Rome is one of the most famous and most important cities in the world.  From the height of the Roman Empire to the seat of the Catholic church Rome's influence has been felt across the world and its rich history reaches back over two and a half thousand years.  Today this ancient city is the capital of Italy and home to almost three million people.  The landscape formed by the merging of new, old, and ancient makes Rome a city unlike any other; one that should be on every travelers bucket list.  That being said, there is so much in this city that is easily overshadowed by the city within the city, Vatican City.  While St. Peter's Basilica is an impressive sight that should not be missed there are so many other unique experiences that are worth mentioning as well.  Some are well known, some are obscure, some are old, and some are new.  Here are forty-five things to see in Rome other than the Vatican.

 

The Colosseum

Flavian Amphitheatre

The ColosseumKosala Bandara - https://www.flickr.com/photos/kosalabandara/15126580060/

The Colosseum, also called the Flavian Amphitheatre, is on of Rome's best known landmarks.  This nearly 2,000 year old arena was built in 80 AD and remains the largest amphitheatre in the world to this day.  The Colosseum was classically used for bloody and spectacular gladiator battles but its stage could also be flooded for the reenactment of naval battles.  The complex system of tunnels under the stage that made these impressive shows possible is still intact today.  While the Colosseum has been featured in popular media for generations nothing quite compares to seeing it in person.

Price: €12.00 (includes access to the Roman Forum and Via Sacra)

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (changes seasonally)

Address: Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 399 67 700

Website: coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm

Blogger who has lived the experience: Amy French of Roaming Historian

 

The Pantheon

The Pantheon is another amazing site no traveler in Rome should miss.  Widely renowned as an architectural marvel this ancient church's history is just as impressive as its dome.  The Pantheon was originally built in 27 BC but was damaged in a fire.  The church as it can be seen today was completed in 127 BC and remains one of the cities best maintained ancient buildings.  The giant marble columns of the vestibule to the perfectly balanced metal doors to the expertly built dome all lend to this magnificent structure's sense of permanence.

Price: Free admission

Hours: 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday

Address: Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 68300230

Website: turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/pantheon (visit if your browser has a translation function)

Blogger who has lived the experience: Lee of Backpacker Lee

 

Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs

Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and MartyrsLuke Jones - https://www.flickr.com/photos/befuddledsenses/11374393563/in/photolist-owVuur-7JhZ69-95mL2e-95mP6M-95mDQv-95mFsr-ik7JVR-ik78jJ-ovakoB-odFEvZ-ov8E2E-ovajZk-odEM6q-odErBY-odF5HQ-ouXfHN-owVcVV-odEP79-odEqPA-ovamXt-owVdrV-ot8qwu-odEqM1-odEMXL-odF

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs may look a little run down on the outside but once you walk through its door you are greeted by a truly spectacular church.  Michelangelo himself had a hand in the building's architecture and his influence is apparent in its uniquely shaped side corridors and ceiling.  One of the churches greatest claims is its meridian line.  Built by astronomer Francesco Bianchini in 1702 it can still predict Easter to the day.

Price: Free admission

Hours: 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Address: Piazza della Repubblica, Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 488 0812

Website: santamariadegliangeliroma.it/ (visit if your browser has a translation function)

Blogger who has lived the experience: Natalie of An American in Rome 

 

Terme di Caracalla

Baths of Caracalla

Baths of CaracallaSébastien Bertrand - https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiseb/8035491522/

The Baths of Caracalla was built in 217 AD and was the second largest public bath house in all of Rome.  Caracalla offered free hot baths, made possible by a dedicated aqueduct and an underground system of burning coal and wood, before it was attacked by the Ostrogoths in the 6th century.  It never functioned as a bath house again but the 38 meter high remains of the old building are still a spectacular sight today.

