Underground Rome And Why You Need To See It!

Did you know there is an entire city below the modern city of Rome?

Underground Rome, ruins from 3rd century A.D
Underground Rome, ruins dating to 3rd century A.D.

After two millennia of accumulated dust and dirt, building and rebuilding, filling in old buildings with sand and dirt and rocks and building something new on top, the current city sits as much as 25 meters above the various old cities.

Underground Rome, the city beneath the city. Ruins of a 4th century chapel
Heading below street level into the ruins of a 4th century chapel in Rome

If you stand at street level and look down into the Roman Forum you will see what I mean. It seems as though every time they go to build something new or dig up the basement of a property to do routine repairs they find some new site dating back to antiquity. In fact, 90% of the old city hasn’t been excavated and probably never will be.

RELATED POST: MUST SEE IN ROME _ NERO’S DOMUS TRANSITORIA

In my new book Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome (available worldwide on Amazon.com) I have an entire chapter on Underground Rome, with 10 really cool places to go below ground and experience the ancient, ancient city.

2000 year old mosaic floors in the city beneath rome
2000 year old mosaic floors in underground Rome

It is honestly one of my favorite things to do. Walk around the city below the city, seeing 2000+ year old mosaic floors and inlaid marble floors.

2000 year old roman homes below the current city of Rome
Walking through an area of ancient Roman homes and apartments, dating back 2000 years. These ruins are underneath the modern city of Rome

First century frescoes and frescoes that date back to the Republic. Plaques and columns and sarcophagi  – they’re all down there!

frescoes in Teatro Pompeo date back to 55 B.C.
Frescoes underground in Teatro Pompeo date back to 55 B.C.
RELATED POST: WHY YOU NEED TO SEE PALAZZO VALENTINI IN ROME

I take my Glam Italia Tour groups to a variety of these places. One of them is a 4th century chapel below a current day working church. It still has frescoes dating back to the 300’s on the walls.

ruins of a 4th century chapel in underground Rome
These ruins of a 4th century chapel are underneath a functioning church in Rome

Normally we are the only people down there. This nice old man who has been working there for as long as I can remember has to unlock the door and turn on the lights to let us in.

1st century sarcophagus below the city of Rome
First century sarcophagus in underground Rome

Meanwhile right up the street there are thousands of tourists waiting in line to get a postcard photo of a famous site (albeit with a bunch of other people’s heads in the frame), completely unaware of what is quite literally beneath their feet!

RELATED POST: THE BEST ROME TRAVEL GUIDEBOOK!
fresco'd ceiling in Nero's Golden Palace in underground Rome
Frescoes on the ceiling of Nero’s Golden Palace date back to 64 A.D.

In Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things to Do in Rome I tell you about Pompeo, his rivalry with Julius Caesar and the huge theater he built back in 55 B.C.

column in teatro pompeo, rome
This column dates back to 55 B.C. and is in the ruins of Teatro Pompeo, beneath a restaurant in Rome

Julius Caesar was actually assassinated in the curia of Teatro Pompeo, which backs onto Largo Argentina. (I tell you where to find this in the book).

ruins of teatro pompeo below the city of rome
Ruins of Teatro Pompeo (Pompey’s Theater) below a restaurant in Rome. I tell you where in the book!

I also tell you about a restaurant that sits atop the ruins of the other end of Teatro Pompeo, where you can go downstairs and walk around inside the ruins. It is mind blowing!

ruins of teatro pompeo, 55 B.C.
Part of Teatro Pompeo, dating back to 55 B.C. sit below a restaurant in Rome
RELATED POST: 10 THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO IN ROME

If you are making a trip to Rome, be it for a day or for a month, I highly recommend picking up this book and using it to find all manner of totally fascinating places, most of which will be a short walk down the street from where you will be going anyway.

sarcophagus in underground rome
Sarcophagus in underground Rome

Read the chapter on Underground Rome and do your best to get to at least one of the places to experience the subterranean city. I can pretty much guarantee there will be almost no one down there, so not only will you get to experience something really sensational but you will also get to escape the crowds!

See you in Rome!

How would you like to end your day in Rome with a glass of something fabulous at one of the city’s stunning rooftop bars? I have made a downloadable PDF of my absolute favorite rooftop bars in Rome. Each of these bars are stunning and offer a gorgeous view of the Eternal City. Download your PDF of The Best Rooftop Bars in Rome HERE

Join The Corinna B's World Newsletter!
Special Information For My Private Group Only

Join this private group to get special information about travel in Italy that doesn't get posted on the blog.

Private Group members receive newsletters telling them the secret stuff, from the restaurants I love to my favorite secret towns in Italy and much more!