A tapestry of ancient history and iconic food, Rome lures thousands of backpackers every year. Rome is the capital of Italy and home to relics like Colosseum, St. Peters, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Roman Forum, etc. – leaving every onlooker’s mouth wide open. However, things that one would like to do or see in Rome is quite predictable.
Travellers often forget that there are some amazing, off-the beaten attractions hidden under the shadow of popular tourists attractions. If you are in Rome with flights to Rome and want to get away from the crowds, and discover a different side of the eternal city, here are some interesting sites off the Rome’s usual tourist guidebook:
It is the BEST alternative for someone with great interest in art and culture. Some might refer it as Rome’s Camden Town, and everything about the place is hip and interesting. The place lives in its cheap bars, sidewalk cafes, street parties, and “festino” – often flocked by foreign and Italian students. While here, don’t forget to try Peroni that costs nothing more than a Euro.
Pyramid of Cestius
Now, this may not be an offbeat site for many, as they might be having its knowledge, thanks to its location, at Rome’s centre. It’s quite obvious for you to wonder “Why the iconic, 2000 year old pyramid is so far from home? Was it transported from Egypt?” The truth is, it was built during the era of Roman Empire height, as the resting place of Gaius Cestius – a powerful religious leader.
Street art in Ostiense
While Rome is world renowned for its refined and intellectual culture, there’s also a part of it that’s a little rebellious. Ostiense is a distinct neighbourhood of the city filled with great street art pieces and home to an alternative community. Two of the must see are Quadraro and Pigneto.
Porta Portese Flea Market
Those who can’t miss a single opportunity to shop, visiting the Porta Portese Flea market on Sunday is a blessing. Search for some interesting souvenirs while you are here. A couple of things that’ll grab your attention include: kitchen gadgets, books, jewellery, trinkets, pottery, Olivetti typewriters, etc. It’s quite interesting to see the locals and the shoppers bargain over items.
Dubbed as the “Queen of Roads”, Appia Antica is the world’s first official paved road with its construction starting in 312 BC. It connects Rome to Brindisi, and has a total length of 320 miles with ancient ruins and villas on its sides. Walking on the world’s oldest road – doesn’t that sound fun?
House of the Owls
House of the Owls or Casina delle Civette is a hidden treasure set adjacent to a neo-classical villa. Rather odd, truly off the beaten path, and surreal. Its prime virtue is its unique architecture. It is a great mode to catch up with the locals as you’ll mostly find only the locals here.
The world sees Rome as a vault of age-old architecture, impressive structures and a city that brims with history and religion. No doubt, it was once a seat of royalty and sturdy rulers, but today visitors flock into Rome to get a taste of food, life and culture.