As Europe’s third most visited city, Rome offers an incredible amount of ancient culture to be enjoyed and appreciated by tourists from around the world. Maybe you’ve been to Rome before and seen the Coliseum, the Forum, Vatican City and its host of museums, churches and monuments. Of course these sights are not to be missed, but on a return trip to Rome it can be worthwhile to seek out some lesser-known treasures of the Eternal City.
Museum Missionario di Propaganda Fide
While beautiful, the Spanish Steps are usually a loud and crowded tourist attraction. Venture a few steps further and stop off at the unassuming Museum Missionario di Propaganda Fide, home to centuries worth of artifacts brought back by priests from overseas. Also in the upscale Tridente district are several traditional leather workshops. Hold off on splurging in the many luxury shops of the area and get yourself a custom-made bag, wallet or belt made to your exact requirements for a fraction of the price.
San Paolo Fuori le Mura
Believe it or not, St Peter’s Basilica is not the only basilica on Rome’s holy turf. You can visit many other beautiful basilicas without having to endure the same level of tourist trampling. For instance, the vast San Paolo Fuori le Mura is just as impressive being the third-largest church in Christendom, beautifully adorned with medieval mosaics. It is found in the Testaccio neighbourhood of the Aventino quarter. This in itself is a hidden treasure, acting as a gateway to Ostia as you pass the Pyramid of Cestius. This serene residential area gives you a glimpse of the day-to-day local lifestyle, especially during a stroll through the colorful and classically Roman Testaccio market — great for picking up fresh food and local Italian products.
Live Like A Local
Most often, the best way to discover hidden spots like these is by renting an apartment and living like a local for more of an authentic Roman holiday. For a more unique way of getting around, avoid the chaotic transport lines and hop on board the 116 Electric Bus. This little thing does a great job of weaving its way though the tiny back alleys, away from the main traffic, giving you a more interesting journey as its passes many of Rome’s top attractions.