While the “Eternal City” of Rome is a historical treasure of architectural and artistic masterpieces, there is more to see than the Colosseum, or the Roman Forum, more than the Vatican, other timeless, romantic and amazing sites. So if you have toured the city, and spent time tossing a coin in Trevi Fountain, or you have climbed the Spanish Steps, maybe it is time to explore other hidden gems of this touching city.
Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient seaport, sits about 25 minutes from the center of the city, and offers a city filled with ruins that rivals that of Pompeii. A very under-appreciated city that wasn’t destroyed by volcanic ash, but does provide well preserved archaeological ruins, and a much less populated tourist area. If you want to embrace the city on foot, what about a walking tour? Visit the silent piazzas, that sit numerous a midst monumental buildings and breathtaking landscapes. Walking or cycling through the city taking in the beauty of the sculptures, shopping in the local stores, soaking in the history of Italy, old and new. For the more adventurous folks, canoeing or kayaking on the lake opens the door for sightseeing from a slightly different perspective.
The area known as Garbatella is filled with distinctive architectural buildings, all styled in Barochetto, offering Baroque flourishes and decorative motifs. In this part of Rome there is the Teatro Palladium, once a cinema, now an arts space with a theater, lush greenery and an area that provides inspiration and ideas for everyone.
While St. Peter’s is very important historically and certainly once of the most visited places in Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano was the first Christian Basilica ever built in Rome and provides some unique sights for visitors. The doors were transferred from Julius Caesar’s Senate by architect Borromini in the 1600’s, and the piazza outside the church holds claim to be Rome’s tallest and oldest Egyptian obelisk. The walking tour here will help lend details of the Catholic faith, and open doors to even more hidden gems that lie within Rome’s historical streets.
Two of the catacombs, Santa Priscilla and Santa Agnes, while less known than some of the others are much better preserved and on many of the walls and ceilings you can find paintings of early Christian Biblical scenes, and the oldest known art representing Saint Mary. Saint Agnes is smaller but presents some architectural designs that are sculpted in the tufa rock, and the complex offers a church, the basilica ruins and the mausoleum of Constantina. One little known fact of the Catacombs of Saint Agnes is that the best preserved intact burial site,lies below the surface, with real human bones. This walk delivers a deeper understanding of ancient Rome and Christian Rome as well as some in depth looks at art and history of some of the more famous sites.
These are but a few of the hidden treasures that sit within the city, featuring less tourists, historical significance, art, architectural brilliance and fun. There are more of these places to be discovered by those seeking treasure spots off the regular tourist path, and we know who can provide the best direction.
places to be discovered by those seeking treasure spots off the regular tourist path, and we