Rome, a fashionable and historic city, a city layered and shaped by its past. It was during my recent trip that I discovered that Rome truly is a city with multiple layers, creating the charming and appealing city that I have undoubtedly fallen in love with.
My time in Rome was spent mostly sightseeing and visiting the array of well-known sites; the Basilica Saint Peters, the Colosseum and the Pantheon. Afternoons were spent window shopping, people watching at cute cafes and wondering in to passing churches. But it was my visit to Basilica San Clementine located near the Colosseum which surprised me and put into focus the many layers that have created the magnificent city of Rome.
The decision to visit the Basilica San Clementine was unplanned and was made purely on the advice given by our tour guide on my Pompeii excursion the day before. Clementine is a three-tied Catholic church; a 12th century Basilica built on top of a 4th century Basilica, on top of a 2nd century pagan temple. An admission charge of 5 euros is asked, but being one of Rome’s few churches that demand a small entrance fee, it is certainly worth the few euros.
Steps take you down from the gift shop straight into the 4th century Basilica. Navigating your way through the damp and dark rooms, you are able to take another set of steps down into the 2nd century temple/house. Being able to explore this tiered archaeological site gives you a great understanding into the foundations running below the streets of Rome.
If you are thinking of visiting one church when in Rome make sure to visit this one, this Basilica gives you an understanding to the religious and cultural shape that Italy has undertook in the past and the transformation of the surrounding region.
The Basilica San Clementine is open; 9am-12.30 3-6pm Mon-Sat, noon-6pm Sun. Adults are 5 euros, Students-€3.50.