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Rome Private Walking Tours
Tour Information Schedule
Visit of the Basilica of Sts. John and Paul - Arch of Dolabella - Visit of the Basilica of St. Clement - Visit the archaeological remains of Nero's superb residence: Domus Aurea
Tour Code & Name: RW/8 - Hidden Rome
Duration: 3 hours approximately
Meeting Point: Metro line B stop "Colosseo"
Departure Time: 9:00 A.M.
Operating days: closed on Tuesdays, December 25 and January 1 (on Sundays and religious holidays we will perform the visit in the afternoon)
For 2006 the religious Holidays are: January 6, February 11, April 17, May 1, 25, June 15, 29, August 15, 16, November 1, December 8, 25
Handicapped Visitors: itinerary difficult with wheelchair.
Transportation: entirely walking tour
Entrance Fees: Basilica of St. John and St. Paul - € 6,00; Basilica of St. Clemente - € 5,00; Domus Aurea € 5,00 + reservation € 1,50 per person.
We will reserve your tickets beforehand.
Languages availability: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Other languages on demand.
Dress Code: entrance to the Churches requires appropriate attire: covered shoulders, long or short sleeves (no sleeveless arms), long trousers for gentlemen and skirts or trousers, long enough to cover their knees, for ladies.
Booking: tours should be booked at least 15 days prior to your scheduled arrival. Anyhow you may always send us an e-mail at any time and we will make all the efforts to meet your requirements.
Detailed itinerary description
Conducted by a qualified tour guide, start this itinerary on the Caelian Hill, one of the seven hills, visiting the 4th c. Basilica of Sts. John and Paul, dedicated to two Roman officer martyrs who once lived on this site. Johannes and Paulus served under Rome first Christian emperor, Constantine. They were beheaded in 362 AD after refusing to serve under the pagan emperor Julian the Apostate. This church was built on ancient pagan structures belonging to two houses of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These were two-storied constructions with some 20 rooms and corridors. Here, worth seeing are the many well-preserved pagan and Christian paintings. The church bell-tower was added in the 12th century by Pope Hadrian IV, Nicholas Breakspeare, who was the only English pope. The base of the bell-tower was part of the Temple of Claudius erected here to the deified Emperor Claudius. The arches on the left of the church were part of 3rd century shops. Bordering both sides of the central nave from the entrance to the church all the way up the sides and to the high altar there are 36 crystal chandeliers.
After a 10 minutes walk, seeing the Arch of Dolabella, which in the republican period was the Porta Coelimontana one of the gates of 4th century BC defensive walls, visit the 12th century Basilica of St. Clement. Its apse is decorated by the 12th c. famed mosaic of Triumph of the Holy Cross and the frescoes of Masolino da Panicale in the St. Catherine chapel. In the first inferior level, which belonged to the church destroyed by the Normans in 1084 and was filled in to build the new church, find magnificent frescoes of 8th, 9th and mainly 11th centuries. Further down in the second inferior level visit the ruins of two public buildings divided by a narrow backstreet of Emperor Domitian's (81-96 AD) imperial period. One of the rooms was transformed in the 2nd century in a mithraeum, temple dedicated to the Persian god Mithras.
Proceed to the entrance of Domus Aurea, the splendid imperial residence built by order of Emperor Nero between 64 and 68 D.C. We visit several rooms and halls, some of them still decorated by precious fresco paintings and by stucco-works. Probably the most beautiful hall of all the residence was the octagonal hall, in which each side of the octagon had a smaller hall; this hall was decorated by polychrome marbles, by frescoes, by ivory inlaid, precious stones and other rich materials and it was illuminated by a central hole opening in the cupola.
All the residence was surrounded by beautiful gardens and in the same spot where today we see the Colosseum, there was an artificial lake called Stagnum Neronis.
Leaving Domus Aurea, on the Oppian Hill we see conspicuous ruins of Trajan's Baths, built in the 2nd century DC after having filled the halls of Domus Aurea with earth.
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