5 Hidden Gems in Rome with Less Tourists

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Have you visited Rome? I have, several times, and every time it takes my breath away! In this post, I’m sharing 5 gorgeous places off the tourist’s path for you to enjoy other than the big boys (Fontana di Trevi, Colosseo, Pantheon, Foro Romano, and so on). If you have visited Rome more than once and looking for a more relaxing, less tourist-packed places, you can check out these few spots.

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5 places in Rome that are off the tourist's path as featured on Sincerely Ant blog

Villa Borghese

One of my favorite spots in Rome is Villa Borghese. It’s one of the most beautiful public parks in the city, complete with man-made ponds, fountains, serene walking paths, and of course the Borghese Gallery. The museum is small but packs a mighty collection. The villa itself is constructed at the beginning of the 17th century for Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V. I’d recommend going there in the morning or late evening to watch the sunset. Please be careful of pickpockets, as they are often operating in public parks

You can get there by taking the metro line A and stopping a Flaminio station, then walk to Piazza del Popolo then climb the stairs to the gardens to reach the villa. The gardens, in my opinion, are the main highlight so you would enjoy walking around. Get the Borghese Gallery tickets online or if you’re planning to visit Terme Di Caracalla as well, you can get Roma Pass which covers transport and 2 museums tickets

Siena Square inside gardens of Villa Borghese
Siena Square inside gardens of Villa Borghese
Gallery Borghese
Gallery Borghese
Temple of Aesculapius in the gardens of Villa Borghese
Temple of Aesculapius in the gardens of Villa Borghese


I know, this is not Rome, but it’s nearby. If you can spare a day to make a day trip to this town just one hour’s drive from Rome, do it. I promise it will be worth your efforts.
There are several ways to get to Tivoli if you don’t drive a car. A bus leaves every 4 hours from Rome Tiburtina station and takes you right into the heart of Tivoli Piazza Garibaldi. It costs about 3€ to 5€ and takes about an hour.
You can also take a regional train from Tiburtina Station, but I don’t recommend this as it takes longer, you still have to walk or take a taxi to reach the town and it cost more, about 12€.The main places to see in Tivoli are Villa D’este and Villa Adriana. Both villas are beautiful in their way, boasting different styles. Villa D’este is a 16th-century villa famous for its Italian renaissance garden. Wherever you turn, you will find fountains of various sizes and the layout of the garden is marvelous.

Villa Adriana is more of an archeological site, built in the second and third decades of the 2nd century AD for the Roman emperor, Hadrian. It is said that he didn’t like the palace in Palatine hill and prefer to spend his time here instead. Later he started using this villa as his official residence and governed the empire from the villa.
I haven’t got the chance to visit Villa Adriana, because it took me one whole day to enjoy Villa D’este. If you’re a villa kind of person, I would recommend staying one night in Tivoli so you can visit both villas, or make 2 day-trips from your base in Rome.

Visit this page for more info about visiting Villa d’Este.

Click here for Villa Adriana ticket info.

Super instagramable old door at Villa d’Este. Too bad I wasn’t posing for ootd shot ;b

Terme Di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla)

Bathing was once a way to mingle and network in ancient Roman times. Baths of Caracalla is the second-largest bath in the Roman Empire, built (finished) in 217. Take your time to explore and walk around on your own. The descriptions written around the sites (or audio guide if you rent one) are pretty detailed, you can spot and easily recognize different parts of the baths such as the swimming pool area, gym, sauna room (caldarium), cold room (frigidarium) and tepid room (tepidarium). Throughout the sites, you can see ruins of mosaic flooring, mosaic tiles, and remnants of what was once a superb architectural piece.

I visited the baths in the late afternoon and there was little to no crowd. From late August to the end of September, Caracalla baths are open during the night as well. Ever seen the gorgeous concert scene where John Wick has to break in to kill one of the mafia lady-boss? Yes, that scene was filmed here. Occasionally the site is used for hosting operas, ballet shows, and music concerts in the summer. To check if you can watch an opera or music event at this splendid venue click here.

Terme Di Caracalla
Terme Di Caracalla sans the hoard of tourists, serene relaxing space for yourself
Ruins of bath chambers at Terme Di Caracalla

Ghetto Di Roma (Roman Jewish Ghetto)

The Roman Ghetto was established in 1555 and the Jewish community of Rome is probably one of the oldest in the world. The place has a pretty dark history but now it’s thriving and buzzing with a lot of restaurants offering authentic Roman-Jewish cuisine. When you walk around the area, you will find the Great Synagogue which serves as a place of prayer and the heart of cultural reference for the local Jewish community.

You will also find ruins called Portico d’Ottavia which dates back to the 2nd century BC. While still in the area, I would recommend trying the cuisine from Al Pompiere Hostaria (a local friend recommended it to me). My favorite has to be carciofi alla Giudia (Roman-Jewish fried artichokes) and fiori di zucca fritti (some kind of fried flower, don’t ask me what flower, it tastes amazing!) If you find the price at Al Pompiere Hostaria a bit on the steep side, you can also find these dishes at other restaurants ther

Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma) at the Jewish quarter
Great Synagogue of Rome (Tempio Maggiore di Roma) at the Jewish quarter

Ostia Antica

If you are a history or archeological buff, you must visit this site! Located about 30 km away from Rome, this place used to be thriving as one of the important harbour city for Rome, until it was replaced by other newly emerging seaports. Here, you can observe how the old roman walkways used to look like, the houses, shops, taverns, and amphitheater. This site is not as extensive as the one in Pompeii, however, if you don’t have the time to visit Pompeii, this is a good alternative. It’s also relatively easy to get there by public transport, take the metro line B and get off at Piramide. Then, take the Roma Lido commuter train to Ostia Antica. After that, it is a 10-minute walk away to the site (follow google map!).

Bonus: here is a video that features me dancing in various sites in Rome. Some passerby at Ostia Antica was watching and applauded afterward (thank you, kind stranger). I still remember recording the dance at the amphitheater there and not noticing my surroundings)

Pardon my monkey face, t’was fun recording this

That’s all that I can recommend for now. Please like and comment below if you have visited these places and have a good time there. If you have a place to recommend to me in Rome, I would love to hear from you!

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5 less known places to visit in Rome as featured on Sincerely Ant blog


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