In Rome, tourists get so dazzled with the architectural wonders that they forget to explore the undisclosed side of this Eternal City. In the guidebook, you will see the list of usual major attractions like the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s and more. There are many non-touristy things to do and areas to explore.

Secret and unusual things to explore when in Rome

Cat sanctuary

Rome has over 300,000 cats and in the last two decades stray ones have taken refuge in Torre Argentina archaeological site. The local residents of this area feed them. In 1990, a cat shelter run by volunteers was opened there and it houses 400+ cats.

Central Montemartini museum

It is set in an old unused electric power plant in Rome. The marble statutes from Capitoline Collections are set against the backdrop of diesel engines, preserve turbines, and steam boilers. The pieces are chosen carefully, so as not to overwhelm viewers. Looking at the hulking machines adorned with pressure gauge and twisting pipes put together with marble carved in hair curls, delicate flowers, and faces of gods at the edges.

Experience Italian food & culture at a local’s home

Travelers can connect with the locals, who host meals, at their homes. It is a totally different experience than the restaurants. It is an authentic Italian homemade meal and you can make new friends. A totally new experience!

Stroll in San Lorenzo’s trendy neighbourhood

San Lorenzo is near Termini Station and you can take a stroll around the trendy neighbourhood to get away from crowd. The hip clubs & bars, funky shops and street art is cool. The street reveals a modern Bohemian ambiance that is not available anywhere in Rome.

Villa Doria Pamphili

Gianicolo Hill holds the largest part of Rome but is oddly neglected. It holds the 17th century huge villa and French-style garden having features like lakes, gateways and fountains. There are even facilities in the park for jogging and bird watching. There is an art gallery that preserves Doria Pamphilj family’s private collection.

Appia Antica

The first super highway or the oldest road, which connects Rome to distant settlements Brindisi. It was called ‘Queen of Roads’ during its time as it was the longest and widest one in existence. Appian Way is well preserved even though it has experienced decades of rain, feet and wheels passing over them. Road was built for military purposes.

Santa Maria Della Concezione crypt

Around 4,000 Capuchin friars, dies between the years 1528 – 1870. They are still hanging and lying at the Santa Maria Della Concezione crypt. Monks decorated the crypt walls with bones of their dead comrades as a way to remind themselves that death can come at any time, so be prepared to meet God. There are crypts of leg bones, crypt of skulls, and odd looking one – the crypt of pelvis.

Porta Alchemica

Magic door of an alchemist stands concealed in the Piazza Vittorio district within a park. There are mysterious remains of an ancient villa revealing an alchemist door inside the park. The villa was built in early 1600 by Roman Marquis Palombara, who was a member of an alchemist group.

As per legend, Marquis Palombara met an alchemist who said that using certain herb metals can be turned to gold. The stranger alchemist left in the morning but left behind gold flakes and an indecipherable paper with recipe scribbled. Marquis could not read it, so he inscribed the formula on the door with a hope that somebody would understand and come knocking. The mysterious symbol on this door holds plenty of other theories.

Before you plan an itinerary to see the secret side of Rome, check to know more off beaten sites and things to experience.

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