As the old saying goes, all road lead to Rome. That was true in ancient times, and that’s definitely true today. There are few cities around the world that attract visitors with as much enthusiasm as Rome. There’s just so much to see and do here. From the secrets of Vatican City, to the ruins of the ancient Roman civilization, to incredible street food and more… Rome really does have it all!
If you’re planning on going to Rome in the near future, then you’re in for a real treat. Of course, in order to get the most out of your experience there, you’ll want to venture off the beaten path a bit. Sure, you can see many of the big sights in a tour group, but your trip will be so much better if you see and do some of things you can’t do with a tour group.
With that in mind, we’re going to share 20 of the best-kept secrets of Rome. From cool places to check out, to amazing places to go for lunch or gelato, it’s all here. Simply put, if you want to have the ultimate travel experience in this tremendous city, these 20 secrets will put you well on your way!
1. Bar Pompi
A trip to Rome that doesn’t include a desert of tiramisu is hardly a trip at all. Get the best that the city has to offer by visiting Bar Pompi.
2. Real Roman Nightlife
If you want to get a real feel for the Roman nightlife, then be sure to head over to Testaccio which gets really wild once the sun sets.
3. Museo Missionari di Propaganda Fide
Only a short walk away from the well-traveled Spanish Steps, there are sundry treasures to enjoy in this gorgeous Baroque-era museum.
4. Monte Mario
If you want to get an Instagram-worthy photograph of the entire city, then you’ll want to go out of your way to climb Monte Mario, the highest point in all the city.
5. No Food or Drink
Unless you want to get a hefty ticket, remember that there are now steep fines for eating and drinking in front of or around many historic landmarks, including the Spanish Steps.
6. Il Baretto
Looking for an authentic Roman cocktail experience? Then this beautiful place on Janiculum hill will be the place for you!
7. The Mithraeum at Circus Maximus
Want to take a look at the old haunt of an ancient cult? Then you’ll want to pay a visit to this lesser-known Roman treasure.
8. The Keyhole at the Cupola
If you want a one-of-a-kind view of the most famous dome in all of Rome, then look through the keyhole at the Piazza Knights of Malta.
9. San Paolo Fuori le Mura
Rather than competing with the crowds at St. Peter’s Basillica, you can take the metro out to this treasure, which is the 3rd-largest church in the entire world.
10. San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura
Alternatively, you can check out this absolutely gorgeous church in the University District, which also has far fewer visitors than St. Peter’s.
11. San Lorenzo
If you want to get a feel for what Roman youth culture is like, then a visit to the San Lorenzo neighbor is definitely in order.
12. L’Asino d’Oro
One of the most popular restaurants in the city, it’s actually relatively easy to sneak in at lunch time for an incredible prix fixe menu.
Amid the expensive designer shops in the Tridente District, you’ll find this wonderful restaurant that serves delicious pasta on the cheap and quickly.
14. Parco Degli Acquedotti
When you’re looking for the ideal place to have a picnic, you can do no better than this park, which is lined with ancient aqueducts.
15. Claudio Torce
Need to get your gelato fix? Then take it from the locals. Claudi Torce offers the best gelato in the entire city, hands down.
16. Statue of Lord Byron
The English Romantics are well represented in Rome. Check out this statue of Lord Byron in the Villa Borghese Gardens at sunset. It’s stunning.
17. Piramide di Caio Cestio
This pyramid is the only one in Italy and is the last resting place of Gaius Cestius. It was built in 18BC and is located near John Keats’ resting place.
18. The Capuchin Crypt
You’ll find this landmark in Via Vento. Those are real skulls, mind you. They come from over 3,500 monks!
19. Pelletteria Nives
Don’t waste your money on a designer bag or belt in the Tridente District. Instead, go here and have something made bespoke for a fraction of the price.
20. Skipping the Colosseum Lines
Want to get to the Colosseum without dealing with the lines? Buy your tickets at the Palantine box office then, and you can walk past the lines out front.