If you take a short walk from the Colosseum along the narrow Via di San Giovanni, you will find a little square with some trees, a couple of marble benches and a few cafeterias. Unusually quiet for being so close to the most iconic building of the ancient Rome, this little peaceful square hides a real treasure: Saint Clement’s Basilica.
Built in the 12th century right on top of a more ancient church, Saint Clement’s Basilica is a wonderful example of Medieval architecture, art, spirituality and symbolism.
Most people, though, just pass by without even looking at this shabby building that hardly looks like a church from the outside.
But for the lucky ones who take the time to enter, Saint Clement’s Basilica has many amazing surprises in store. Here we will just describe a few of them, only seven: Saint Clement’s Seven Wonders.
When entering such an old building as Saint Clement’s Basilica, which is more than 900 years old, one would automatically think that this is the original building: wrong!
The building we see now above the ground is the “new” church, that has been built literally on top of the original 1700-years-old one!
This ancient church was discovered accidentally, as it’s often the case in Rome: how did it happen? This story is about “serendipity”, which is, as the dictionary puts it, “a fortunate and unexpected discovery completely made by accident”.