Known for its food, its culture, its architecture, and the place where you should go to take the first steps on your Eat, Pray, Love trip, Rome is one of the most toured cities in the world. However, if you're looking to see more than the Colosseum on your next trip, there are sites, sides, and streets to Rome that the average tourist just might overlook.
From making it a mission to find street art to unique views of St. Peter's Basilica from secret pathways, there are so many ways you can make your time in Italy more than just a basic tourist experience. Here are 10 hidden and overlooked places in Rome that you'll want to visit on your next trip.
9 Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
Located in the heart of Rome is Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary which is exactly what it sounds like. A cat shelter built from the ruins of Largo di Torre Argentina is home to unadopted and stray cats.
Beginning in 1929, feral cats found their way into the city where locals began to feed them. Ever since, the shelter has become a place where cats can be vaccinated, fed, and adopted. The sanctuary finds homes for an average of about 120 cats per year. If you're a cat lover, be sure to stop by this shelter on your next trip to Rome.
The Priory of the Knights of Malta own the property in the Piazza Cavalieri di Malta where you'll be able to find Rome's Aventine Keyhole. The path to the keyhole is one that not many tourists know about, but many who have gone say that the view is worth it.
While you'll be able to see St. Peter's dome from many parts of the city, through Aventine's Keyhole, it's a unique view. Framed by the leaves of the piazza's garden, historians don't know whether the placement of the keyhole was intentionally made in line with St. Peter's Dome, but either way, it's a sight you'll want to see in person.
8 Janiculum Hill
Janiculum is a city just outside of Rome and makes for a sweet escape from the city life if you're looking for a quick break. What makes Janiculum special, however, is that Janiculum Hill, also known as the "eighth hill of Rome" is a tourist favorite to witness a unique and beautiful skyline view of the city.
Historically, Janiculum was once the first line of defense for Rome, and many history-loving tourists can visit this city to learn more about its past and culture. Janiculum Hill will give you a view worth more than any picture and should be at the top of your bucket list.
7 Via Piccolomini
Tourists who are looking for Rome's hidden secrets might overlook the street Via Piccolomini as it can easily be overlooked in plain sight. What might look just an ordinary Roman street or simply another parking lot is actually a fascinating visual illusion of Rome.
While Via Piccolomini leads to another great view of St. Peter's dome, it's view is uniquely special. As you drive towards the dome on Via Piccolomini, it looks like it's getting further away, but when you drive in the opposite direction, it appears to rise up from below the ground. Scooter around the streets of Rome to experience this fun visual that not even many locals know about.
6 Porta Portese Market
Every Sunday, Rome's most famous street market, Porta Portese, is a busy weekend event that every tourist should visit to feel more like a local. Located just out the Porta Portese gate in Trastevere, the market stretches across several streets, and though it is a popular market, the thing that makes it secret are the treasures being sold that you'll only find if you look hard enough.
For anyone looking for a unique souvenir to take home with you, classic antique, beautiful paintings, and even handmade jewelry, the Porta Portese market is a place you should make it a point to visit on your next trip to Rome.
5 The Street Art of Trastevere
What many tourists may not know about Rome is that besides food and architecture, it can also be a great place to view street art. The city of Trastevere is one of the best Roman cities to do so.
From huge wall murals to handpainted art pieces that stretch from building to building, you'll be able to take street art tours all across Rome if you really wanted to. Trastevere is home to the works of artists like Space Invader and David Diavù. A visit to this beautiful retro city is a great place to go if you're in love with art.
4 The Pyramid of Cestius
The Pyramid of Cestius is the only ancient Egyptian pyramid located in Europe and is predicted to have been built between 18 and 12 BC. The pyramid is approximately 120 feet high and is located near the Porta San Paolo where many tourists love to go and witness the ancient building first hand.
Made from brick and cement, the pyramid is covered in white marble and still stands tall today. It's recommended that viewing the pyramid at sunset makes for a perfect photograph. To avoid the crowds, you can view the pyramid on your way up to the Protestant Cemetery - just don't forget to bring your camera.
3 Villa Borghese
Villa Borghese is the third largest public park in Rome and is home to several historical buildings, museums, and gardens. Built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, the Villa Borghese gardens is a great place to visit for those who appreciate quiet strolls around the city and discovering unique plant life.
From water clocks to globe theaters, there is always something to do at the Villa Borghese. If walking through gardens isn't your favorite thing, don't worry. Touring museums to see classic paintings and watching live performances also happen at the Villa. Spend your day here to make your trip to Rome memorable.
Known as the "Disney World of Food," Eataly in Rome is the original Food Theme Park for Italian food ever made. For the traveling food lover, this place was made just for you.
Eataly is an eatery, a department, store, and food house all wrapped into one. From gardens that grow fresh herbs to stalls that house livestock for fresh dairy, the Italian food theme park is a huge attraction for tourists from all over the world, but only a few people who have visited the park know all the things it offers. If you're planning a visit to Eataly, keep in mind you shouldn't leave without trying the gelato first!
1 Villa Celimontana
Situated at the top of the Caelian Hill, the Villa Celimontana is home to some of Rome's best gardens. If you're looking to explore Italy outside of Rome, this south-east villa would be an amazing place to start.
What started as simply a vineyard in 1153 has now grown into a beautiful villa that contains gardens that many visitors today consider works of art. With luscious green trees and plant life unique to the Italian coast, Villa Celimontana is also where you'll find a detailed sculpture of The Obelisk, derived from the Temple of the Sun and is a unique part of Italian history.