Fodor's Expert Review Case Romane del Celio
Formerly accessible only through the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, this important ancient Roman excavation was opened in 2002 as a museum in its own right. An underground honeycomb of rooms, the site comprises the lower levels of a so-called insula, or apartment block, the heights of which were a wonder to ancient Roman contemporaries. Through the door on the left of the Clivo di Scauro lane a portico leads to the Room of the Genie, where painted figures grace the walls virtually untouched over two millennia. Farther on is the Confessio altar of Saint John and Saint Paul, officials at Constantine's court who were executed under Julian the Apostate. Still lower is the Antiquarium, where state-of-the-art lighting showcases amphorae, pots, and ancient Roman bricks, with stamps so fresh they might have been imprinted yesterday.