Secret and quiet places to discover in Rome

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Summer in Rome

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By Milo Spotti - Student Life and HSSA Assistant

In Rome there are thousands of things to see, hundreds of experiences to do, dozens of places to visit. I am sure that everyone who is planning to visit Rome has a MUST SEE bucket list. The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Square, the Trevi Fountain are usually in those lists. Rome has so many more things to offer though. Sometimes, the fame of certain places overshadows other wonderful places. Both in the city center and in the outskirts of the city, Rome is packed with hidden gems. Some of them can be the perfect places to go to if you want to flee the chaos of the city. Rome, despite its beauty, can sometimes be overwhelming. It can be helpful to go somewhere quiet to recompose oneself and to find the energy to keep on sightseeing. Here you can find my top five quiet places in Rome:

- Fontana dell’Acqua Paola: this fountain is the best place to go if you want a quiet place with a wonderful view. It is placed on top of a hill, Gianicolo, right next to a park. If you turn your back to the fountain, you can enjoy one of the best views over the city center. To some, this fountain resembles the Trevi Fountain. In my opinion, Fontana dell’Acqua Paola is even better! It is placed on a wonderful viewpoint, it is almost never crowded, and the path that leads you there is just wonderful. Just keep in mind that to reach the fountain you need to walk up the hill! To get to the Fountain you can either take the 115 bus line or you can walk there starting from Trastevere.

- Acatholic Cemetery and Cestio’s Pyramid: Right outside of the city center of Rome, you can find this old cemetery. Many famous people are buried there: John Keats, Antonio Gramsci, and Percy Shelley are among them. On the corner of the cemetery’s outer wall, you can find an ancient pyramid. It was built about 18–12 BC. The construction of the pyramid was paid by Caio Cestio, a wealthy and powerful politician. He wanted to have a mausoleum similar to the one used in Egypt (the Pyramids). Hence this peculiar shape. The cemetery is one of the quietest places in Rome, and usually it’s almost empty. To reach it, you can take the metro B line and stop at Piramide. From there it’s just a five-minute walk.

- Parco degli Acquedotti: the Parco degli Acquedotti is on the South-East area of Rome. Even though it is not in the city center, it is super easy to reach. You just need to take the metro A line and stop at Giulio Agricola. The park is approximately 240 ha. What makes this park remarkable is that it contains the ruins of an ancient aqueduct. If you take a walk along its paths, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while, at the same time, wonder at the architectonical ability of the ancient romans. In some areas of the park, you can also find the ruins of an ancient roman road, the Appia. It is a perfect spot if you are seeking shelter from the Roman heat and chaos.

- San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane: Right in the heart of Rome, you can find a small church built by Borromini. It was built during the XVII century, and it is really small. The entrance is at a very busy crossroad. As soon as you enter the doors of the church, you are teleported into a different world. The inside is silent, everything is painted white. The church is a ten-minute walk from the metro stop Repubblica and it’s open from Monday to Saturday, from 10 AM to 1 PM.

- Palazzo Barberini’s Museum: close to San Carlino alle Quattro Fontane you can find this ancient palace that was built by the Barberini, a rich roman family, during the XVII century. In the XX century, it was established that the palace could host a national museum. Inside this museum you can find some of the most important masterpieces of the Italian art history. Paintings of Caravaggio, of Michelangelo, of Artemisia Gentileschi, of Guido Reni can be admired there. Besides the artistical relevance of the place, the Museum can be used as a place to rest and enjoy the silence. The palace is surrounded by a small garden with a dozen cats. No wonder that this is one of the favorite spots of the city for many Romans!