Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Rome's Hidden Treasures

Rome's Best Kept Secrets: Post-Papal Visit Attractions

When you think of Rome, the first images that come to mind are likely the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum. These iconic landmarks are must-see attractions, but Rome has so much more to offer beyond the well-trodden tourist path. In this guide, we'll uncover some of Rome's best-kept secrets – hidden gems that you shouldn't miss on your visit, especially after the Papal visit has wrapped up.

1. Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum

If you've already explored the Colosseum, make sure not to miss the nearby Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. While not exactly secrets, these ancient ruins are often overshadowed by the Colosseum's grandeur. Wander through the ruins of emperors' palaces on Palatine Hill and explore the heart of ancient Rome in the Roman Forum.

2. Aventine Keyhole

Hidden atop Rome's Aventine Hill, you'll find a nondescript door with an intriguing keyhole. When you peek through it, you'll be treated to a perfectly framed view of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. It's a unique and romantic spot that's a well-kept secret for those in the know.

3. Villa Borghese Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by strolling through the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens. This vast park features lush greenery, fountains, and even a small lake. You can rent a rowboat, visit the Borghese Gallery, or simply relax in the shade of ancient trees.

4. The Capuchin Crypt

Beneath the Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini church lies a crypt adorned with the bones of Capuchin monks. This eerie and unique site is a fascinating yet lesser-known attraction. The crypt's intricate designs and macabre décor offer a thought-provoking experience.

5. Appian Way

The Appian Way, or Via Appia Antica, is one of the oldest and most important Roman roads. Stroll along its ancient cobblestones and explore the Catacombs of San Callisto, where early Christians were buried. It's a serene and historic escape from the city's chaos.

6. Monti District

For a taste of local life and authentic Roman cuisine, head to the Monti district. This charming neighborhood is full of narrow streets, boutiques, and cozy restaurants. It's an excellent place to experience Rome beyond the tourist crowds.

7. Baths of Caracalla

While the Baths of Caracalla are an impressive archaeological site, they are often overshadowed by the Colosseum. These ancient public baths offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of ancient Romans and are a hidden gem in the city.

8. The Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci)

Located on the Aventine Hill, the Giardino degli Aranci provides one of the most stunning panoramic views of Rome. Stroll through the orange groves and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city, especially as the sun sets over the historic rooftops.

9. The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità)

Featured in the movie "Roman Holiday," the Mouth of Truth is an ancient marble mask with an open mouth. Legend has it that if you tell a lie while your hand is in its mouth, it will be bitten off. It's a fun and quirky attraction located in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church.

10. Trastevere

For a taste of Rome's bohemian side, head to the Trastevere district. This lively neighborhood is known for its narrow, winding streets, vibrant nightlife, and authentic Roman eateries. It's a fantastic place to enjoy the city's local culture.

So, while the Colosseum and the Vatican will always be Rome's most famous landmarks, don't forget to explore these hidden treasures to truly immerse yourself in the city's rich history, culture, and charm. These post-Papal visit attractions offer a chance to see Rome from a different perspective and create lasting memories.

Discovering Rome's best-kept secrets is like unraveling a well-guarded treasure map, revealing a side of the Eternal City that many tourists miss. As you explore these lesser-known attractions, you'll find that Rome's magic goes far beyond its world-famous sites.

Vatican City: Papal Audience Guided Tour

Discover the history of the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica on this guided tour. Enjoy a reserved seat in St. Peter’s Square, attend the Papal Audience, and receive blessings from Pope Francis.

About this activity

Duration: 2 hours

Experience the wonder of discovering a sleepy and quiet St. Peter’s Square, revealing its treasures every Wednesday from spring to autumn. Accompanied by a specialized guide accredited by the Vatican City, you'll be entertained with stories from great history, everyday life, anecdotes, and explanations of historical, artistic, and archaeological significance related to the square and the Basilica.

At the end of the tour, take your place in an exclusive and reserved seat to attend the Papal Audience. While not a religious celebration, it is a meeting occasion dedicated to devotees and pilgrims. Here, you'll have the opportunity to meet Pope Francis and receive his blessing as he tours the square aboard the Popemobile, departing from the Arch of the Bells.


Activity provider: Capriotti SaintsTour

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The History Behind the Hidden Gems of Rome

Rome, the Eternal City, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and world-famous landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Pantheon. However, beyond these iconic sites, there are numerous hidden gems that offer a glimpse into the city's lesser-known history and charm.

The Aventine Keyhole

One of Rome's most enchanting hidden gems is the Aventine Keyhole. Located on the Aventine Hill, this small and unassuming keyhole belongs to the Knights of Malta priory. As you peer through the keyhole, you'll be met with a breathtaking view of St. Peter's Basilica perfectly framed at the end of a beautifully manicured garden. This unique perspective symbolizes the connection between the Church and the city, dating back centuries.

The Mouth of Truth

Legend has it that if you place your hand in the Mouth of Truth, a colossal ancient marble mask located in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, and tell a lie, it will bite your hand off. While this may be a playful tale, the history behind this relic is quite intriguing. The mask is believed to have been a part of a Roman fountain or drain cover dating back to the 1st century BC, making it a genuine artifact from ancient Rome.

The Appian Way

The Appian Way, also known as Via Appia Antica, is one of the most historic roads in Rome. Stretching from the city center to the countryside, this ancient Roman road was constructed in 312 BC and was named after the Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus. Walking along the cobblestones of the Appian Way, you'll pass by ancient tombs, ruins, and picturesque countryside, offering a unique perspective on the everyday life of ancient Romans.

