Situated on Via San Giovanni approximately a quarter mile south of the Colosseum is the basilica San Clemente, dedicated to Pope Clement I and the designated basilica of the current Cardinal from New York. The basilica proper is ringed with several frescos and sculptures ranging from the second through the tenth century. What makes this an attraction for tourists is that the facility is a three tired complex (i. e. A church, built upon another church, built upon a home).The upper-most level is the present basilica originally built just before 1100 AD. Approximately four meters below this level is a mid-4th century to early 5th century basilica, converted out of a home of a Roman nobleman. Historical documents indicate that this level briefly served as a church during the first century and the basement of this mid-level structure during the 2nd century may have served as a pagan temple ( a place of worship for the followers of the mysterious religion known as Mithraism). The lower third level was the home of the Roman nobleman which was built upon the foundations of a republican era building destroyed by the great fire of 64 AD. You can explore the remains of the earlier Basilica and the nobleman's home by crossing the present-day Basilica and through the bookstore on the far side and going down the stairs.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.