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Let’s discover some of the hidden attractions in Rome!
Hidden Rome – For any tourist, experienced or beginner, Rome can be overwhelming! It has so much history behind it, so many museums to see, thousand streets to get lost on and a multitude of tourist attractions, that you do not know what to start with!
On our first holiday here, it was clear what I had to see: Colosseum, Foro Romano, San Pietro, Vatican Museums and Fontana di Trevi. On the next holiday I saw some of the tourist attractions I missed the first time and I thought that I can finish with Rome here. But searching, I discovered that the secret attractions in Rome are hiding where you least expect and that made me come back here to discover them every time I had the opportunity.
Discover the hidden and most important secret attractions in Rome
If you want to feel the atmosphere of the real city, avoiding crowds of tourists, Trastevere is a perfect choice. Cozy cafés, family restaurants with delicious pizzas and just 2-3 tables for customers, laundry laid out on wire between old balconies and Italians making ample gestures at the street corners will show you how the city’s inhabitants actually live. You just have to wander on its narrow alleys and stop for a while to observe the Italian lifestyle.
Here’s a Trastevere food guide to help you explore the restaurant options at this lovely place.
Gianicolo Hill and Tempietto di San Piedro
The city spread over 7 hills has many belle view points. A spectacular one is on Gianicolo Hill. If you want to see Rome from above, the effort to climb up the stairs to the top of the hill will be rewarded with amazing sceneries. And when you are ready to see something else, you will also discover the beautiful nature nearby and other places that are worth your attention. Il Tempietto di San Piedro, “the little temple” is one of them. It is a small tomb looking like a temple and is built in the courtyard of the San Pietro in Montorio church. It is said that this little temple marks the spot of St. Peter’s martyrdom.
Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta
On one side of Tiber river, on another hill of the seven on which the city is spread, is the number three in the list of secret attraction in Rome: a piazza like many others. At first glance it has nothing special, but you will see people standing in front of a large gate and waiting for something. They wait for their turn to look on a keyhole. Wait for your turn and you will have a great surprise: one of the most known churches in Rome can be spotted through that keyhole. Go there and find out yourself which church it is.
Being the only island on the Tiber, it took the name of the famous river, becoming Tiberina island. Considered haunted in antiquity, its situation changed during a plague when a temple dedicated to Esculap, the god of healing, was built here, and turned it into a pilgrimage spot for the sick. The island still has a hospital built in the 16th century and a church that shelters a healing spring. Two bridges make it accessible to visitors from the city center and from the Trastevere neighborhood. If you are looking for a tranquil place in Rome take your time and explore the little island.
San Giovanni in Laterano church
The only cathedral in Rome and the “holiest church among the churches of the city and the world, being their mother and head,” as it is written on its central door, the San Giovanni in Laterano church is less successful among tourists than San Pietro basilica. However, it serves as the seat of the Roman Pontiff and it is the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas. The church is impressive even though it suffered numerous transformations over time and it deserves a visit.
Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Another mysterious church hidden among the old buildings in Rome is Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. On the outside it doesn’t even look like a church, but on the inside it has some surprises. Its most interesting part is the crypt. The crypt’s walls are decorated with the bones of Capuchin friars exhumed from another friary. The place looks very terrifying but for the fans of horror movies it is quite an experience to see the décor made of human remains.
I could add forever new elements to the list with secret sites in Rome. There are countless places in the city that tourists do not know about or do not have the time to visit them considering the wealth of alternatives they find here. But after you’ve seen enough of Rome tourism, try them out. For sure they will not disappoint you!
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Guest Post By Corina Preda from Another Milestone.
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