Discover Rome off the beaten track

updated 1/10/2022
fb tw mail_outline

Explore Rome off the beaten track once you've done the big sights. Follow Natasha Foges' tourist-free guide to the city and find out where to go next for a new Roman adventure. The information below is based on The Rough Guide to Italy, your travel guide for Italy.

Find Rome off the beaten track in Quartiere Coppedè

Central Rome is so attention grabbing that quieter areas sometimes get missed, don't make that mistake with Quartiere Coppedè in the Trieste district just north east of the city centre.

Built in 1919 by the architect, Gino Coppedè, this unusual quarter is predominantly Art Nouveau in style and its elaborate architecture is highly embellished and big on turrets, frescoes and gargoyles.

Keep your eyes peeled for the whimsical frog fountain and don't miss the enchanting fairy cottage or the spider's palace. Then try a more conventional look at Rome on a Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour and take a look at where to stay in Rome an area by area guide.

Whimsical Quartiere Coppedè one of the better hidden Rome sights © Kalamurzing/Shutterstock

Get lost in time at Cinecittà film studios

If a visit to the Forum ruins doesn't give you a sense of Ancient Rome, you need to see Cinecittà film studios which contain a full-size replica of the Forum looking exactly as it would have done in ancient times.

The Forum set was used in the HBO/BBC TV production of 'Rome', which was filmed at Cinecetti. However, the studios date back to 1937, so if you book Cinecittà tickets you can look forward to seeing plenty more iconic film sets and props on the guided tour.

Ancient city reproduced in fiberglass for films at the studio Cinecitta in Rome, Italy © rarrarorro/Shutterstock

Take in some quirky Rome sights at Villa Torlonia

Avoid the obvious tourist traps in Rome and visit Villa Torlonia just north of the city centre. This extensive estate was given to Mussolini in the 1930s and, among other things, it contains his WWII bunker.

Take the guided tour of the Casino Nobile and Casina delle Civette, then catch your breath in Torlonia's beautiful, shaded parkland. It's a lovely area, so think about staying nearby at Palm Gallery Hotel.

Museum of Villa Torlonia in park, Rome, Italy. Beautiful old historic white building © DedMityay/Shutterstock

Admire Tor Marancia’s street art

Once you've done Rome's classical art, head to the city fringes and explore the Tor Marancia housing estate and street art project.

A range of monumental murals spread across 11 buildings, the Tor Marancia project contains works by 20 leading international artists such as US muralist, Gaia, and the French artist, Seth.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Italy or Italy Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Italy expert.

continued below

Picnic in Parco degli Acquedotti

If you recognize Parco degli Acquedotti you may have seen it in the film La Dolce Vita. It's also famous for a network of Ancient Roman aqueducts which add drama to the park's landscape of wildflower meadows and grazing land.

Despite its cinematic celebrity and archaeological importance, this popular local park doesn't attract many tourists so you can enjoy it in peace. And if you want to see the more crowded parts of the city after, try a hop on/hop off bus tour.

Find lesser known Rome sights in Parco degli Acquedotti © Fabianodp/Shutterstock

Discover Il Cimitero Acattolico di Roma

Head to Testaccio and explore Il Cimitero Acattolico di Roma, the Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners. It may not feature on an Eternal City private tour, but this graveyard is a legend in its own right.

Awash with poignant stories, old gravestones and ornate tombs, it is the last resting place of many famous souls. Both Keats and Shelley are buried here, although you'll have to hunt for Keats' grave as it's unmarked.

Cemetery (Cimitero Acattolico di Roma) with multiple ancient graves and tombstones © Alexander Reuter/Shutterstock

Find Rome’s quieter side in Garbatella

For a change from antiquity visit Garbatella, Rome's youngest district. You'll find the 'new' neighbourhood in industrial Ostiense where it was built in the 1920s along the lines of the English 'garden city' model.

Today, Garbatella's low rise buildings, communal gardens, shared courtyards and authentic community atmosphere appeal to a new generation of Romans and it's increasingly the area for rising star restaurants and clubs.

Step away from Ancient Rome and discover 'new' Garbatella © Stefano Tammaro/Shutterstock

Ready to travel to Italy? Find out about the best time to go and the best places in Italy as well as the best things to do in Italy. For inspiration use the Italy itineraries from our Italy Travel Guides and our local travel agents in Italy. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay in Italy once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Travel advice for Italy

author photo
updated 1/10/2022
fb tw mail_outline

Planning on your own? Prepare for your trip

Use Rough Guides' trusted partners for great rates

Find even more inspiration for Italy here

Ready to travel and discover Italy?
Get support from our local experts for
stress-free planning & worry-free travels