th Century Basilica, built on top of the martyr’s house and below the actual one. Walking along its imposing walls, you will be fascinated by the ancient frescoes while learning about the scenes and lives of the martyrs they portray. Then you will journey outside the city walls to one of the largest and most ancient catacombs, the otherworldly crypts of Domitilla. Descend 16 meters below the surface and explore the accessible part of its vast labyrinth of underground burial chambers and galleries revealing the shift of faith from paganism to Christianity.

St. Clemente & Quattro Coronati Church Small Group Tour

5. St. Clemente & Quattro Coronati Church Small Group Tour

Meet your guide at Piazza San Clemente, pay your entrance fee, and make your way inside the square’s center piece basilica. Your skip-the-line ticket allows you to whizz past any long lines. As you enter, listen to your guide to learn about the 3-tiered basilica, which was built over the 1st, 4th, and 12th centuries. Starting inside the 12th-century building, admire the rich ornamentation of the interior as you hear about Cardinal Anastasius for whom the church was built. Gaze at a Byzantine mosaic with an arabesque motif, and stare in wonder at the frescoed floor of the edifice. The 4th-century basilica lies one level beneath the ground. Head down to explore the aisles and central naves as your guide talks about St. Alexius and St. Clemente, whose lives are depicted in magnificent frescoes. Walk down to the basilica’s lowest level where the remains of the 1st-century building await. Discover once-secret rooms, such as a Mithraic schoolroom, and work your way around a tangle of rooms and corridors made from volcanic stone. Your next site to visit during this tour is the Santi Quattro Coronati Church: originally buit in C. IV the church owes its name to the tradition of the martyrdom of four Roman soldiers who refused to adore Esculapio. Visit the Oratorio di San Silvestro with the decorations with frescoes dated C. XIII wich show some episodes from the legend of Costantino. The assemble of buildings still show the severe character it had during the Middle Ages, when it was used as a defensive bastion fro the nearby Basilica di San Giovanni.

Crypts, Catacombs & Dark Heart of Rome Supersaver Tour

6. Crypts, Catacombs & Dark Heart of Rome Supersaver Tour

Delve into the unusual aspects of Rome’s history on 2 unique tours that introduce you to the ancient city's darker dimensions. Kick-off this full day with a crypts and catacombs tour that visits 3 unforgettable sites in the Eternal City. Your tour begins at the ancient Roman Catacombs. Dating back to the second century A.D. this extensive network of tunnels winds it way beneath the city. Established in the days when Nero was torturing Christians, the tunnels became a place of burial, as well as refuge and celebration. The next stop is the Basilica San Clemente, another site that few visitors ever see. Descend from a 12th century Basilica down through a huge 4th-century basilica, a 2nd-century sanctuary of the mysterious Mithraic cult and, finally, to ruins dating back to the reign of Nero and the Great Fire of 64 AD. Finish off this part of the tour with a visit to the Capuchin Crypt, known locally as the Bone Chapel. The Capuchin monks used the bones of 4,000 of their brothers to decorate the walls and ceilings. Between excursions, enjoy some free time to have dinner or go for a stroll in the historical center of Rome, taking in the magnificent sunset. As the sun sets over Rome a new city comes to life. Having survived the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, the city has stories to tell that are far from average bedtime tales. For 90 minutes you’ll wander through piazzas in the dark heart of Rome with an expert English-speaking storyteller, listening to stories of murders, executions, and betrayals. See the house of the most notorious murderer ever to work in the Eternal City and visit the bridge that, according to the legend, is haunted by the ghost of the female pope.

Rome: San Clemente Underground & St. Peter in Chains Church

7. Rome: San Clemente Underground & St. Peter in Chains Church

Just a stone's throw from the Colosseum, you will find one of Rome's hidden gems, the 12th-century Basilica and the archeological site of San Clemente. Visit this incredible place and navigate three underground levels which uncover over 2,000 years of history. The Basilica reveals a sparkling gold mosaic in the central nave. What lies beneath the Basilica remained a secret until 1860 when a flood led an Irish Dominican Roman Catholic priest and archaeologist to discover the levels beneath.  Today, the excavations are still not complete but you can descend 100 feet underground. At the first level is a 4th-century Basilica, which was long forgotten after the construction of the 12th-century Basilica above. Further down are the remains of an ancient pagan Mithraic temple, complete with an altar. Past the temple are the ruins of ancient Roman homes. All of this is incredibly preserved and was painstakingly excavated. At the lowest level, discover the underground spring which caused the chaos that led to the underground discovery.  Visit the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli, the Church of St. Peter in Chains. Here, you will find one of the most prized relics of the Catholic church, what are said to be the chains that bound St. Peter while he was a prisoner in Jerusalem. The chains are visible and located under the main altar of the church. Here, you will also see one of Michelangelo's most important sculptures, which was carved specifically for this space. A close look at this magnificent sculpture of Moses reveals two horns on his head. Your guide will reveal why. 

