Photo by Rachel Hordley found on Trover.com
When traveling to Rome, most people know the main landmarks to visit: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the many treasures of the Vatican — just to name a few. These are all very worthy of the attention they get. For those who have been there and done that, the Eternal City offers other spots that are less visited but are also impressive. These five things to do will take you off the beaten path and show you a different side of Rome.
Baths of Caracalla
Built in the early third century, it was Rome’s second largest public bath house. Back in its glory days, it must have been magnificent. The huge complex included an Olympic-sized swimming pool, two gymnasiums, a library, shops and restaurants, and a garden. The design of the Baths of Caracalla served as inspiration in the construction of some modern buildings, such as Penn Station in New York. If you visit during the summer, don’t miss one of the opera or ballet performances organized by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
Street Art Spotting: Testaccio & Quadraro
Testaccio, located just south of the central districts, is one of Rome’s most authentic neighborhoods and one of the best places for street art in the city. Many internationally renowned artists have painted murals in this area. And if you dare to venture farther away, head out to Quadraro. This quaint neighborhood full of decaying villas is gradually transforming into an outdoor museum filled with colorful murals. To guide your visit around Quadraro, check out this street art map.
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The Appian Way
This ancient road was the most important road of the Roman Empire. It was built in 312 B.C. to move military supplies between Rome and far-away places. The Via Appia, as the Italians call it, is lined with mausoleums, catacombs, villas, and other ruins. It is the perfect spot to go for a stroll or a bike ride, if you feel like getting out of the city for an afternoon.
MAXXI – Museum of Art From the 21st Century
For art lovers needing a break from looking at art from centuries ago, the MAXXI offers a refreshingly contemporary option. Housed in a spectacular building designed by Anglo-Iraqui architect Zaha Hadid, the MAXXI features exhibitions in a broad range of styles and disciplines.
Crypt of Capuchins
Last but not least, the Crypt of Capuchins is one of those places that make a lasting impression, and it won’t leave you indifferent. The crypt’s walls and ceilings are elaborately decorated with over 4000 human bones — mostly from Capuchin monks. The place gives visitors a glimpse into monastic life. It is definitely an interesting monument, in a slightly creepy way.
These five unusual things to do in Rome are sure to spice up your itinerary. By venturing off the beaten path, you will gain a deeper understanding of Rome’s past and present identities.
If you are planning to visit the Eternal City and want a hotel with a centric location, have a look at the Boutique Hotel Trevi.
This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.