The city of Rome offers much more than its well-known ancient landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon. This article highlights eight hidden gems that allow tourists to explore Rome’s diverse history, from its imperial past to the medieval and modern eras. These sites include the Domus Aurea, an ancient palace built by Emperor Nero, Quartiere Coppedè, a unique quarter featuring a blend of architectural styles, and Catacombs of Santa Priscilla, an important site for early Christian art and iconography.
- The Domus Aurea, also known as the Golden House of Nero, is an archaeological site that once covered up to 300 acres and was known for its opulent details. Due to its fragile state, it’s only accessible via pre-booked, archaeologist-led tours.
- Quartiere Coppedè is a small architectural wonder just north of Rome’s historic center, designed by Gino Coppedè between 1915 and 1927. It features a mix of Baroque, Mannerist, Medieval, and Ancient Greek styles and offers a unique experience compared to traditional Roman sites.
- Catacombs of Santa Priscilla, less known but equally fascinating compared to other Roman catacombs, were used for burials from the 3rd to 6th centuries. They were the final resting place for multiple popes and are adorned with some of the earliest known Christian art, sparking debates about women’s roles in the early church.
- The Mattatoio, formerly known as MACRO Testaccio, is a contemporary art museum located in a former slaughterhouse. It serves not only as an exhibition space but also as a center for artistic and cultural research.
- While many tourists flock to famous sites, Rome offers an array of hidden gems that provide a deeper understanding of its layered history, from the Roman Empire to the present day. These lesser-known sites offer a more comprehensive picture of Rome and are well worth the visit.