Rome is the capital of Italy and is one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in the entire world. It has several nicknames which include the “Eternal City” and the “City of Seven Hills”. Rome has a lot to offer as it is also the most populous commune (an administrative division) in Italy.
The Italian Capital draws tons of visitors each year for its’ history (fun fact: Rome is older than the actual country of Italy!), architectural landmarks, exquisite cuisine, artwork, and museums, to name a few. Outside of The Big Four Fashion Capitals of the World (New York City, Paris, Milan, and London), Rome is also known for its fashion scene as it ranks near the top outside of The Big Four. Among Rome’s most popular tourist attractions include The Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Centro Storico & The Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona, to name a few.
While tourists want to be able to stop by some of the key landmarks like the ones stated above, Rome has so much to offer and there are several underrated spots across the city to check out as well. These hidden gems around The Eternal City will produce the same excitement and awe that the already popular sites draw from visitors.
Listed below are 10 Spots to Check Out The Next Time You Visit Rome:
Although Rome is famous for its ancient artwork, MAXXI is different from other museums in the city as it features art from the 21st century. MAXXI opened in 2010 and is a well-known work of architecture designed by Zaha Hadid. This museum is in the Flaminio neighborhood of Rome. Works of Art on display at MAXXI include photography, paintings, and multimedia installations from famous Italian and International contemporary artists.
2. Villa Farnesina:
Some of the most popular art museums and galleries in Rome include the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, and The National Gallery of Modern Art, to name a few. One underrated place that Art lovers have to stop by the next time they are in the Italian Capitol is Villa Farnesina, which situated in Trastevere (one of Rome’s many neighborhoods) and right by the Tiber River.
As visitors walk around inside of Villa Farnesina, they’ll do so in awe at one of the true jewels of the Italian Renaissance. This villa was built during the 16th Century by Agostino Chigi, a rich Sienese banker and the treasurer of Pope Julius II. The most beautiful pieces of artwork inside Villa Farnesina are the frescoes painted by Raphael, the same guy whose works are inside of the Vatican. Raphael’s frescoes at this villa beautifully depict mythical scenes (The Triumph of Galatea and Cupid & Psyche) to the finest detail. The Hall of Perspectives is another great room to check out while visiting Villa Farnesina.
3. Gianicolo – Janiculum Hill:
One of Rome’s nicknames is the “City of Seven Hills” as the seven hills marked the ancient boundaries of the city when it was founded. Janiculum Hill is Rome’s unofficial “Eighth Hill” and is often overlooked by most tourists.
Having been there while studying abroad in Rome, tourists should stop by this area (also known as Gianicolo) offers one of the most spectacular views of the entire city! Gianicolo is in Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi and is not too far (a steep walk though) from Trastevere. Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is another main attraction at Gianicolo.
4. Mercato Monti:
Located in Monti (a neighborhood in Rome which is highly underrated and worth checking out), this is an urban vintage market that takes place on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. At Mercato Monti, one can find a wide range of vintage clothing, handbags, jewelry, accessories, and lots more. Be sure to stop by Mercato Monti before leaving Rome and pick up a wonderful vintage clothing item and/or accessory to wear back home.
5. Quartiere Coppedè:
Quartiere Coppedè is one of the most underrated places to see in Rome as, given its’ size, tourists will miss it with the blink of an eye. It is the smallest district in all of Rome. The Italian word “Quartiere” means neighborhood in English. Quartiere Coppedè is situated between Piazza Buenos Aires and Via Tagliamento.
Once inside this small neighborhood, you’ll enter a hidden world full of whimsical and unique beauty. From 1913 to his death in 1927, architect Gino Coppedè designed all 40 buildings in Art Nouveau style. There are also some splashes of Gothic, Baroque, Medieval, and Greek influences on the structures as well.
If you love art and architecture, come to Quartiere Coppedè the next time you are in Rome to marvel at these buildings. It is also important to note that there are no restaurants or cafes there. Quartiere Coppedè is truly one of Rome’s most secret places that is completely off the unbeaten path.
6. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj:
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is near the famous Piazza Venezia. It is a grand family palace that dates back to the 1600s when Innocent X (a member of the Pamphilij Family) was The Pope. Everything inside of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, from its art collection to the family’s lavish apartments, is absolutely stunning and breathtaking! As it is one of Rome’s most underrated spots, you can enjoy your time at Palazzo Doria Pamphilj without dealing with huge crowds.
7. The Aventine Keyhole:
While peering through this keyhole of a large door in Piazza Knights of Malta on Aventine Hill, visitors will be greeted with a direct view of Rome’s most famous dome: the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. This underrated spot in Rome will make a creative image to post on Instagram and will rack up tons of likes instantly.
8. Roseto Comunale:
Another often overlooked spot in Rome, Roseto Comunale translated into English is “Rose Garden”. Like the Keyhole (See #7 above) Roseto Comunale is also located on Aventine Hill.
Roseto Comunale is one of the most alluring places across Rome as there are more than 1100 types of roses from various countries on display in the garden. If you need to get away from the craziness of the city during your stay in Rome, come to Roseto Comunale and take a peaceful and refreshing walk.
Besides Monti, Ostiense is another highly underrated neighborhood in Rome. Ostiense has a very cool street art scene and a great nightlife scene. The food scene here is incredible. This neighborhood is extremely popular with students as many of Rome’s universities are in and/or nearby.
10. Porta Portese Flea Market:
Porta Portese Flea Market takes place every Sunday from 6:30 a.m to 2 p.m. in Trastevere at Via Portuense and Via Ippolito Nievo. It is Rome’s largest flea market. One will find everything from clothes to accessories to vintage items to antiques to homewares, to name a few. Having been to Porta Portese multiple times during my time abroad, I managed to find several unique items (mostly clothes, sunglasses, and/or jewelry) each time I went. Be cautious of pickpockets and keep your wallet close to you at all times.