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10 Little Known Attractions in Rome
Rome has long been a travel destination of intrigue. With the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Basilica of St. Peter, there’s no shortage of must-see things to see and while you’re there. However, with affordable flights to Europe, city breaks to Rome have never been so popular. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and get a little more up close and personal with this Italian jewel, visit these 10 little known attractions.
1. St Paul’s Outside the Walls
The third largest church in Christendom remains pleasantly quiet throughout the year with many visitors opting for the better known, St Peter’s Basilica. It’s a shame because this vast church is one of the most awe inspiring in the city.
2. Vatican Gardens
Only accessible to those who book a week in advance, these beautifully manicured gardens are the perfect escape from the bustling streets of the capital. Admire the intricate sculptures and hidden grottoes for a rare glimpse of the Vatican’s exclusive world.
3. Capuchin Crypt
Hidden under a church on one of Rome’s most prestigious streets, the Via Veneto, you’ll find this collection of tiny crypts. Unlike the many other tombs to be found in the city, this one has been constructed entirely with human bones.
4. Pizzeria Ai Marmi
No trip to Italy would be complete without indulging in a world famous, wood-fired pizza. Located in the Trastevere district, Pizzeria Ai Marmi is popular amongst locals for its authentic dishes including rice balls and fried cod.
5. Via Appia Antica
Just outside the city walls, you’ll find the oldest paved road in Italy which dates back to 312 BC. The area also happens to be a national park with crumbling ancient ruins and beautiful greenery — perfect for an afternoon stroll and picnic.
6. Rione Monti
This bohemian neighborhood is quickly becoming a popular hangout amongst young and trendy locals. It’s also home to some wonderful art galleries, vintage clothing boutiques and unique markets. It’s a great place to find a unique gift or souvenir on your trip.
7. Quartiere Coppede
This small district showcases some of the strangest architecture you’re likely to have seen with a hodgepodge of baroque, art nouveau and medieval influences. Many of the buildings lack symmetry which adds to its unconventional beauty.
8. Il Gelato di San Crispino
Those with a sweet tooth will love the deliciously creamy Italian ice cream, known as gelato. If you want try the best in the city, head to Il Gelato di San Crispino, famed for their secret recipe with plenty of tempting flavors including the ever popular walnut and fig.
9. Catacombs of Rome
There are 40 catacombs in Rome but St Callixtus is one of the most spectacular and spooky. Visitors can head deep into the underground passages which hold over half a million bodies including 16 popes.
10. Museum of Souls in Purgatory
Sat on the banks of the River Tiber, the church of Sacro Curore del Suffragion is home to a weird and wonderful museum. A series of exhibits showcase artifacts that were once seen as evidence for unfortunate souls trapped in purgatory. This includes hand prints seared into objects and other chilling items.
Step off the tourist trail on your next holiday to Rome and you’ll discover some of the best attractions this city has to offer.
*Images by Viator.com, Stephano Costantini and Steve Collis, respectively, used under Flickr Commons License. Feature Image is courtesy of Aaron Logan, used under the Wikimedia Commons License.