There's a lot more to Rome than what you can see above ground. An underground tour allows you to learn more about Roman history and see fascinating artifacts. It allows you to discover for yourself the interesting story behind the Insula of Ara Coeli.
When you’re in Rome, you should take some time to visit the Insula of AraCoeli. A lot of people see the ruins, but not everyone gets to go on an underground tour of the insula, which is an ancient Roman apartment block. The ancient building is nestled between the stairway going to Santa Maria AraCoeli and the Monument to Victor Emmanuel at the Piazza Venezia.
The Insula of AraCoeli was first discovered in 1926when workers were trying to separate the Capitol from other buildings. It was found at the foot of the stairs leading to the church. The building dates back to the 2nd century A.D. The Insula is the perfect example of urban planning of Imperial Rome.
As you take a tour around the Insula of AraCoeli, you can see how the ancient roman architects have designed the building. Mostly made of bricks, its back wall has been constructed to rest directly on the cliff of Arce Capitolina. And because of that, the building has an unusual shape.
It has five floors that have been well preserved. The ground floor of the AraCoeli used to house the taberna that used to have wooden floorings and overlooked a courtyard. Experts have said that the space was once used as warehouses and shops that can be reached through a series of wooden stairs and stone steps.
The area that housed the owners of the shops below had black and white mosaic tiles and arched windows. A balcony full of shelves marked the boundary of the space to the rented apartments that have rectangular windows.
The rooms become smaller and more uncomfortable as you continue to go up to the upper floors. The higher floors are also harder to reach as residents used wooden ladders to get to their living quarters. It has been estimated that around 400 people used to live in the Insula of Aracoeli.
Meeting point information and local telephone numbers at your destination are included on your Confirmation Voucher.
We suggest you to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. This tour is not recommended for people who suffer from claustrophobia or panic attacks.