Price: €6.00

Hours: 9 a.m. - 6:15 p.m. Monday - Saturday, closed Sunday

Address: Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 3996 7700

Website: archeorm.arti.beniculturali.it/siti-archeologici/terme-caracalla (visit if your browser has a translation function)

Blogger who has lived the experience: Nora of Photographing Rome 

 

Trevi Fountain

The fountain at the junction of three roads

 The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome's most iconic and romantic land marks and has been featured in many popular movies.  A large part of the fountain's popularity comes from its coin throwing tradition.  Visitors stand with their back to the fountain and use their right hand to throw three coins over their left shoulder.  The first coin ensures you will return to Rome some day, the second will start a new romance, and the third leads to a happy marriage.  All of the coins thrown in the fountain are collected to support a supermarket for those in need.

Address: Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma, Italy

 

Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara coeli

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven

The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven sits at the summit of Capitoline Hill.  It is the church of the city council of Rome and houses many important artifacts from the city's history, not the least of which being a number of vibrant frescoes by famed painter Pinturicchio.  The church has a breathtaking interior and is quite picturesque perched at the top of its long staircase.

Price: Free admission 

Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Address: Scala dell'Arcicapitolina, 12, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 6976 3839

Website: vicariatusurbis.org/?page_id=188&ID=887 (visit if your browser has a translation function)

 

Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica

Appian Way Regional Park

Parco degli AcquedottiSimone Ramella - https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramella/7276686242/in/photolist-c61ViC-c61LZS-c5Zfuf-c61Rho-c5Ztsj-c5ZdNQ-c5ZqXq-c5ZmFo-c5ZvLh-c5ZhEu-c5Z5T7-c5ZbAY-3eVFfS-iyHQs-c5Za8W-6fGDbJ-c62ibW-713To1-8KXKEW-c5Z4A7-bquu4y-bquuu7-bqurTG-8dHxzF-c5Z339-c5

Appian Way Regional Park is a large wedge of green space that stretches between the center of Rome, namely the Roman Forum, and the Alban Hills.  The regional park is actually made up of a number of smaller parks and archaeological zones: the Appian Way, Via Latina Tombs, Caffarella Park, Tor Fiscale Park, Villa of the Quintilii, Villa of the sette bassi, Tor Marancia, and Aqueduct Park.  Each area  is diverse and unique but Aqueduct Park, or Parco degli Acquedotti, is a standout due to its trails that wind through old Roman aqueducts.

Price: Free admission

Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. then 2 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Address: Via Appia Antica, 42, 00178 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 512 6314

Website: parcoappiaantica.it/

Blogger who has lived the experience: Tales From a Tour Guide 

 

Piazza Navona

Built on the old site of the Stadium of Domitian, Piazza Navona is an open courtyard fringed by excellent cafes and boutiques.  Piazza Navona is always bustling with activity and has become a center of activity for tourists and locals alike.  Local artists will often set up shop in the large open area to show off their best work.  Two of Rome's most famous fountains can also be found in the piazza, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and the Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Address: Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Italy

Blogger who has lived the experience: Sam of History Hiker 

 

Piazza del Popolo

People's Square

Piazza del Popolo is a wide open square the lies just inside the northern gates of the Aurelian Walls, walls built around the city limits of Rome in 275 AD.  An Egyptian Obelisk and the twin churches of  Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli circle this popular relaxation spot.  At the east end of the piazza a staircase leads to the view point of Pincio, providing one of the best panoramas of the city.

Address: Piazza del Popolo, 00187 Roma, Italy

 

Via Sacra

Sacred Road

Via SacraAndy Hay - https://www.flickr.com/photos/andyhay/10081758505/

Via Sacra was the main road through Rome at the height of its empire.  It started at the top of Capitoline Hill, passed by the Forum, and lead to the Colosseum.  The procession of the Roman Triumph, a parade celebrating military victory most often in a foreign campaign, walked the Via Sacra to be as visible to the people as possible.  When not used for ceremony the Via Sacra bustled with everyday activity and was the epicentre of daily Roman life.  Get to it through the Roman Forum.

Price: €12.00 (includes access to the Colosseum and Roman Forum)

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (changes seasonally)

Address: Via Sacra, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

Catacombs of Callixtus

The Catacombs of Callixtus is a large and interconnected series of undergrounds crypts, one of many catacombs that surround Rome.  The catacombs were originally Christian burial grounds forced to the outskirts of the city due to the faith of the buried, but as time went on and the dominant faith in Rome changed some of these cemeteries were repurposed for more distinguished use.  These eerie dark tunnels are a one of a kind experience with a rich history.

