Roman Holiday Off the Beaten Path
For the longest time I wasn’t too keen on visiting Rome. I had it on my list of places to visit in Italy, well someday, but for some reason (colors!, canals!), I always ended up elsewhere, like in Venice or Cinque Terre. (Also, I was waiting for the Trevi Fountain restoration to be finished.).
I still have yet to visit the Vatican (…), but, this year, I did finally make it to Rome.
And while I did all the touristy stuffs (Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon), got my yearly dose of ruins, pizza and ice cream, I also had another agenda. To discover some of the slightly more unknown parts of Rome.
First one of those co-called off the beaten path gems is Porta Alchemica, the magical door of Roman Alchemists. It is a minor one, and sadly you cannot get up close and personal with the door (to see if the portal opens for you…), but I was literally staying next door, so I just had to start my mornings with a quick look at it (and the cats!).
Located a little away from the center of Rome, Casina delle Civette or the House of Owl, is just absolutely adorable. I have a soft spot for places looking a bit… fairy tale-ish, and for once not just the outside facade was unique, but the museum itself as well- I spent a good while exploring the various rooms/exhibits. It is a little owl-themed museum, with colorful stained-glass galore, featuring some slightly weird things and some fun installations (also, The Little Prince!!).
The next secret spot is actually a whole neighbourhood, Quartiere Coppedè. Wouldn’t even know where to start, it is such a marvelous area, let’s just say I definitely wouldn’t mind living there. (Also perfect for taking some Insta-worthy panorama shots). These unique (those decorations!) and just… grand looking buildings are sure to make us architecture admires salivating.
Lastly, (I didn’t make it to the actual Vatican but) one cannot leave Rome without peeking through the The Aventine Keyhole. There is always a line there (head to Piazza of the Knights of Malta) so yeah, not such a hidden gem, but still worth a peek nonetheless. (Or two in my case, as I just couldn’t get that perfect shot the first time). I would also recommend going there at sunset/sunrise and to also check out the gardens next to it (the city looks truly divine from up there).