Are you visiting Rome and want to get off the beaten track? You could spend a lifetime exploring the Eternal City without getting bored! In this article, we’ve set up some of the top hidden gems in Rome that most people don’t see. Let’s discover those places together and find out what Rome has to offer!
A very special but also creepy place in Rome is Cripta dei Frati Cappuccini or the “Bone Church of Rome”. This is one of the most unique and impressive heritage sites in the city. A series of small chapels beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini containing the bones and mummified remains of an estimated 4,000 individuals. The Capuchin order believes that the remains of the former friars are a silent reminder of our inevitable mortality and the cycle of life on Earth.
2.Giardino Degli Aranci
The Orange Garden of Rome is one of the city’s most beautiful areas. Located on top of the Aventine Hill, this romantic garden is full of orange trees and offers a unique view over the city of Rome. It is a delightful green space and one of the most romantic spots in the entire city! If you visit it around sunset, you will enjoy an unforgettable sight with the orange Sun giving a new meaning to the ‘orange garden’.
Largo di Torre Argentina is one of the most important archaeological sites in Rome. This place has the remains of four of the oldest temples in the capital and also Curia of Pompey, where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Today, this area is used as a cat sanctuary for strays. There are 140+ cats between the ruins and nearly all are adoptable.
The Jewish ghetto of Rome is a small hidden treasure, considered one of the oldest Jewish ghettos in the world. Visiting this small neighbourhood is an impressive experience, with cultural and religious importance because of the Synagogue and the Jewish museum, and also a culinary one, thanks to the many typical restaurants scattered throughout the ghetto.
Quartiere Coppede is a small hidden neighbourhood designed by the visionary artist and architect Gino Coppede. This is a place in Rome with unexpected and bizarre features, a mixture of Liberty or Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Greek, Baroque, Gothic and Medieval art. Thanks to its strange beauty, the neighbourhood has been used as the setting for numerous films, and is a good way to leave the beaten path of Rome.
6.Basilica di Santo Stefano in Rotondo
Hidden behind an ancient wall in a lesser known area of Rome, this unique church is remarkable for its round shape. Unlike typical churches from Rome, the altar is located in the middle of this impressive sanctuary. Its walls showcase images of well-known martyrs in the 16th century. The details on each painting are extensive with explanations of each scene, who ordered the execution, and quotes from the Bible.
7.Terme di Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla were one of the biggest thermae complex in ancient times. The impressive ruins stand still as a testament to the size and importance of the public baths in the Roman Empire. You can still explore some amazing mosaics, marble and impressive art inside this great complex.
8.Passetto del Biscione
Passetto del Biscione is a tiny alley with a remarkable history. The small passage once housed the aedicule of the Madonna della Misericordia from the 16th century by Scipione Pulzone, now in the church of San Carlo ai Catinari. From this image derives the Roman saying “go and look for Mary in Rome”, because the fresco of the Madonna was so hidden in the passage that finding it was very difficult. Recently restored, thanks to the Orsini Chapel Study Center, the Passetto has returned to its former glory and now you can admire the frescoes with cherubs and festoons.
9.The Pincio water clock
You will find this special clock in the Borghese Gardens. Built in the 19th century, this is an impressive example of a hydrochronometer or a clock operated by water. This clock works 24/7 and it is a must-see in Rome.
10.Basilica di Santa Prassede
The Church of Santa Prassede is an ancient basilica in Rome, and the most important example of the Byzantine art in the city. This church also hosts some of the most impressive mosaics you can ever admire. These are wonderful examples of a style of mosaic art from the Carolingian Renaissance which evokes elements of paleo Christian art and are among the most beautiful in Rome.
Located just a few steps from the famous Trevi Fountain and Via Del Corso, the Galleria Sciarra is a hidden gem away from the tourist crowds in Rome. Galleria Sciarra is a wonderful iron and glass arcade in Rome city center connecting Via Minghetti with Piazza dell’Oratorio. The arcade dates from 1885 – 1888 and it is painted with elaborate motifs typical of Art Nouveau, which make it stand out from almost anything else in this part of Rome.
This unique museum features ancient sculptures, mosaics and artefacts juxtaposed with the vast machinery of an early electrical power plant. Today, this is one of the strangest museums to be found.
The Moses of Michelangelo is located in the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli. It was created somewhere between 1513-1515 and was intended to be a component of Pome Julius II’s tomb. The marble giant is seated in a majestic throne, with a solemn expression, with one hand on the marble tablets containing the commandments he had just received from God on Mt. Sinai. Despite being made of stone Moses’s features are very human. This statue is a real work of art that you need to see!