Price: €8

Hours: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. then 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Address: Via Appia Antica, 110/126, 00179 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 513 0151

Website: catacombe.roma.it/en/index.php

Blogger who has lived it: Katy of Bones Abroad 

 

Trajan's Column and the Column of Marcus Aurelius

Trajan's Column celebrates the victories of Roman emperor Trajan during the Dacian Wars.  This 30 meter high column was built in 113 AD and is covered with detail carvings depicting the tales and deeds of Trajan and his men.  The column can be accessed at any time of day but makes for a particularly beautiful sight at sunrise or sunset.  The Column of Marcus Aurelius was modeled on Trajan's and honors his life with a similarly impressive view.

Address: Trajan's Column - Via dei Fori Imperiali, 00187 Roma, Italy, Column of Marcus Aurelius - Piazza Colonna, 00186 Roma, Italy

Bloggers who have lived it: The History Blog

 

Convento dei Frati Cappuccini

Capuchin Crypt

Crypt of Capuchins-JvL- - https://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/13974125743/

Six small chapels under the church of Santa Maria della Conccezione dei Cappuccini make up the Capuchin Crypt.  Inside the crypt are the remains of more than 3,700 Capuchin friars whose bones have been artistically arranged in their memory and a reminder of how short our lives are.  The crypt is a one of a kind and humbling experience that should not be missed by anyone making their way through Rome.  It is also said the Capuchin friars made the first cappuccino.

Price: €6.00

Hours: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Address: Via Vittorio Veneto, 27, 00187 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 8880 3675

Website: cappucciniviaveneto.it/ (visit if your browser has a translation function)

Blogger who has lived the experience: Angie of Living Outside the Box

 

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Basilica of Saint Mary Major

The Basilica of Saint Mary Major is the largest Marian church in Rome.  Marian churches are all dedicated to the Virgin Mary and this particular church has been given the title "major" as it is the largest in her name in the city.  The masterful art hidden inside the basilica depicts Mary as the protector of Rome and all Roman people.  While this church is inside the Italian border it is actually operated and cared for by the Vatican

Price: Free

Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Address: Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore, 42, 00100 Roma RM, Italy

Phone: +39 06 6988 6800

 

Palatino

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill is one of the oldest areas in Rome and of the city's seven hills it is the closest to the center.  People have lived on the hill since 1000 BC and at the height of its power many of the Roman elite called it home.  Palatine offers a sweeping view of the Roman Forum but the Flavian Palace that sits on the hill itself is also worth exploring.

Address: Palatine Hill, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

 

Palazzo Barberini and the National Gallery of Ancient Art

Palazzo BarberiniMararie - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3706848101/

Palazzo Barberini is an architect's dream.  Bold but timeless lines make this a building that has never lost appeal, but hidden gems inside like the helicoidal staircase designed by Borromini make this building a joy to explore.  It is also one of two sites for the National Gallery of Ancient Art, the other being Palazzo Corsini.  The gallery has been called one of the most important collections of art in not just the city but the whole country, and a small fee of €7.00 gets visitors access to both venues.

Price: €7.00

Hours: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, closed Monday

Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 481 4591

Website: galleriabarberini.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/1/home (visit if your browser has a translation function)

 

Campidoglio

Capitoline Hill

Capitoline Hill has always been the most popular of Rome's seven hills.  When Rome was first established its arx, a fortified watchtower and last point of retreat, was stationed on the hill.  It was a heavy center of traffic, but many of the ruins of older buildings on the hill have been built on top of it.  While some history has been lost the piazza that stands there now was designed by Michelangel0 himself, keeping it a favourite for locals and tourists alike.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano

Basilica of Saint Clement

What makes the Basilica of Saint Clement interesting is it is actually three buildings built on top of one another.  The top most layer is the church that can be seen today which is dedicated to Pope Clement I.  This church was built in 1100 AD, but underneath are the remains of a 4th century church.  The third and final layer is the foundation of a Roman noble's home, but this layer was not exposed until 1914.  The sound of rushing water flowing through this bottom layer led to its discovery in 1867 but the tools to safely reach the area did not exist at the time.

