Rome, Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Hidden Gems

Advisor - Lizz Callaway
Curated By

Lizz Callaway

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  • Arts & Culture

  • City Travel

  • Italy

  • Rome

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Bucket List-Worthy

  • Sightseeing

  • Architecture

Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy.
Curator’s statement

Rome, Italy, is a city that stole my heart with its rich history, stunning architecture and mouth-watering cuisine. As a traveler, I have always been drawn to off-the-beaten-path destinations, and Rome is no exception. The city is full of hidden gems, from charming neighborhoods to quaint cafes, that offer a more authentic, local experience. In this itinerary, I will be sharing my top picks for a trip to Rome that will take you beyond the usual tourist destinations.

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Where to stay

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Hotel Locarno

Boutique-hotel charmer near Piazza del Popolo, with sumptuous interiors, an elegant bar and a secret garden.

Palazzo Dama

Contemporary property set in a former mansion with high-end rooms and suites.

La Scelta di Goethe

Quaint palatial-style hotel on Via del Corso.

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Day 1: Explore the Neighborhoods

The Colosseum at night in Rome.

Start your trip off by exploring Rome's charming neighborhoods — like Trastevere, Monti and Testaccio. Grab a coffee and a croissant at Pasticceria Regoli in Testaccio. Visit the beautiful Basilica di San Clemente, a 12th-century church built on top of a 4th-century basilica. Enjoy lunch at Da Enzo al 29, a cozy trattoria in Trastevere that serves up delicious, homemade pasta.

Day 2: Explore Ancient Rome

The views of the river and Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Rome.

Today, explore the ancient side of Rome. Start by visiting the Colosseum, one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Next, head to the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient Rome, and explore the ruins of temples, markets and government buildings. End your day at the Pantheon, an impressive temple built in the 2nd century AD.

Day 3: Art & Culture

Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy.

Today is all about art and culture. Start your day at the Vatican Museums, where you can admire some of the world's most famous works of art, including the Sistine Chapel. After lunch, visit the Galleria Borghese, a stunning museum housed in a beautiful villa, which boasts an impressive collection of sculptures and paintings by artists like Bernini, Caravaggio and Raphael.

Day 4: Food & Wine

Pantheon in Rome, Italy.

No trip to Rome is complete without indulging in the city's delicious cuisine. Start your day with a visit to Mercato Centrale, a bustling market in the heart of Rome, where you can sample some of the city's best street food. After lunch, head to Enoteca Trimani, a cozy wine bar in the Esquilino neighborhood, to sample some of Italy's best wines. End your day with dinner at Armando al Pantheon, a family-run trattoria located just steps from the Pantheon, which serves up traditional Roman dishes like cacio e pepe and carbonara.

Day 5: Hidden Gems

Aerial views of Rome, Italy.

On your last day in Rome, discover some of the city's hidden gems. Start by visiting the beautiful Giardino degli Aranci, a quiet park located on top of the Aventine Hill, which offers stunning views over the city. Next, explore the non-Catholic Cemetery, a peaceful oasis located in the Testaccio neighborhood, where you can find the graves of famous writers and artists like Keats and Shelley. End your day with a visit to La Montecarlo, a historic gelateria in the Prati neighborhood that serves up some of the best gelato in the city.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out Lizz's guides 5 Days of Family-Friendly Adventure on the Isle of Skye and Honoring the Big Island by Exploring Off-the-Beaten-Path. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Rome.

Advisor - Lizz Callaway

Travel Advisor

Lizz Callaway

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