If you’re like most people, your first trip to Rome was amazing. The Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps – it’s no wonder this city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world! But what do you do on your second trip? There are still plenty of under-the-radar things to do in Rome that will make your visit just as memorable as your first. In this article, we’ll list some of our favorite alternative activities in Rome that you may not have heard about before. So whether you’re a returning visitor or just planning your first trip to Italy’s capital city, be sure to check out these unique attractions!
The Aventine Keyhole
One of Rome’s best-kept secrets is the Aventine Keyhole. This small, unassuming keyhole is actually located on the front door of a private residence in the Aventine Hill neighborhood. But what makes it so special? If you line up your eye with the keyhole, you’ll be treated to a perfectly framed view of St. Peter’s Basilica in the distance! This is one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks, and it’s an incredible experience to see it from this unique perspective. Just be sure to be respectful of the residents – don’t linger too long or make too much noise, and you’ll be sure to enjoy this hidden gem.
The green door at the end of a cul-de-sac has a perfectly framed view of two nation-states and one country, with the dome of St. Peter’s in the middle. The view is very small, though.
The door leads to the Priory of the Knights of Malta, a religious order made up of the famous crusader knights. Even though they have owned the property for hundreds of years, it has been lived in by many other people. It was first a fortified palace that belonged to Alberico II, who was king of Rome from 932 to 954. After that, it became a Benedictine monastery. In the 1100s, it was taken over by the Knights Templar, and in the 1400s, it was taken over by their brothers in arms, the Knights of Malta. Since it is outside of Italy’s territory, it is not technically “Italy” inside the walls.
The Catacombs of Rome
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, look no further than the Catacombs of Rome. These ancient burial chambers are located just outside the city center, and they offer a fascinating glimpse into Roman history. Visitors can explore winding tunnels and see countless tombs and grave markers – some of which date back to the early days of Christianity. The Catacombs are a bit eerie, but they’re definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about Rome’s past.
Fiumicino Airport (!)
No, we’re not suggesting that you spend your entire vacation at the airport! But Fiumicino Airport is actually home to one of Rome’s best-kept secrets: an incredible beach! That’s right – just a short drive from the airport, you’ll find a beautiful stretch of sand where you can relax and soak up the Mediterranean sun. This is the perfect spot for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s a great way to enjoy Rome’s incredible scenery.
Isola Tiberina is a small island in the middle of the Tiber River, and it’s one of Rome’s most charming neighborhoods. This is a great place to wander around and explore, as there are plenty of hidden gems to discover. Be sure to check out the ancient Roman temple that stands on the island – it’s an incredible piece of history! You can also find a number of great restaurants and cafes in this area, so it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat.
Neptune’s Fountain in Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most popular tourist destinations, but it’s also home to a hidden gem: the Fountain of Neptune. This beautiful fountain is located in a small side street off the main square, and it’s well worth seeking out. The Neptune Fountain is one of the most impressive examples of Baroque art in Rome, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in seeing some of the city’s best-kept secrets.
Testaccio food market
If you’re a foodie, then you’ll definitely want to check out Testaccio food market. This hidden gem is located in a working-class neighborhood just outside the city center, and it’s full of delicious Roman specialties. From fresh produce to handmade pasta, there’s something for everyone at this incredible market. Be sure to arrive early, as it gets very crowded later in the day!
An Aperitif with a View
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend an evening in Rome, why not enjoy an aperitif with a view? Many of the city’s rooftop bars offer stunning panoramic views of the skyline, and they’re the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. You can even find a rooftop cafe with live opera music, which is a truly unforgettable experience. So whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for drinks or just a place to take in the city’s incredible views, be sure to check out one of Rome’s rooftop bars.