Price:  €10.00

Hours: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. then 3 - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday, 12 - 6 p.m. Saturday - Sunday

Address: Via Labicana, 95, 00184 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 774 0021

Website: basilicasanclemente.com

 

Foro Romano

Roman Forum

Roman ForumBenson Kua - https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensonkua/5409380582/

The Roman Forum was once the seat of power and influence for the entire Roman Empire.  Everything from commercial deals to general elections to gladiatorial combat took place in the forum.  The most important structures of the city were here, and their ruins still stand today.  The ruins are unlike any other and the area still holds the latent energy of what was once the most powerful point in the world.

Price: €12.00 (includes access to the Colosseum and Via Sacra)

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (changes seasonally)

Address: Via della Salara Vecchia, 5/6, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

Website: turismoroma.it/cosa-fare/fori?lang=it (visit if your browser has a translation function)

Blogger who lived the experience: Jackie of Jackie’s World Travel

 

Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano

Archbasilica of St. John in the Lateran

The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest of all Papal basilicas and is the seat of the Bishop of Rome.  The Lateran Obelisk, the largest obelisk left standing in the world, acts as an exclamation point in front of the church denoting its importance.  Due to its age the church has undergone many renovations, the neo-classical exterior gracing it today was completed in 1735, but the massive archways and gilded ceiling inside have stayed much the same.

Price: Free admission

Hours: 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Address: Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4, 00184 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 6988 6433

Blogger who has lived the experience: Nadean of Exploring Wanderer

 

Via Condotti

Via Condotti is one of Rome's busiest streets and is home to many of its most fashionable stores.  Dating all the way back to ancient Rome, Via Condotti got its name from it close proximity to the original conduits that carried water to the Baths of Agrippa.  In present day Condotti sports more Italian fashion stores than anywhere else in the city, hosting shops such as Gucci, Armani, and Louis Vuitton.  

Address: Via dei Condotti, 61a, 00187 Roma, Italy

 

Villa Borghese Gardens

Villa Borghese GardensSon of Groucho - https://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/5895905875/

The Villa Borghese Gardens is one of the largest green spaces in all of Rome.  Along wide paved pathways through the lush forest and green fields can be found a number of villas that have been repurposed as art galleries.   Villa Giulia now houses the Etruscan Museum, Villa Borghese has been transformed into the Galleria Borghese, and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna can also be found on the grounds.  These museums are all excellent but the park itself is recommended for a casual stroll to beat the heat in the shade of the trees and a relaxing picnic next to the water.

Address: 00197 Rome, Italy

 

La Bocca della Verità

The Mouth of Truth

The Mouth of Truth is a large marble slab carved in the likeness of face of Roman god Oceanus.  The origins of the slab are unknown but it is likely the impressively large disc was once part of a fountain.  The craftsmanship of the Mouth of Truth is easy to appreciate but what makes this carving special is its ability as a lie detector.  Legend says if a person tells a lie while their hand is in the mouth it will be bitten off.

Address: Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, Roma, Italy

 

Via Margutta

Via Margutta is an old narrow street just off of Piazza del Popolo first made popular by the Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday.  After the films release Via Margutta became an exclusive neighbourhood popular with celebrities.  Some of Rome's best restaurants and cafes can be found on this cozy street and once a year it hosts the One hundred painters of Via Margutta open air art gallery, a festival that showcases more than 1,000 pieces by local artists.

Address: 00187, Roma, Italy

 

Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish StepsSean MacEntee - https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/9560112724/

Another Roman hot spot made famous by Roman Holidaythe Spanish Steps is a 135 step artistic staircase.  The steps picturesque bend down the hill from Piazza Trinità dei Monti to Piazza di Spagna coupled with the unparalleled craftsmanship of architect  Francesco de Sanctis make it a site to behold.  At its base can be seen the famous  Fontana della Barcaccia, Fountain of the Ugly Boat.

