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NON-TOURISTY SITES IN ROME
1. Basilica San Clemente –
Not far from the Colosseum, but often overlooked by most tourists. This multilayered church has one of the most astonishing underground archeological sites in Rome and is an incredible demonstration of Rome’s multifaceted history. This 12th-century basilica lies on top of a 4th-century church, which is actually built on top of a 2nd-century pagan temple, that’s set on the infrastructure of a 1st-century Roman house. As you descend, witness gold mosaics, some of the earliest Christian wall paintings in Rome, and a subterranean river that was once part of an ancient Roman drain system.
2. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj –
Home to one of the most incredible private art collections in Rome, this once home of the Pamphilj family, is now a museum. Step into the extravagance of Renaissance living and witness first hand the collection of over 400 15th to 18th-century paintings, private bedrooms kept in pristine condition and the family’s private chapel.
3. Santa Maria in Trastevere –
Just across the river, in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, is one of the city’s most spectacular places of Catholic worship. Not to mention, one of the oldest churches in Rome. Founded in the 3rd century, this unique church displays awe-inspiring mosaics and columns taken from the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla.
4. Palazzo Altemps –
Steps away from the crowds of Piazza Navona is a 15th-century palace sanctuary of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures and Egyptian art. Also know that as a part of The National Museums of Rome, this admission ticket also grants you access to the following: Crypta Balbi, Palazzo Massimo, and Terme di Diocelziano.
5. Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini –
Nicknamed the “bone church”, the Capuchin Crypts housed inside this church is a fascinating site in Rome. With skeletons from almost 4,000 bodies strategically arranged in the burial crypt, this reminder of human mortality is one of the city’s most peculiar sites.
6. Palazzo Barracco –
A free admission museum with a highly impressive collection of ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, and Phoenician antiquities, as well as Greek and Roman artifacts. There is no reason not to explore this centrally located museum. The museum is a result of a Giovanni Barracco massive art collection that he so generously donated to the city of Rome in 1902.
7. Villa Giulia –
This impressive villa is quite easy to incorporate into any itinerary if you’re spending a day wandering through the Borghese Gardens and Galleries. Villa Giulia is home to the National Etruscan Museum but also provides a glimpse inside the ornate architecture of traditional Renaissance villa living.