Basilica di San Clemente

#10 in Best Things To Do in Rome
Basilica di San Clemente picture
Michael Foley/Flickr

Key Info

Via Labicana 95

Price & Hours

Free
Hours vary

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Archaeology buffs might find the Basilica di San Clemente interesting as it's a veritable nesting doll of churches. It's a second century pagan temple, underneath a fourth-century church, which is underneath a 12th-century church. Enter the 12th-century church from the street level, take stairs down to the fourth-century one and finally end up at a shrine for Mithras, the god whom was known to gain popularity in the second and third centuries. The oldest structure is believed to have been an ancient mint.

Travelers are fascinated by the story of the church and recommend visiting for the history lesson that it provides. Past travelers also said you should ignore the beggars around the church, as some pretend to be affiliated with the church and tell visitors they can't enter unless they give a donation. The church is free to enter, but there is a small fee to go down to the lower levels, which people say is worth the cost.

The three-fold Basilica di San Clemente is open daily, though it closes for lunch, as most churches in Rome do. You can find it off the Colosseo metro station. For more information, visit the Basilica di San Clemente's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Rome

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)1 of 20
St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)2 of 20
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

A must-see on many travelers' itineraries, the Trevi Fountain is situated amongst a high concentration of hotels, shopping and nightlife. Finished in the mid-1700s, the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character. The god of the sea, Oceanus, emerges from the pool, flanked by his trusty Tritons. The fountain underwent an extensive, mutlimillion euro restoration and reopened in its full splendor in November 2015.

According to Roman lore, throwing one, two or three coins into the Trevi, with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you'll return to Rome; you'll fall in love with an attractive Roman; and you'll marry that same Roman.

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