Address: Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma, Italy

 

Mercato Monti

Monti's Vintage Market

Monti's Vintage Market is located in the fashionable, up and coming Monti district.  The old residential neighbourhood of Monti has been revitalized in recent years to become a hidden gem of youth an artistry often overshadowed by the nearby Colosseum.  Monti's Vintage Market displays one of a kind work of local designers alongside expertly cared for vintage wares and is a prefect reflection of the culture in the area.

Hours: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday - Sunday

Address: Via Leonina, 46, Roma, Italy

Website: mercatomonti.com (visit if your browser has a translation function)

 

Sala 1 Gallery

Sala 1 Gallery showcases contemporary modern art, mostly focusing on paintings and sculptures but occasionally hosting larger scale experimental pieces.  It is run by a non-profit cultural organization and currently calls the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Scala Santa its home.  The high, arching ceiling and old brick of the sanctuary provide a striking background to the art on display.

Hours: 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday

Address: Piazza di Porta S. Giovanni, 10, 00185 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 700 8691

Website: salauno.com (visit if your browser has a translation function)

 

Capitoline Museums

Capitoline MuseumsFaungg's Photos - https://www.flickr.com/photos/44534236@N00/16579310943/in/photolist-rg4iwF-9Co1gs-rVg6sV-rff4j7-9Ck8v4-9zy7Q7-9zaV7T-8i2XPK-7bxDqr-9YaZTg-9YaZRP-9YdUku-9YaZAr-9YaZNc-9AgC9A-9AdASM-9AdKPT-7bBubs-w5JHNk-wjV2R7-33uicq-2oTejt-8i2XXx-wc3xwg-x

At the peak of Capitoline Hill can be found the Capitoline Museums, a collection of archeological museums documenting the history of Rome.  The original development plan for the hill and the museums was conceived by Michelangelo, however his ideas have been tweaked and expanded upon as development of the area carried on long after his life.  Palazzo dei ConservatoriPalazzo Nuovo, and Palazzo Senatorio make up the museum proper and display some of the best sculptures, statues, and mosaics in the city as well as a large collection of jewelry.

Price: €11.50

Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Address: Piazza del Campidoglio, 1, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

Website: museicapitolini.org

 

Palazzo Spada and Borromini’s Perspective

Palazzo Spada sits in the core of old Rome and is home to the Galleria Spada.  It was built in 1540 but did not garner much attention until 1632 when Cardinal Spada purchased the property and hired Francesco Borromini.  Borromini famously built his forced perspective corridor, much smaller and shorter than it appears, and has been baffling viewers ever since.  On the other hand the galleria does not play tricks on the mind, though its dedications to important members of the Catholic faith is also an important and humbling display.

Price: €9.50

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, closed Monday

Address: Piazza Capo di Ferro, 13, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 683 2409

 

Villa Torlonia

Built in 1806 Villa Torlonia is newer than many of Rome's other large villas.  Once a majestic home the villa fell out of use and into a state of disrepair in 1945.  In recent years ownership of the property was passed to the city and officials saw fit to restore the building and convert it into an art gallery.  The area surrounding the villa is now a well cared for park with paths that wind past restored buildings like the old theater on the property and the museum displays the small but high quality collection of statues once owned by the Torlonia family.

Price: €9.50

Hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Address: Via Nomentana, 70, 00161 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

Website: museivillatorlonia.it (visit if your browser has a translation feature)

 

Campo de' Fiori

Campo de' FioriAndy Hay - https://www.flickr.com/photos/andyhay/9932485096/

Campo de' Fiori is a small square of open space hidden down narrow streets between tall buildings, but if you can find it south of Piazza Navona you will be greeted by Rome's oldest open air market.  The smell of fresh fruit and spices fill the air as locals and tourists alike flow through the market to peruse hand made nick-knacks and what has been claimed to be the best fish in the city.  Excellent restaurants and cafes circle the campo, making it a great place to enjoy good food and a bit of people watching.

