Along the Via delle Corso (one of the busiest commercial districts in Rome) and beside the Palazzo Doria Pamphili, is a tiny 17th century minor basilica, the Santa Maria in Via Lata (the ancient street name for via Corso). Early documents indicate that the original building on this site may have been a warehouse. The lower portion of the basilica (I.e. About 20 meters below street level) was the home of St. Luke (secretary to St. Paul). The documentsentioned above also indicated that in the fifth century, this was the first Christian place of worship in the chapel (oratory) in a Roman building, now beneath the current church. It was also here that St. Paul spent two years under house arrest while awaiting trial for his beliefs (he was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own choosing in the accompaniment of a soldier). St. Paul often summoned followers to the crypt in order to continue his preachings. In addition, some documents indicate that St. Peter would visit St. Luke and St. Paul here while St. Paul was under house arrest.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.