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Rome Off The Beaten Path: Top Places You Should See!

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DO YOU WANT TO DISCOVER SOME TRUE GEMS IN ROME AND SURROUNDING AREAS?

Read on, this post is for you!


It doesn’t matter how many countries and cities I’ve visited in these past four years of constant travels: Rome still remain my favorite city in the world! I lived in there from 2004 till 2007, when (not without tears in my eyes) I left to move to the UK and learn English.

I remember my last few days in Rome: I went around with my car and a very bad camera (at the time I still wasn’t into photography as I am now) and I took a few pictures of the places I loved the most, to have some nice memories of my times in this city that was more than a home to me.

 


It goes without saying that I know the city as I was born in there, and in three years I had time to discover some places that are not well known by tourists. Sure, I still recommend the usual spots as they are indeed spectacularly beautiful but there is a lot more to discover if you have the time!

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning: this was the opinion of the great painter Giotto, who described some peculiarities of the Eternal City.

The city is, without any doubt, one of the most popular destinations in the world (I bet! so many beautiful things to discover), but if you like to go off the beaten paths I’ll be pleased to recommend the coolest less-known places in Rome according to my personal experience!

 

So what are the best places to check out in Rome?

 

If you already know Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, you won’t be disappointed by this unusual itinerary, looking for the trendiest spots!


 

QUARTIERE MONTI: THE BEST PLACE WHERE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH ROME


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Piazza Madonna Dei Monti fountain. Photo credits: Silvia Adalia


Monti district is very central (close to Colosseum and Termini railway station) and at the same time quieter than the crowded squares of Rome. Many foreign tourists like the Monti’s alleys now populated by fashion shops, trendy bars, handicraft workshops and nice restaurants.

 

Monti is also one of the places where the tradition is very important: the inhabitants, called “monticiani” speak a dialect slightly different from that spoken in other districts and try to maintain the early identity of this area, made up of romantic glimpses, enchanting corners, and cozy small squares as Piazza Madonna Dei Monti.



DISCOVER VIA APPIA: ONE OF THE MOST ANCIENT ROMAN ROADS


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Via Appia. Credits by Lalupa [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons


Do you know that the Appian Way is defined “the queen of the long roads”? Used as the main route for military supplies since 312 B.C., now many parts of the road have been preserved and you can go for a walk there and visit the Appian Way Regional Park.

This protected area is a green oasis that also contains archaeological finds (namely the Tombs of Via Latina), the Caffarella Park (recommended for bike tours) and the ruins of the Villa of the Quintili, dating back to the II century.



TESTACCIO: THE AUTHENTIC SIDE OF ROME


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Piramide symbol of Testaccio: Credits by Gobbler at wiki voyage shared [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) and CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


 

If you like lively and genuine atmosphere, Testaccio will amaze you: this neighborhood it’s a bit out of the way and isn’t famous for sightseeing, but is the place where to “do as the Romans do”, going to the Testaccio Market, housed in a new building close to the Macro museum. At the market, you can find every kind of food delicacy, house furnishings and original gifts, better than the usual souvenirs that you can buy in the historical center.


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Mercato Testaccio Credits: My Italian Sketchbook https://flic.kr/p/zcVXxt


If you visit this district, remember to have a look at the Pyramid of Cestius (Piramide di Caio Cestio), built in 12 B.C., an Egyptian-style tomb that is open to the public exclusively on the second and fourth Saturdays and Sundays of the month.

Enjoy the thrill of a guided tour in a pyramid located in the heart of Rome, for info and bookings +39 06 39967 700, reservation is always required.


 

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Typical street in Rome Testaccio and Trastevere Image credit: (Transformed in B&W) http://www.wonderwheretostay.com/


I loved going to Testaccio when I lived in Rome, and for those passionate about football or just curious to see how crazy the Romans are for this sport, go to Testaccio on a Sunday when AS Roma is playing (possibly an important match) and you will see how colorful the people are.

I know this quite well as I am a fanatic AS Roma supporter and I often went to Testaccio to watch the matches. Even if you are not particularly interested in football, this is something you should witness to understand the Italian culture 🙂



VISIT THE HOUSE OF THE OWLS IN VILLA TORLONIA


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House of the owls: Credits by Sepdet http://fav.me/d85yp4t


Villa Torlonia, located in one of the biggest parks in Rome, dues its charm to the English-style garden and to the House of the Owls (Casina delle Civette), an intriguing lemon house that now houses a museum.

It’s a very unusual venue which boasts an architectural style without equal in Rome.

The 20 rooms include pieces of stained glass, paintings, and mosaics, is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, check this website for further info.



Do you want to read more about Rome?
Read this article about the top 25 sights to check out in the eternal city! They are classic and you can’t miss them for anything in the world 🙂

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ARE YOU READY TO FIND THESE AND OTHER HIDDEN GEMS IN THE ETERNAL CITY?

LET ME KNOW IF YOU ALREADY VISITED SOME OF THEM OR IF YOU HAVE SOME MORE PLACES TO ADD TO THE LIST!


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Comments 8

  1. Super nice article. Going in Rome in April for the first time and I’m sooo excited! On your recommendation I will spend a day roaming around TESTACCIO without a map.. hopefully I’ll get lost ))
    Thanks for recommending these 🙂

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      Author

      Thanks Dimana! April should be a great month to visit Rome! Be careful when getting lost, it is usually safe in Testaccio but you never know in the big cities. By night I recommend you to get lost in the small lovely streets of Trastevere, it’s magical and you’ll love it 🙂

  2. I’m going to be visiting Rome in a few weeks for my second time, so I’m looking for some “off the beaten path,” places. I’m most excited about the Appian Way. This is a great list! Thanks!

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      Author
  3. Thanks for your great list! We ll have to visit some of the ones we haven t tried if we ever go back again! Rome is truly amazing, one of the most fascinating cities in the world for sure.

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      Author

      I totally agree, Rome is amazing! I will never get tired to go back over and over. Even after having lived in there for 3 years, there is always something special to discover around the corner!

  4. There are so many more off beat places then what is in this article and one of the best ways I have found to find them besides tour guides is google maps. Just type in something like roman colosseum and start to zoom in and all of a sudden other attractions start showing up on the map. This works everywhere, you could find out there is something only a few blocks from a site you were planning on seeing that may be just an interesting as the original site and never knew about it. Once the site shows up on the map you can click it and will be able to get a lot of great information on the spot and can decide if it is something you are interested in or not. It works great.

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      Author

      Hey Mark, I know, I know… I’ve lived in Rome for 3 years and I know way more places than the ones in this article, I will be adding them soon!Your way also might work well, but in my opinion, nothing beats the knowledge of someone who truly knows the place and surrounding areas and knows for sure what the TRUE hidden gems are 😉 I can’t wait to add more to this post, as for me Rome is the best city in the world. No other city beat it, no matter how many places I have visited in my life. Rome will remain unbeatable in my eyes, especially for those places no one knows about, the small streets, some nice cafes no tourist knows about and much much more, so stay tuned!
      Cheers!

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