On the slopes of the Celio, underneath the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo is the extraordinary archaeological complex that contains over four centuries of history and testifies the passage and coexistence between paganism and Christianity.
The access is from Clivo di Scauro, an ancient Roman street and once main axis of the hill, which has preserved part of its original layout. The Domus were discovered in 1887 by Father Germano di San Stanislao, rector of the Basilica at the time.
The site represents one of the most beautiful places in underground Rome, thanks to the extraordinary state of conservation of the rooms and its great artistic value and religious relevance. These are twenty splendidly frescoed hypogeal rooms, dated between the 1st and 4th centuries, originally shops and warehouses of an insula - a labouring class multi-storey building - transformed over the centuries: from a domus on two levels on the lower floor, equipped with a private thermal plant (balneum), of the beginning of the 2nd century AD, to an insula, with shops (taberne) at ground level and houses on the upper floors, of the beginning of the 3rd century AD; from a new, luxurious domus of the late 3rd and early 4th centuries AD, to the titulus of the middle of the 4th century AD.
The complex is, in fact, traditionally known as the place where Saints John and Paul lived, suffered martyrdom and were buried: an event that made the site sacred and venerated, and later led to the construction of the current basilica.
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