Wander logo

Rome Travel Guide

Lesser-known places to tour in Rome, Italy

By Angela SchnaubeltPublished 4 months ago 5 min read
Rome Travel Guide
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

We talked about lesser-known travel tips in the article, Rome Travel Guide, now we will talk about lesser-known things to do and see!

Sure, you'll want to go to the Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and other famous and historical sites. Make sure you pay for tickets ahead of time so you avoid standing in line. Even if you don't get a guided tour, you'll want to pay for tickets online. Trust me.

For online tickets and guided tours, I recommend Viator.com just for the sheer number of choices, as well as the reviews you can read about the tour operators. Also, you can pay via PayPal with a pay-in-4 payments (if PayPal offers you that) which is nice, because you can go on the tour before you have finished paying for it.

But what else is interesting in the city of Rome? I was in Rome for most of December 2023 and these are a few adventures that I've had.

Flea Market in Rome, Italy

I didn't find any farmers market produce as I was hoping, but maybe I was in the wrong section of the flea market. There are hundreds of tents! Hundreds! I walked for almost 3 hours and didn't cover all the grounds of the market. Crazy crowded, and lots of clothes mostly.

There was a section of antiques. Here a a few pictures.

Flea Market in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome, Italy
Antique sector of the Flea Market in Trastevere, Rome, Italy

Rinascente Department Store

I thought this was a shopping mall because the store is so big! It's a 5-story department store with a perfume section that is as large as its own store.

You can get a drink and a bite to eat on the top floor, and that is where the bathrooms are.

Some departments of note: Perfumes are obviously a cultural thing, as I have never seen so many choices. They have a lot of luggage, and the prices are reasonable. Also check out the kitchen department because it's interesting to see the differences in appliances between America and Italy!

Check out the Christmas department if you are there in November or December, as the displays are spectacular. I have videos of it on my TikTok account from last year (2022), as they did not have the display in 2023.

Napoleon Museum

Napoleon never visited the city of Rome, yet there is an extensive and fascinating museum featuring portraits and furniture of him and his family. It's called the Museo Napoleonico if you look for it on Google maps. Great for history buffs, especially military and Napoleonic era history.

The museum entry is free! The audio guide is only 5 euros. I took a guided tour, and feel it was well-worth the money for the extra information about the Bonapart family. This collection is so extensive that it's called a "house museum" due to the quantity of personal effects on display of the Bonapart's.

What stands out the most for me is the portrait of Empress Josephine. The museum is on the river, just a 15-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain, due west.

Crypts and Catacombs

Many people have heard of the catacombs under Paris. But did you know there are bones under Rome, as well? They are just outside the city. This is a tour you will want to pay a guide for, as it's safer and more interesting. Here, again, especially, I recommend Viator.com.

There are also Capuchin crypts in Rome, very near the Trevi Fountain (about an 11-minute walk northeast). The Capuchins were a religious order of friars within the Catholic church., There is a museum, a church, and crypts with bones of about 3,700 friars.

The Mouth of Truth

La Bocca della Verità (the mouth of truth) is a local legend. You can put your hand in the marble mouth of an ancient, former drain cover that looks like a mask and it will bite you if you are a liar.

Mouth of Truth in Rome, Italy made of marble

You can find this photo opp at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin across the river from the Trastevere neighborhood. It's very close to the Circo Massimo metro station.

While at the church, there is a little area downstairs (there is an attendant asking for a small donation, but no formal entrance fee, per se) worthwhile going to see. It's an ancient altar of Hercules.

The Protestant Cemetery

The formal name is the "Cemetery for Non-Catholic foreigners to Rome," but the locals call it the Protestant Cemetery. A few famous people are buried here, including the famous British poet, John Keats who died at the young age of 25.

There are domesticated cats (at least five that I saw the day I went) all over the cemetery taking naps in the sun. You can pet them, and the caretakers leave handfuls of treats for them throughout the day, in addition to feeding them.

There are lots of statues of angels, and interesting epitaphs engraved on the tombstones. The trees are gorgeous, and flowers bloom all year. I was there in December, and there were plenty of flowers blooming on the graves.

Please note that visitors are not allowed to take pictures. Also, leaving a small donation of any size is strongly encouraged, as the cemetery does have overhead for its upkeep.

Here is a photo of one of the cats (but not of the gravestones!). And a photo of the gorgeous trees.

Cats in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, Italy

Trees in December in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, Italy

No part of this article was created by artificial intelligence (i.e. chatGPT). All photos were taken by the author, Angela Schnaubelt.

travel advicetravel tipstravel photographytravel listseurope

About the Creator

Angela Schnaubelt

Stage 4 cancer survivor and thriver. Marketing strategist and business development coach for alternative health practitioners. World traveled, intelligent and ambitious yet heart centered. Lover of nature, animals, and life!!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.