If you think that in Rome you can only visit Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo, Saint Peter’s Basilica and Piazza Venezia, it’s time to change your mind and live a different travel experience in the Eternal City.
This is possible thanks to the tips of Wonder Where To Stay, an agency specialized in vacation apartment’s rental in Rome. They helped me to spend a nice holiday in the historic center, discovering some unsung gems and avoiding tourist traps.
According to what Goethe wrote after a journey in Italy, “Here in Rome delight seems the norm”, for this reason I suggest to plan an itinerary focused on original activities and unusual sights to appreciate your holiday to the utmost.
Boat Tour On Tiber River
Maybe you don’t know that the Tiber River is navigable, so, when in Rome, check if there are boat tours available: you’ll have the opportunity to see the treasures of the Eternal City from a different perspective.
Besides the morning cruise there are also the dinner and aperitif cruises, including a tasty menu and the tour across the Tiber, that allows you to admire, among others, Castel Sant’Angelo bridge and Garibaldi bridge (close to Tiber island).
Visit a Museum of Poets
Next to the Spanish Steps there is a small museum that shows the tie between Rome and English poets: the Keats-Shelley House, the final dwelling place of John Keats.
This house museum hosts a collection of items associated with the lives of the two Romantic poets (Percy Bysshe Shelley and Keats), a library with more than 8000 volumes and two big terraces, amazing panoramic spots to enjoy the historic center of Rome.
It’s nice to go shopping at Via del Corso, where are located many luxury shops and fashion brands, then take a break at a very special museum such as Keats-Shelley House. Don’t forget that Rome was a sought-after destination in XIX century, when artists from all over Europe come here to find inspiration.
Explore Rome On Segway
A very different experience from the usual routes is, without doubt, the Segway tour, because it’s a quick way to avoid queues and do sightseeing.
Booking a tour with Segway Roma, for example, allows seeing the most charming spots of the city together with an expert guide, riding a Segway, an innovative and eco-friendly vehicle that is very easy to use. Segway, in fact, is powered by electricity and doesn’t require any specific skill.
These are some of my favorites stages I visited riding a Segway: Piazza del Popolo, Pincian Hill, Pantheon, Via de’ Coronari, Largo Torre Argentina and Via Margutta.
If you don’t like crowds when you are on holiday and you wish to visit all the main attractions of Rome in a few hours, I suggest this kind of activity, a very funny experience to do with friends or family.
Discover the secret of Saint Valentine’s Skull
The Mouth of Truth (la Bocca della verità) is a very popular Rome’s attraction and is located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin: when you are here, don’t miss a visit to the church, you’ll be amazed by the relics you’ll see!
This church stands on the site of an ancient Roman temple and boasts the tallest medieval belfry in Rome, furthermore houses the relics of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers!
Have a look at the flower crowned skull attributed to the Saint, isn’t it a really bizarre relic?
It’s complicated to know if this skull is authentic, because there is more than one Catholic saint called Valentine, but the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, dating back to XI century, is really worth visiting.
Rome for foodies: Mercato Centrale and typical cooking classes
In the last years Rome become a Paradise for foodies, due to the increasing number of top restaurants, typical trattoria, street food events and the high quality of local markets.
Italian cuisine is renowned all round the world, so take the chance to follow a cooking class when you are in Rome, you’ll learn how to cook some delights and eat a dish together with an expert chef!
I recommend the convivial cooking classes by Ristomama, because this service allows you to choose a cook and meet him at his home, then you can follow a cooking class and learn how to prepare a dish (such as pasta, starters or desserts), pizza, bread or another Italian top food.
This is an authentic food experience, very different from a dinner in a tourist restaurant, in fact you can discover the secrets of Roman recipes and the right way to do food shopping, picking the best ingredients.
In Rome has just opened Mercato Centrale, where to find 19 high quality food producers for the first time in the same place, at the Cappa Mazzoniana at Termini railway station.
It’s easy to go to the Central market and taste all the top local products, such as Bonci’s bread and pizza, salami and sausages by Roberto Liberati, Egidio Micheli’s pasta, the truffles by Luciano Savini and many more.
Central Market is open from 7:00 am to 12:00 am and is located at Via Giolitti 36.
Plan a stay in Rome to visit all these spots and enjoy unique experiences, you’ll disclose the most seductive side of Italy’s Capital.
Preview Photo: Navona Square, Credit by Nick Kenrick https://flic.kr/p/FALRNh