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rome_underground_4Where to go when visiting Rome? Well, the touristic standards: Colosseum, San Peter’s, Forum, churches and museums... Ok, you’ve already seen these, and so did everyone else who visited Rome.  But what’s most surprising is hidden beneath the surface.

Rome, a city so full of life. Sometimes frantic, sometimes irritating but always wonderful. Beneath Eternal City as we know today, and underground city is hidden as dark as Rome is luminous, as still as Rome is chaotic. Those are the remains of true history of one of most charming cities in the world. Those magic world disappeared from sight gradually, in a long process in which Rome over centuries has grown to its actual dimentions. In building frantic, with neccesity of space for new buildings Emperors and their builders did not care about preserving alreadyn existing sights. In fact, it was not unusual for roman architects to tore off roofs, fill the empty interiors with dirt in order to make strong foundations for new structures. And so it continued throughout centuries till now days. But those ancient architects made a great favor to next generations, for the buildings buried under layers of earth were preserved in almost perfect state. Thanks to that, today we have great opportunity of traveling back in the time, trough the history of the Eternal City.

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A perfect place to start the exploration is a 12th century San Clemente basilica, situated short distance east of the Collosseum. Descending the stairs in the sacristy you’ll suddenly find yourself in a hall decorated with marbles and fading frescoes: this is the San Clemente as it was over thousand years ago, in 4th century., which was “packed” with earth to be used as fundaments for existing basilica in 11th century. But that’s not all. A little staircase leads to even lower ground, over which the first San Clemente was build. A roman apartment house and a small temple are not yet the bottom level, for under them, on fourth level are remains of buildings which were destroyed in a Great Fire to be than buried by Nero’s architects. The bottom level (though not sure, for no one excavated deeper) are original Roman water pipes.

Another one interesting underground sight are necropolis , hidden under the central aisle. The little passage becomes a main street for this miniature city of  the dead. First was excavated in Renaissance, during the first rebuilding works done in San Peter’s.
But THE sight of the subterranean Rome lies deep under gardens of Esquiline Hill, where an entrance of brickwork leads down into the Golden House, a Nero’s residence which, after condemning Nero’s memory by his successor, became a base for Collosseum and some other public buildings. Wonderful, lifelike frescoes showing  landscapes animated with mythological beasts and creatures come to view in illuminated sections.

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Exploration of Rome’s underground is an amazing tour full of surprises. Churches, with their side chapels and crypts are perfect places to discover the hidden treasures. Little, shadowy corridors, often locked, lead from sacred places to another world: ancient baths, prisons, military barracks. The subterranean often has pagan character, for under many churches old temples lay buried, which is quite common, considering that early Christians builders were constructing churches atop pagan cult places.
Such a mysterious and magic trip request a truly special lodging. Just in the heart of Eternal City, a wonderful venue not only for wedding celebrations. Elegant and spacious, with rooms offering breathtaking view of the Roman panorama nonetheless magic internal garden. Discover with us the charm of Rome in best possible location:

Hotel Intercontinental de la Ville

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