The Basilica of San Clemente

The Basilica of San Clemente is a hidden treasure trove of history. This church is not just a single building but rather a complex of three structures built one on top of the other. The current basilica, dating to the 12th century, was constructed over a 4th-century basilica, which was built on top of a 1st-century Roman house. Visitors can descend through these layers of history, exploring ancient frescoes, mosaics, and even a pagan shrine, showcasing the city's deep historical layers.

The Capuchin Crypt

Hidden beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, the Capuchin Crypt is a macabre yet fascinating site. It contains the bones of thousands of Capuchin monks who were buried in the 17th century. These bones were used to create intricate and artistic decorations, including chandeliers and ornate patterns. This crypt is a testament to the artistic ingenuity of the Capuchin monks and serves as a unique and somewhat eerie exploration of Rome's religious history.

Villa Torlonia

Villa Torlonia is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of central Rome. This hidden gem is a beautiful neoclassical villa surrounded by lush gardens. Once the residence of the Torlonia family, it later became Mussolini's official residence. While the villa itself is architecturally fascinating, the true charm lies in its extensive park with fountains, statues, and a secret bunker that Mussolini used during World War II. It's a place where history and natural beauty intertwine.

In conclusion, Rome is a city with an abundance of hidden gems that reveal its deep and diverse history. Exploring these lesser-known sites provides a unique opportunity to connect with the city's past and discover the layers of history that have shaped this remarkable place.

Rome: Audience with Pope Francis Guided Tour

Experience a profound spiritual journey with the guidance of an expert. Immerse yourself in the Pope's Wednesday audience and delve into the history of Rome, all under the tutelage of a knowledgeable guide.

About this Activity

Embark on a captivating exploration of the Holy See's history and the legacy of Rome's popes. Gain insights into the grandeur of St. Peter's Square and Basilica from your guide.

Follow your guide to your designated seat for the audience, allowing yourself to partake in a spiritual connection with Pope Francis. After the event, rendezvous with your guide for additional insights into your stay in Rome before concluding your day.



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Save up to 20% with prices starting from $29.54 per person. Book now to secure your spot and pay later.

Legends and Anecdotes from Lesser-Known Spots in Rome

Rome, the eternal city, is brimming with history and tales that extend far beyond the well-trodden paths of the Colosseum and the Vatican. In the heart of this ancient metropolis lie hidden gems, lesser-known spots that hold a treasury of legends and anecdotes.

The Forgotten Fountain of Trevi

While the Trevi Fountain is a major attraction, nestled in a quiet corner of Rome is a lesser-known fountain that locals believe holds mystical powers. The

The Enchanted Garden of Aventine Hill

Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome, is famous for its keyhole view of St. Peter's Basilica. Yet, hidden behind ancient walls lies a secret garden known as the

Spot Legend
Fontana delle Tartarughe Couples who wish upon this fountain are destined for a lifetime together.
Giardino degli Aranci Enchanting lights dance among the orange trees at midnight, creating a magical atmosphere.

The Mysterious Cat Sanctuary

Hidden amidst the ancient ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina is a sanctuary that is home to hundreds of stray cats. Legend has it that these feline residents carry the spirits of ancient Roman emperors. Locals believe that providing food and care to these cats brings blessings and wards off misfortune, creating a unique bond between the present and the city's illustrious past.

The Whispers of the Mouth of Truth

While the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is a well-known attraction, there's a lesser-known ritual associated with it. Visitors whisper their deepest secrets into the ear of the stone face, seeking absolution and hoping that the mouth, with its legendary ability to detect lies, will keep their confessions guarded for eternity.

  1. Fontana delle Tartarughe - Couples' Destiny Fountain
  2. Giardino degli Aranci - Midnight Enchantment
  3. Largo di Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary - Spirits of Emperors
  4. Bocca della Verità - Whispers of Absolution

As you traverse the cobbled streets of Rome, consider veering off the beaten path. These lesser-known spots weave a tapestry of legends, adding layers of enchantment to the rich history of the eternal city.

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Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Rome: Papal Audience Experience with Licensed Guide

Attend the Papal Audience with a certified guide on your Rome visit. Stroll through St. Peter's Square, witness the Pope firsthand, and receive the Papal Blessing in the city's core.

21.1 $
Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Discover the Vatican Mysteries: A Guide to the Papal Audience

Explore the rich history of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica during this expertly guided tour. Secure a reserved seat in St. Peter’s Square, participate in the Papal Audience, and receive blessings from Pope Francis.

41.15 $
Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Rome: Papal Audience Experience with Licensed Guide

Attend the Papal Audience accompanied by a licensed guide during your visit to Rome. Walk through St. Peter's Square, see the Pope in person, and receive the Papal Blessing in the heart of the city.

21 $
Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Meeting with Pope Francis: Papal Audience Experience

Experience a spiritually charged Papal Audience in Vatican City with this guided opportunity to witness the Holy Father addressing the crowd at this weekly event.

34.29 $
Rome’s Hidden Treasures: Must-See Attractions After Your Papal Visit

Public Papal Audience: A Unique Encounter with Pope Francis

Experience a one-of-a-kind meeting with Pope Francis during a Public Papal Audience. Immerse yourself in a spiritual and multicultural gathering as you join people from around the globe to listen to His Holiness.

174.01 lei