Address: Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

Ghetto di Roma

Jewish Ghetto

The Roman ghetto, or Jewish ghetto, was established in 1555 by Pope Paul IV.  Walls were built around this section of the city and its gates were locked every night.  At the time there were 2,000 Jewish people living in Rome, all of whom where forced into the ghetto and its strict curfew.  However, not all who lived there felt the walls where in place to lock them in; many were grateful for the wall and the protection it provided.  There is still a strong Jewish community in the area today and some of the city's best restaurants can be found in the ghetto.  There is still a section of the ghetto wall standing today in the courtyard of Piazza delle Cinque Scole.

Address: Via del Portico D'Ottavia, 21, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

Palazzo Valentini

Palazzo Valentini is currently the seat of provincial administration for Rome and the surrounding area, but it is also the site of some of the best underground ruins in the city.  Underneath the palazzo and seven meters below street level is a well preserved ancient bath house.  After some major restoration and protective measure the bath house has been opened to the public, providing a unique view into old Roman life in an exceptionally well presented setting.

Price: €14.00

Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Wednesday - Monday, closed Tuesday

Address: Via IV Novembre, 119/A, 00187 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 2276 1280

 

Gianicolo Hill

JaniculumDark Rome Tours & Walks - https://www.flickr.com/photos/darkrometours/7351036268/in/photolist-cczYYC-23xshH-23xv7H-5oEwjZ-bp2nVc-5oJNtW-boYsok-kK3de-23xu24-23xoRk-23BTPo-23BUdG-23BRQQ-23BRdC-23BQAu-23BSsh-23xurF-4fhtfu-boYqja-6wD5Fu-4fdtAe-5oEwg6-3rsUJh-3

Gianicolo is the second highest point around city but does not count among Romes seven hills due to its position on the wrong side of the Tiber outside the ancient city limits.  The hill might be a little out of the way, but those willing to make the trek are rewarded with one of the best sweeping vistas Rome has to offer.  Since 1847 a cannon shot has been fired from the hill every day at noon as a time marker.

Address: Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi, 00165 Roma, Italy

 

Altare della Patria

National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II

The Altare della Patria, Altar of the Fatherland, is a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of unified Italy.  Emmanuel is immortalized  astride a mighty war horse at the top of a long staircase, creating an appropriately impressive picture.  At the base of the monument is the Museum of Italian Unification, paying homage to the contentious time after the Napoleonic period.  Recently an elevator was built into the structure behind the monument, allowing visitors a unique vantage point to view the city.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Address: Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 678 0664

 

Villa del Priorato di Malta

Knights of Malta Keyhole on Aventine Hill

Villa del Priorato di Malta sits at the top of Aventine Hill looking over the city.  The Villa is owned and operated by Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a separate governing entity from Italy.  The grounds feature well maintained walkways and well trimmed edges that carry visitors to the Malta square or courtyard.  Off the courtyard can be seen the Knights of Malta Keyhole, a tunnel cut through the edges to frame sight of the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica that cannot be seen anywhere else.

Address: Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, 4, 00153 Roma, Italy

 

Largo di Torre Argentina

Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

Torre Argentina Cat SanctuaryLisa Larsson - https://www.flickr.com/photos/ljcybergal/640501239/

During the Roman Republic Largo di Torre Argentina was surrounded by four prominent temples and was the home of Pompey's Theatre.  After the fall of Rome the area fell into disrepair and was forgotten as the city built up around it.  In the early 1900's Torre Argentina was slated for demolition, but before the remaining ruins could be torn down evidence of its historical importance was unearthed and it was labeled a holy area.  Today the ruins still stand and have been converted into an open air no-kill cat shelter, protecting over 250 cats.

Price: By donation

Hours: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Address: Largo di Torre Argentina, 00186 Roma, Italy

 

San Lorenzo District

San Lorenzo is the up and coming neighbourhood in Rome and the center of student and young artist life in the city.  Sites like the Basilica of San Lorenzo or Porta San Lorenzo are just as impressive as anything else in the city, but that is not where the district's charm comes from.  Every corner is marked by one-of-a-kind shops and unique restaurants while the walkways are alive with street art.  Lorenzo is also known for the best nightlife in town.

