Underground Rome is one of the visits that are worth planning during a stay in Rome, to discover the secrets of the city through a charming itinerary, among the glories of the empire and the historical and religious events that are still echoing in the present day. Here are three Underground Rome locations not to be missed.
The basements of Terme di Caracalla (Caracalla Baths). If you’re picturing narrow tunnels, you’re wrong: these basements are a kind of a small city, with wide 6 meter (20 feet) high tunnels, taken by slaves and wagons for the transport of wood used for the heating of rooms and water. An amazing scenario, like the mitreo, the place of worship of god Mitra, discovered in 1912 and the biggest in Rome. The fossa sanguinaris – collecting the blood of the bulls that were sacrificed – are still very well visible, together with the fresco depicting Mitra.
Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Putridarium: the church made famous by the bell tower and dome by Borromini – the great architect of Roman Baroque. Not everyone knows that under the altar of the Basilica, it is possible to admire a wonderful middle-age putridarium – the only one left in Rome – that was the room where the bodies of the friars were seated on seats made of stone for decomposition.
The bunker of EUR Palazzo degli Uffici: built between 1937 and 1939, the shelter is located under the building, the first one designed for Rome World’s Fair. The bunker was conceived to shelter, at 32 mt (104 feet) below sea level, in 475 square meters rooms, the employees of the offices in case of air or gas attacks during the Second World War. The signs still indicate the places reserved to female employees and the calls for calm and silence. The anti-gas venting valves are still visible.