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ROME OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Places To See and Things To Do, Like A Local!

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DISCOVER THE COOLEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN ROME OFF THE BEATEN PATH!

If you want to feel like a local, read my guide, I’ll tell you exactly what the locals do in Rome and the places they go more often for a real Roman Experience!


It doesn’t matter how many countries and cities I’ve visited in these past four years of constant travels:

Rome still remains my favorite city in the world!

I lived there from 2004 until 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. 

So I can say that I know a few place is Rome and its surrounding areas that are completely off the beaten path and not very well known by the average tourist.

I say “The average tourist” referring to those people that for lack of information or time, just visit the main highlights of Rome, leaving out the slightly hidden gems that the marvelous Italian Capital has to offer. 



FURTHER READING

DO YOU WANT TO DISCOVER EVEN MORE ABOUT MY BEAUTIFUL ITALY? THEN CHECK OUT MY MASSIVE ARTICLE:  THE BEST ITALY ROAD TRIP FROM ROME TO LAKE COMO!



It goes without saying that I know the city as I were born in Rome (it might be a coincidence but my name “Clelia” is very rare and was originally used in ancient Rome). In three years living there I had time to discover some lovely places, hence i want to list them all in this guide. Sure, I still recommend the usual spots as they are indeed spectacularly beautiful but Rome off the beaten path  can offer so much 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 do and marvel at!), but if you like to go off the beaten path, I’ll be pleased to recommend the coolest less-known places in Rome according to my personal experience!



So what are the best off the beaten path /gem places to See 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. 



Monti district is very central (close to Colosseum and Termini railway station) and at the same time quieter than the crowded squares of Rome, being off the beaten path doesn’t necessarily mean that the place can’t be nearby some very touristy spots! Some foreign tourists are starting to peak into the Monti’s lovely alleys, now populated by fashion shops, trendy bars, handicraft workshops and nice restaurants.

Monti is also one of the places where the Roman tradition is very important and present: the inhabitants, called “Monticiani” speak a dialect slightly different from the one spoken in other districts pf Rome and they try to maintain the early heritage 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


In this case we are also literally “off the beaten path” in Rome, given that this famous road starts in Rome to go way outside the city.

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 (via Appia Antica) Regional Park.

This protected area is a green oasis that also contains archaeological findings (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.


VISIT TESTACCIO: THE AUTHENTIC SIDE OF ROME



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Piramide symbol of the Testaccio area in Rome: 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 enjoy having a true off the beaten path experience in Rome with a lively and genuine atmosphere, Testaccio will amaze you: this neighborhood is a bit out of the way and isn’t famous for sightseeing, but is the place where  “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 pricey souvenirs you can buy in the historical center.

Now, this is what I call the real Rome off the beaten path! The one where you’ll meet the locals living their normal life. I can assure you, only listening to them speaking (even if you don’t understand a word) can be an incredible experience for itself.

 

AMAZING TOURS FOR ROME OFF THE BEATEN PATH, CHECK THEM OUT!


FOOD TOUR:

Do you want to try an incredible food tour in Testaccio? Here you have it! The reviews are awesome and you’r going to eat like a roman and with the Romans. Nothing can beat that!

ROME OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR

Well the name of the tour really says it all, you will be guided to all the magnificent places in Rome that are either hidden or not in the city center. Especially good if you love the ancient buildings of Rome. I don’t want to spoil this tour for you. read all about it in the Tour Description!

 



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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, 


 

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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 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 🙂


DISCOVER 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 also infamously famous for being Mussolini Residence for a few years and you can even visit the bunker where “The Duce” was hidden.

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 or book a interesting tour including the Casina Delle Civette.

 



INTERESTED IN READING MORE ABOUT ROME? CHECK OUT MY OTHER ARTICLES!



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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.

    1. Post
      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 when I have some time because it’s going to be a massive article!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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