Address: Via degli Apuli, 46, 00185 Roma, Italy

 

Monte Mario

Monte Mario is Rome's highest point.  Not only does it provide an exceptional view of the city but also the stars thanks to the Rome Observatory at its peak.  The east side of the hill is devoted to one of Rome's largest nature reserves; a forest of tall, narrow trees with branching paths to various picnic areas and view points.  The other side has been developed into the large and upscale Monte Mario Market.  Whether it is to either side or all the way to the top of the hill Monte Mario is worth the trek.

Address: 00136, Roma, Italy

 

Trastevere

TrastevereBruno - https://www.flickr.com/photos/_pek_/14981889374/

When people think of Rome they are picturing Trastevere. Old homes built close together along narrow cobblestone streets, locals on their bikes, and hanging laundry lines framed by blues skies; this neighbourhood is oozing European character.  Rome's best restaurants and pubs can be found here for those willing to search for them and sites like  Palazzo Corsini and the Basilica di Santa Cecilia help tell the area's rich history.

Address: 00153, Roma, Italy

 

Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

 Inside the Church of the Sacred Heart can be found the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  This museum is smaller than most in the city, but the exhibits it has on display are completely unique and different than anything else in Rome.  The museum is home to artifacts that have been touched by some way by souls that remain in purgatory, the plain in the afterlife between Heaven and Hell.  It can be a somber experience to learn the history behind each display but in a city of museums it sets itself apart.

Price: Free admission

Hours: 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. then 5:00 - 7 p.m.

Address: Lungotevere Prati, 12, 00193 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 6880 6517

 

The Pyramid of Cestius

The Pyramid of Cestius was built in 18 BC at the intersection of two ancient roads as a tomb for magistrate Gaius Cestius.  The exterior is white marble while the tomb inside was once covered in frescoes.  The interior of the pyramid is quite barren now but the pyramid is still well preserved and impressive, in large part due to the fact it was incorporated into the city's fortifications as it expanded.

Hours: Interior is only open every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, visits inside must be booked in advance.

Address: Via Raffaele Persichetti, 00153 Roma, Italy

 

Cimitero Acattolico

Protestant Cemetery

Protestant CemeteryMassimiliano Calamelli - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcalamelli/6229681857/

The Protestant Cemetery is an active cemetery that borders the Aurelian Walls.  The cemetery was founded as a resting place for those that did not follow the Catholic faith and has seen continued use since 1738.  Ornate headstones line the cemetery over a grassy meadow and between tall cypress and pomegranate trees.  Visitors that choose to explore the cemetery are asked to be respectful, dress appropriately, and refrain from unauthorized photography as it is still in use today. 

Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Address: Via Caio Cestio, 6, 00153 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 574 1900

Website: cemeteryrome.it

 

Casina delle Civette

House of Owls

The House of Owls is a museum converted from the old home of the Torlonia family and can be found within Villa Torlonia.  When the house first became a museum it was called the Switzerland Hut because of its rustic architecture but was renamed the House of Owls due to recurring depictions and references to owls throughout the house.  Carvings of owls can be found throughout the property and each is expertly and delicately crafted.

Price: €9.50

Hours: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Address: Via Nomentana, 70, 00161 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 0608

 

Castel Sant'Angelo

Mausoleum of Hadrian

Castel Sant'AngeloDennis Jarvis - https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/5121097817/

Castel Sant'Angelo is a cylindrical defensive castle right beside the Vatican.  Once the tallest building in Rome this was where the Pope would retreat if his life was ever in danger.  It has since been converted into one of the most unique museums in Rome.  The structure is unchanged from its days of active use and visitors can walk the confined fortified tunnels and traverse the castle battlements, still with their original cannons.  The top of the castle offers a majestic view of the Vatican as well as a quaint and picturesque cafe.

Price: €10.00

Hours: 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday, closed Monday

Address: Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00193 Roma, Italy

Phone: +39 06 681 9111

Website: castelsantangelo.com

 

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