Discover Rome’s Hidden Gems On a Thrifty Stay
Ah, Roma! The Eternal City, a place with an undeniable charm and an endless wealth of history and culture nestled in the heart of Italy. Yet, Rome can be a surprisingly budget-friendly city to explore if you know where to look. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path gems that Rome has to offer, and how you can explore them without breaking the bank.
A charming neighborhood located on the west bank of the Tiber, Trastevere is the perfect place to go if you want to escape the crowds of tourists around the Colosseum or Vatican. This neighborhood is known for its narrow, winding streets, beautifully colorful buildings, and vibrant nightlife. In Trastevere, you’ll find cozy bars, street performers, and some of the best food in Rome.
2. San Giovanni in Laterano
The Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano may not be as famous as St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, but it is just as impressive. In addition to being one of the largest churches in the world, it is also the oldest in Rome. You can visit this beautiful basilica for free, and it is only a short walk from the Colosseum.
3. Cemetery of the Capuchin Monks
The Capuchin Crypt, located beneath the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, is a slightly creepy but fascinating attraction. The crypt contains the bones of over 4,000 Capuchin monks, arranged in intricate designs as a reminder of the fragility of life. Admission to the crypt costs 10 Euros, and it is open every day except Thursdays.
4. Appian Way
The Appian Way, or Via Appia Antica, is one of the oldest and most important roads in Rome. Its cobblestones have been well-preserved, and it represents an opportunity to explore the countryside and visit numerous ancient ruins. You can rent a bike to explore the route at your own pace, or join one of the many guided tours available.
5. Castel Sant’Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian, but it later became a fortress and a papal residence. Today, it is a national museum that houses an impressive collection of art and historical artifacts. Admission costs 10 Euros, and the castle is open every day except Mondays.
6. Giardino degli Aranci
Giardino degli Aranci, or the Garden of Oranges, is one of Rome’s most beautiful parks. It is located on the Aventine Hill, and it offers stunning views of the city. You can visit the park for free, and it is an excellent spot for a picnic or a romantic stroll.
7. Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill is one of the seven hills of Rome, and it was the site of the city’s earliest settlements. Today, it is a quiet oasis away from the crowds, and it provides some of the best panoramic views of the Roman Forum. Admission to the hill costs 12 Euros, but it is also included in the Colosseum ticket.
8. Testaccio Market
Testaccio Market is the perfect place to experience the local food scene. It is located in the Testaccio neighborhood, and it offers a wide variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and pastries. The market is open every day except Sundays, and it is a great place to pick up some ingredients for a picnic or a home-cooked meal.
9. Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona is one of Rome’s most famous squares, but it is still relatively undiscovered by tourists. The square is surrounded by beautiful Baroque buildings, fountains, and sculptures. It is also home to three magnificent fountains, including Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers.
10. Via del Governo Vecchio
Via del Governo Vecchio is a charming street located in the heart of Rome’s historic center. It is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants, and it is the perfect place to go if you are looking for unique souvenirs or a bite to eat. There are also several vintage clothing stores on this street, which makes it perfect for some thrifty shopping.
Q. What is the best time of year to visit Rome?
A. The best time to visit Rome is from mid-September to mid-June, when the weather is mild and the crowds are thinner. July and August are the peak tourist months, and the weather can be hot and humid.
Q. Are there any free museums in Rome?
A. Yes, there are several free museums in Rome, including the National Roman Museum, the Keats-Shelley Memorial House, and the Museum of the Liberation.
Q. Can I visit the Vatican for free?
A. It is possible to visit the Vatican for free on the last Sunday of each month. However, be prepared for large crowds, and remember that some areas and exhibits may still require a ticket.
Q. How much should I budget for food while in Rome?
A. You can easily find budget-friendly food options in Rome, especially if you stick to the local trattorias and pizzerias. Expect to spend between 10-15 Euros per person for a meal.
Q. Is it safe to walk around Rome at night?
A. Rome is generally a safe city, but it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions. Stick to well-lit and busy areas, and avoid walking alone in secluded areas.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions:
3. Roman Forum
4. Trevi Fountain
5. Spanish Steps
6. Vatican Museums
7. St. Peter’s Basilica
8. Sistine Chapel
9. Piazza Venezia
10. Villa Borghese