#4 - Hidden Gems
The Hidden Gems tour covers some of Rome's most spectacular hidden architectural and artistic gems centered on Rome's Esquiline hill.
Seeing Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses inside the church of Saint Peter in Chains is amazing, but even more so to learn about its development with related historical events over the course of almost 40 years in what Michelangelo himself referred to as the "tragedy of the tomb..."
Way before the Pope made the Vatican his permanent residence we'll see the Pope's fortified medieval church of Santi Quattro Coronati to appreciate one of the most unusual architectural hidden gems of the city.
This tour is like a time warp to forgotten periods such as the hidden gem of the famous Carolingian Chapel of St. Zeno inside the church of Santa Prassede, the Column/ Pillar of the Passion and some of the most memorable trompe l'oeil fresco and mosaic decorations in Rome.
One of the most amazing sites though contains excavated layers of hidden architectural gems actually directly below the church of San Clemente revealing medieval frescos, a 1st century AD building and even a pagan temple to the God Mithras.
With Rome's later Aurelian walls, the earlier Republican ones often get ignored, but we'll see Rome's ancient Esquiline Gate by little known surviving sections of the Republican Servian Walls throughout this most picturesque tour as we get to stroll right through the remaining sections of the Baths of emperor Trajan and even right over the area of Emperor Nero's Golden House.
Hidden Gems are even found right in the midst of one of Rome's 4 Major Basilica church's of Santa Maria Maggiore, such as a MUCH less known "Sistine Chapel", Bernini's Tomb and even a famous icon of Mary (said to have been painted by St. Luke himself...).