On Thursday, 24 February, Tom, Mary Kay, and I went back to Ostia Antica. For the first trip, scroll down below the picture of this charming fellow to the left and see the link to our blog entry of February 14:
Thursday was cool and breezy, but perfect weather for hours of exploring the excavated ruins of this ancient abandoned seaport that once was home to 100,000 people. Here are a few more pictures to add to the album that we posted with the previous entry:
On Friday, we went to the church of San Clemente, one of our all-time favorite spots in Rome. The site consists of three separate buildings, each one having been built on top of the others over the course of the centuries. At street level is a lovely 12th-century basilica that features beautiful medieval mozaics in the apse and a 5th-century marble choir stall. This church was built above the back-filled sanctuary of the original 4th-century church which has now been excavated. This church has frescos dating from the 9th and 10th centuries and the tomb of St Cyril, the 9th-century "apostle to the Slavs." Climbing down yet another flight of stairs that lead one far below today's street level, one comes to a set of 1st-century Roman buildings along a brick-paved alleyway that includes a temple and altar of Mithras, god of the eastern religious cult that flourished in early imperial Rome. There is also a Mithraic schoolroom and a Roman home where springs of cool, fresh water still flow as they did centuries ago.
No photos are allowed at San Clemente, but they have a good web site that includes a virtual tour of all three levels.
Photo tour of all three levels: http://www.basilicasanclemente.com/tour/3levels.htm