Visiting Rome: the little-known treasure of the Roman Domus of the Celio, near Villa Celimontana.

The city of Rome is primarily known for its many world-famous monuments, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Imperial Forum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican basilicas. What fewer people realize is that nearly every corner of the capital hides ancient sites of great cultural interest. If you have never heard of the Roman Domus of the Celio, and want to know more in order to plan a visit, here is all the useful information you need for your next stay in Rome.

The Roman Domus of the Celio
There is a real underground city hidden beneath the streets, monuments, and buildings of Rome. Just below ground, you can find Christian chapels, ancient houses, classical viaducts, and many other hidden treasures that continue to emerge over time from the foundations of the Capital. Among the wonders nested in the Roman underground, there are also the Roman Domus of the Celio, located beneath the Basilica of Saints John and Paul. The Domus of the Celio were rediscovered a few years ago and can now be visited by the public both on public holidays and on weekends, simply by booking and purchasing a ticket on the official website. The Roman Domus extend throughout the complex of the Basilica of Saints John and Paul on several levels and consist of about twenty interconnected rooms.

What to see in the Roman Domus of the Celio
The Houses of Celio were the dwellings of the martyrs John and Paul. As such, they are a must-see for those hoping to learn more about the history of ancient Rome during the imperial era and the early development of Christianity in the Capital. Visitors who enter the Roman Domus find themselves in the Portico on the Clivo di Scauro, the access road to the so-called “main Domus”, a two-story villa where frescoes and decorations dating back to the 3rd century AD can be admired. The visit continues through the different rooms of the Domus, which at the time housed a thermal center and luxurious private quarters in the upper part. On the second level of the Celio domus there is the insula, used by merchants with their shops and the inhabitants of ancient Rome. The most interesting rooms of the Roman Domus complex are located within the area called the "Domus of the Martyrs," where it believed the famous Roman martyrs John and Paul llived. Entering the Roman Domus of the Celio is a unique experience that takes you directly into the classical history of the city of Rome. Walking through the rooms of the Domus, you can learn about the habits of Roman citizens during the centuries while observing how the structures have stratified and changed over the year. During the tour, frescoes alternate with subjects of clear classical inspiration: the image of the Egyptian God Apis and the bacchanals is opposed to paintings of the Christian era, such those dedicated to the tomb of Christ. If you decide to visit the Roman Domus of the Celio, don't miss the opportunity to also tour the Basilica of Saints John and Paul, an architectural masterpiece of incredible beauty, which has become a focal point of Roman Christianity over the centuries.

Where to stay in Rome
To best admire the Roman Domus of the Celio, we suggest you stay in Rome and choose one of the many 4-star hotels in the eternal city. If you are hoping to spend your stay visiting the most historically and artistically significant sites in the capital, you can choose to book at one of the hotels recommended by Rome Hints, located in the historic center and in the main points of interest of the city. For a stay in the heart of Rome, you can choose the luxurious hotel The Inn at The Roman Forum, which is close to the Colosseum and easily reachable by car and public transport. If you want to gaze out from the balcony of your suite and admire the enchanting Trevi Fountain, you can choose to stay at The Inn at the Spanish Steps, benefitting from its many exclusive services. To learn about the hotels in Rome affiliated with Rome Hints, such as Hotel Ariston, Hotel Morgana, Hotel Panama Garden, and The Inn Apartments, simply visit the websites of the hotels and book a room right away.


For this location we recommend the Hotel Morgana, ideal for discovering Rome thanks to its short distance from major tourist attractions.

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