This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
One of the beautiful things about Rome is that there is truly so much to do and experience. I’ve visited three times myself, and yet with each new trip I am constantly discovering something new to love. Sure, the Sistine Chapel and Colosseum are marvelous sites to see. But to experience a bit of the authentic Italian Dulce Vida, I recommend giving these 6 off the beaten track experiences a try.
Eating Italy Food Tour
We love eating our way through a new destination; we can’t imagine a better way to do it than with an Eating Italy Food Tour. On the tour, you’ll be led in a small group through everyday neighborhoods to eat at local restaurants that have been making the same Italian delicacies for generations. Not only will you get to treat your taste buds with some of the best cuisine Rome has to offer, but you’ll also learn the stories and significance behind the food you’re sampling. You’re pants might be a little tighter by the time you leave, but every last calorie will be worth it!
I’ll always remember my first visit to Gianicolo Hill. It was my first time traveling solo. Part of me was petrified, but mostly I felt extremely liberated from the freedom it gave me. Gianicolo Hill was the last place I went on that solo venture—and not a bad way to end my journey. Unfortunately, many don’t make it to Gianicolo Hill. Besides the stunning view of Rome it provides, you’ll also get to see busts of 19th century heroes scattered across the walkway. Bring a camera and a journal, and leave plenty of time for reflection on your Roman holiday.
Visit The Trevi Fountain At Odd Hours
The Trevi Fountain is a beautiful and romantic work of art; no trip to Rome is complete without making a wish and tossing your coin inside it. However, when you’re fighting for elbowroom with the hordes of other tourists, it can loose a bit of its appeal. A visit to the Trevi Fountain early in the morning or late in the evening can provide a completely new experience and perspective of the landmark.
Take a Vespa Ride
We’re experienced scooter drivers after having lived in Taiwan for two years, and yet riding a Vespa through the streets of Rome never looses its appeal. Just be careful—Italian roads can be a dangerous place, and they certainly aren’t the best place for beginners to test their wheels. Make friends with a local or hire someone to drive you down Rome’s winding, cobblestone paths. You’ll be feeling Italian in no time!
Testaccio is largely off the tourist trail, which is what makes it such a special neighborhood to visit. We recommend spending a day to stroll around and people watch, soaking in the lively Italian atmosphere. If you’re looking for a few attractions to see while you’re at it, you’ll find the graves of English poets Keats and Shelley, the MACRO Art Gallery, and the Testaccio Market. Never Ending Voyage gives a great description of Testaccio and a detailed guide to the neighborhood.
Day Trip to Trivoli
Trivoli is just an hour outside of Rome via train. The small, beautiful town has been attracting those looking to escape the chaos of Rome for centuries. Two of the major sites are Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este, both luxurious ancient villas that give a glimpse into Rome’s ancient lavishness.
Before you start adventuring, get your bearings of the city with Oh-Rome, a great way to get to know the layout of the city! It will help you find major points of interest and discover the local flavors of each unique neighborhood. After all, one of the best ways to get to know off the beaten track Rome is to just pick a neighborhood that interests you and start exploring it! Happy wandering!
Have you been to Rome before? What was your favorite thing you did? Know any hidden secrets to the city?
We were compensated to write this article. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.