Basilica of San Clemente : Michelin's recommendations
This is one of Rome's oldest Christian buildings, as it dates back to the 4th century, even if the first basilica that you see was rebuilt from 1108 onwards. If the entrance has retained the austere look of Medieval buildings, this is not the case inside, as it is full of Baroque stuccoes. You must however enter the church to see the fine apse mosaic, dating from the 12th century, which is a masterpiece of colours, and charms you by its style as well as by the number of subjects covered. After the St. Catherine Chapel, decorated with frescoes by Masolino da Panicale that, although already in early Renaissance style, is still influenced by primitive art, you then come to the 4th-century, underground lower basilica. This is decorated with frescoes, sometimes dating back to the 9th century. Those showing the legend of the Prefect Sisinius (he wanted to arrest his wife for becoming a Christian, but he and his servants were struck blind and instead of leading the woman away, carried off a column!) are like strip cartoons, with "balloons" written in a language that was a transition between Latin and what was going to become Italian. You will also see the Mithraeum there; a temple dedicated to the cult of Mithras and in remarkably good condition.
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