Rome: Crypts & Catacombs Tour with Bone Chapel Visit

8. Rome: Crypts & Catacombs Tour with Bone Chapel Visit

Discover Rome's hidden layers of history beneath its streets. Travel by an air-conditioned coach and use skip-the-line access directly into three fascinating archaeological finds. Visit the hallowed catacombs where, beneath their persecutors’ feet, early Christians practiced their forbidden faith. Almost 2,000 years ago, this network of secret tunnels doubled as a place of worship and burial ground. As you explore tombs made of solid rock, your local expert guide will describe the intriguing history of this sacred spot. Next, travel to Basilica of San Martino ai Monti. Dating back to the 4th century, this church is located near the edge of the Parco del Colle Oppio. Admire the stunning frescoes by artists such as Pietro Testa, Matteo Riccione, and Giannangiolo Canini that adorn the church walls, and see the Chapel of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Finally, visit the Capuchin Crypt. Capuchin monks used the bones of their nearly 4,000 brothers to intricately decorate the floor-to-ceiling designs, lending it the macabre nickname of "the Bone Chapel." Your guide will tell you the theories, but ultimately you will decide on the meaning of the crypt’s robed skeletons and vertebrae chandeliers. Open your eyes to the city’s hidden side – and you’ll never see Rome the same way again.

Rome: 2.5-Hour San Clemente & Underground Private Tour

9. Rome: 2.5-Hour San Clemente & Underground Private Tour

Begin your journey near the Colosseum and take a pleasant walk through the surrounding neighborhood. In a delightful little piazza off Via Cavour, you will find the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains). The church houses an important relic, the two sets of chains that bound St. Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem and Rome. The highlight of this church is undoubtedly Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, an unfinished masterpiece by the Renaissance genius that was originally intended to be part of the tomb of Pope Julius II. The original plans included an enormous funeral monument with 47 statues, but it was never completed due to Michelangelo's other commissions. Leaving San Pietro in Vincoli, continue to see the ruins of the Ludus Magnus, an ancient gladiator training school located on the northeast side of the Colosseum. The arena was connected with the school by underground tunnels. Your last stop will be the Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano along Via San Giovanni. This 12th century basilica is a great example of architectural chronology: the structure is a three-level building complex with each level corresponding to a major era of Roman history. Remains under the present basilica suggest that the foundation was part of a Republican era villa. In the 4th century, this was converted into a Christian church dedicated to Pope St. Clement, the third pope after St. Peter. The present medieval basilica was built in 1100.

Rome: Private Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour

10. Rome: Private Underground Rome and Catacombs Tour

Discover what lies beneath the streets of Italy's capital city on this private tour. In the company of an expert guide, unearth the mysteries of Rome's subterranean spaces, from labyrinthine catacombs to hidden churches. You'll also have a private car and driver at your disposal so you can move between the sites in comfort. First, visit the spooky Catacombs of Santa Domitilla, one of the largest and oldest underground Christian cemeteries in the world. Walk through the twisting tunnels to discover hundreds of thousands of graves, as well as some of the world’s oldest Christian images and the haunting underground church of Santi Nereo ed Achilleo. In the basilica of San Clemente meanwhile, admire astonishing medieval mosaics and some of the most important paintings from the Early Renaissance.  Next, visit the Roman Houses of Saint John and Paul, which are located beneath a Christian church. Here, enjoy an incredible window into daily life in the ancient city. Discover marvelous decorations where pagan imagery and Christian frescoes coexist in harmony in this fascinating villa complex. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, instead of the Roman Houses, visit the beautiful basilica of Santi Cosma and Damiano, built right into the Temple of Romulus in the ancient Roman.

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What people are saying about Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,646 reviews

The tour was brilliant, we learned so much about the catacombs, the crypts, and the aqueducts. It was great to learn all about the history of Rome and the tour gave us an insight we wouldn’t have experienced without our guide!

Loveddddd it!!! Be sure to bring a jacket because it gets pretty cold down there. So worth the money, our tour was for an hour and honestly, time flew by. Our guide Mario, was exceptional!

Laura was an outstanding guide! She is knowledgeable and very thoughtful through the entire tour. I would highly recommend this tour company and ask for Laura!

We learned a lot about the catacombs and their formation. The tour was very interesting. We had an Italian guide who spoke German very well.

Informative and funny. Mario was a brilliant guide