Archaeology Travel Itinerary

“Why not?” in Rome – Celio’s Roman Houses

By on 30 January 2017

Available in: itItaliano

A few nights ago the phone rings, it was my cousin Alessia. As always, as soon as I set foot in Rome she called me full of enthusiasm and we looked forward to meet us. This time she was the co-star of the first roman “Why not?”, she and her family with Walter and Arianna.

It is because she knows that my passion for archeology actually was not tarnished at all after leaving the academic world. So she proposed that, on the spot, a visit to the Roman Houses of Celio, with also an aperitif made of ancient Roman recipes.

How could I not answer: “Why not?”



And so, on a Roman Saturday evening I am to descend into the bowels of the Celio hill to rediscover that seems to be the home of Saints John and Paul. All signs, in fact, make us to think that it is the place where the two saints were murdered and buried (hidden in a basement). Yet it’s a bit ‘to think that despite still exists a church dedicated to them right above this place, until 1887 they had lost the memory.

The Roman Houses of Celio

It was in that year that by chance, as always, Father Germano discovered that under the church there were completely buried preceding rooms. But let’s take it slowly, actually the excavations have revealed a fairly complicated picture that I’m going to to explain better. They found an ancient insula (popular house, ground floor devoted to shops and the upper floors used as apartments) and a portion of a domus, separated from each other by a narrow alley.

[aesop_image imgwidth=”500px” img=”” alt=”Affresco di un Ninfeo – Case Romane Celio” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off”]


It sounds simple, but never have seen before a back shop painted with fresco. Then something is not right. In fact, the two houses at some point were united, they become a single property in the course of the third century. A.D. and even poor rooms were enriched with paintings both Christian and pagan. A classic for the time in which it was spreading Christianity. Other evidence, however, do believe that it wasn’t simply a domus ecclesiae (house used for Christian worship during persecution) but also the residence of the two saints.

Roman Aperitif

[aesop_image imgwidth=”500px” img=”” alt=”Aperitivo Romano” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off”]

Obviously I not reveal to you the most, I do not want to spoil the ending, but I hope I have piqued your curiosity to go to visit them soon. Because this is the clear example of how to value a little gem in Rome, in the shadow of the majestic Colosseum stormed daily. And if that’s not enough, I add that at the end of the visit will also include a delicious aperitif with ancient Roman recipes. I can assure you that you will not find the absurd dishes that only the stomach of an ancient Roman could stand. Indeed, you will be amazed of how in some cases the tradition has not changed that much, plus I think more has changed the sense of taste. Again there is no danger of spoiler, but you have to go to visit them. Here I leave you a photo with something random that I experienced …

[aesop_image imgwidth=”500px” img=”” alt=”Aperitivo Romano” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off”]



alberto branca why not travel blog
Benvenuto su Why not?

Sono Alberto, un creatore di Itinerari, appassionato di Fotografia e Viaggiatore lento.

Why not? è un contenitore di esperienze che si evolve insieme a me. Mi piace costruire il mio viaggio, studiare e trovare la vera essenza dei luoghi e delle persone che incontro lungo la mia strada.

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