- By Kevin
- On Aug 21, 2017
- Travel Tips
Rome, as the biggest christian city, has lots of landscapes with so many history stories which you study or just enjoy. Travel map of Rome Italy, and things to do in Rome guide you look around.
Find a Church on Top of a Church on Top of a House
Address: Via di San Giovanni in Laterano 108, Rome
Urban archaeology is interesting to any age, but to kids, the notion of literally layers of history is especially fascinating. And it's three layers deep at the Church of San Clemente, not far from the Colosseum. After you've admired the gold mosaics inside the dome, descend to see what was discovered during some foundation repairs about 150 years ago. And then go deeper to see what lies below that.
To put it in historical order, easier for kids to picture, begin at the bottom. Sometime in the first century AD, a grand building stood here surrounding a courtyard, and next to it was a smaller brick building around a courtyard with a second-century Mithraic temple in it. Thanks to excavations, you can walk the streets of this Roman neighborhood, see the temple, and look for the spring-fed fountain - all now underground. In the fourth century, these streets, rooms, and courtyards were filled in to form the foundations for a basilica that lasted until about 1100, when it became unstable and was closed. Like the streets and buildings below, it was filled in with rubble and a new church was built on top of it - the church that stands on top today.
Throw a Coin in the Fountain
No tourist should leave Rome without following a tradition that's been around since the Romans walked these streets in togas. When they embarked on a journey, ancient Romans often threw a coin into a pool or fountain to ask the gods for a safe return. Today, so many tourists want to come back to the Eternal City that Trevi Fountain is always crowded and its base strewn with coins. The several thousand euros that are scooped out each night go to provide food for the hungry.
Rome's most famous fountain, Trevi was built in the 1700s, but there has been a fountain here since the first century, when it was the terminus of an aqueduct that brought water to the Baths of Agrippa. Although we have no idea which hand the ancients used to toss coins, today's tradition is to use the right hand and throw the coin over your left shoulder. Teenagers might be interested to know that while the first coin is supposed to bring you back to Rome, you can throw a second one to find love. No guarantees, of course.