Rome is a great city with many things to see that stuff up guidebooks. But if you have already visited all the must-see things in this magnificent city and want to discover something new, Rome has a lot of secret places hidden away. Sometimes if you focus only on the most famous sightseeing attractions – such as the Colosseum and St. Peter’s – you might risk missing perhaps the most fascinating part of the city.
If you want to have an unconventional vacation outside the box and visit the hidden treasures of this city and stay in the best luxury hotel, here are some tips for you, some ideas for getting lost in the ancient streets in searching for the hidden wonders.
Giardino degli Aranci is a hidden gem nestled atop Aventine Hill away from the many iconic landmarks and often missed my tourists. This garden distant from the chaos is a unique and impressive escape. The Roman pine avenue leads you to a breathtaking view of the entire city. It’s a perfect place to unwind among the nature. Among the citrus trees you will also discover the temple of Minerva Medica.
The municipal rose garden is located in front of the Orange Garden home to over 1,100 varieties of roses in bloom, creating a colorful and aromatic spectacle. Another hidden place that will surprise you. Moreover, on this hill you can explore hidden gems like the Tempietto di Bramante, a small Renaissance church.
Janiculum Hill is the second highest hill in Rome from which there is a breathtaking view of the city because of its point of view you can admire iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon, and the winding Tiber River, all spread out like a postcard.
One of the most interesting and unusual places to visit in Rome is Parco degli Acquedotti. This park, located on the outskirts of the city, contains the remains of several ancient aqueducts that once supplied water to Rome. Apart from the magnificence, this is also a fascinating reminder of the city’s rich history and engineering prowess.
Mausoleo of Augustus
Step back in time to the imposing circular structure that housed the remains of Emperor Augustus and his family. This colossal mausoleum, built in the first century B.C., is meant to remind us of the magnificence of the Roman Empire.
Domus Aurea (Nero’s Golden House)
Hidden beneath the Esquilino hill there are the remains of Emperor Nero’s palace. Experience the luxurious decorations, once embellished with gold, marble, and frescoes, which offer a glimpse of the emperor’s luxurious lifestyle.
Temple of Mithras
Rome also offers surprises you might not expect. One of the most striking places in the city is the temple dedicated to Mithras. Discover the secret Mithraeum, an underground temple dedicated to the Persian god Mithras. Uncover well-preserved sculptures, mosaics, and intricate carvings depicting rituals and mythological scenes that provide insight into this ancient mystery cult.
Notice the complex marble-carved Altar of Peace, dedicated to celebrating the return of Emperor Augustus from his campaign in Gallia. Admire the splendid reliefs portraying sacrifices, processions, and mythological figures.
A place that tourists often overlook while passing a few blocks away is the Quartiere Coppedè, the Coppedè district, a neighborhood that is unlike any other in Rome. This is a mix of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Futurist styles where the buildings are decorated with intricate mosaics, sculptures, and stained glass.
Knights of Malta Keyhole
Another hidden gem is the Knights of Malta Keyhole. This small keyhole, located in the wall of a Knights of Malta garden, offers a unique perspective of St. Peter’s Basilica because the keyhole is aligned perfectly with the dome of the Basilica. This spot on the Aventine hill is very suggestive and impressive.
For art lovers Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and Michelangelo’s Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli church is a must-visit. Here you can find an amazing collection of art, including works of Caravaggio, Raffaello and Tiziano. Therefore, the centrale Montemartini, a former power station hides a lot of art sculptures.
But if you want to discover something while wandering around the city and escape from the crowd you can sneak into the Jewish ghetto alleys or explore the Vicus Caprarius just behind the overcrowded Trevi Fountain, the former water city is now a labyrinth of tunnels and waterways. Not far from there you can plunge into the Capuchin Crypt, a macabre attraction that lies beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione made of remains of thousand monks buried there.
If you want to do a dip into the past far from the usual archeological site you can visit the Baths of Caracalla, the largest baths in the Roman Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the Catacombs of Rome.
The hidden surprises of Rome do not end here because not far from the Caracalla Baths there is the Basilica of Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio, an unusual basilica is circular in shape, with a dome that resembles a pagan temple. Its interior is filled with fascinating mosaics and frescoes.
Moreover, you can enjoy the essence of this city wandering in the Testaccio Market is a lively food market that is a great place to sample traditional Roman cuisine open every day of the week, or maybe you can drop by the Tiber Island, a very small island in the middle of the Tiber River is a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city where there’s a church, a monastery, and a few shops and it’s a great place to enjoy a picnic or simply relax and take in the views.
Most of all, perhaps, the best place where you can feel the true soul of Rome is Trastevere: this typical neighborhood is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, lively piazzas, and delicious trattorias and outdoor restaurants. In these alleys, especially if you have a walk at night, you can catch the authentic Rome.
These and many other gems are hidden in this magnificent and eternal city.