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Rome's most secret spots

Rome, Italy

Francesco Prandi profile image
Francesco Prandi
Passionate Traveler
Itinerary introduction
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Rome is the most beautiful city in the world with its classical and wonderful amenities. This itinerary has been mapped out for those wishing to explore the most undiscovered Rome, that Rome unknown to the Romans themselves. In this estimated 3 hour tour, you will see, touch, live and hopefully, love, the 5 most unusual place of the Eternal City.

Ticket cost to complete the itinerary.

The only recommended one in order to complete the itinerary, is the one corresponding to the Villa Torlonia's museums (House of the Howls and the noble Casino, a typical country house mainly used while playing fishing and gaming). The cost is 9,5€ and you can buy it directly on the spot.

Galleria Sciarra
Step 1

Built at the behest of Prince Maffeo Sciarra on 1880, this is now the most beautiful example of Liberty style in the whole Rome. The main character of all the decorations is The Woman, seen as bride, mother and "angel of the hearth", represented in a variety of everyday life. In the upper part of the walls there are other women which represent female virtues: loyalty, humility and righteousness.

In the next stop we will unravel a part of Rome cloaked in magic. I hope you're not afraid of the unknown 👻...

Biblioteca Angelica
Step 2

Inaugurated on 1604, Library Angelica is the most ancient Italian public library, second in Europe only to Oxford's. It stores inside its walls more than 200.000 volumes, among these, 2.700 are ancient manuscripts from Greek and Latin period. What about getting in and discover one of the most intriguing and incredible jewels in Rome?

Once emerged from the Library, move ahead to the next spot; have you ever heard of the Liberty movement?

Porta Magica ed il Ninfeo di Alessandro
Step 3
The Magic Door

The "Magic Door" is the only rest left of the Palombara Villa, built by the keen esoterism lover Pietraforte marquis on the second half of 1600. Originally, the monument was one of the 5 external entrances to the Villa. The Legend tells of a mysterious pilgrim that, while houseguest of the marquis Villa, attempted to transmute many marquis belongings into gold. One day he disappeared through the Magic Door, leaving behind a golden straw and some spells, that we can still found carved in the stone edges of the Door.

Alessandro's Ninfeo

The Ninfeo is a Roman period structure built by the Emperor Alessandro Severo. However, what's left for us to see now is only the original structure of a fountain once decorated by many marble statues. The main purpose of this fabrication was to spread the water coming from today's Tiburtina Door. Once completed the tour, there's a 35 min walk ahead of you, but if you want to skip it, you just have to get on the n°649 bus from Largo Don Orione and getting off at Vittorio Emanuele square.

La Casina delle Civette e il Casino nobile
Step 4
House of the Owls

In between 1910 and 1915, in the heat of the Liberty artistic movement, a small group of artists transformed the ancient chalet (or Swiss house as well) in the actual Museo della Vetrata Liberty (Museum of the Liberty Glass Panel). You will find a processed glass exhibit inside alongside a very unique furniture, consistent with the architectural style of the house. Doesn't it look like a house came out from a fairytale?

The Noble Casino

Even though the Noble Casino already is an architecture and decoration "Museum" per se, it harbors a small but remarkable museum dedicated to the super rich statue collection of Torlonia family. We kindly recommend to visit this amazing place because, in addition to the fine collection, you'll have the chance to see the ballroom, the nice garden and stunning terrace. Our time to visit museums has come to an end, grab your camera and get ready to take many pics, cause you're soon gonna be in a place unknown to the Romans themselves!!!.

Quartiere Coppedè
Step 5

15 Minutes of walking later, we find ourselves surrounded by this lovely spot of the Eternal City; a great melting pot of styles: Liberty, Art Decò, drops of Greek, Gothic, Baroque style and even Medieval. Gino Coppedè created this "quartiere" (hood) made of 26 tower blocks and 17 estates between 1913 and 1926. In the heart of this district, there's a little square taken up by the "Fountain of The Frogs", popular due to the bath the Beatles decided to to take completely dressed, after a concert in the near Piper club.

The 2 main buildings are: "palazzina del Ragno" (Spider's building), of Assiro-Babylonian influence, characterised by a big spider on its façade; while the other one is the "Villino delle Fate" (Fairy Cottage), of Medioeval inspiration, made with the blending of different materials, such as marble, glass, clay, terra-cotta and travertine.

This was the last step of our itinerary. You managed to catch an uncommon Rome, a Rome you wouldn't find in a common travel guide and that, I hope, thrilled you the same way it did to me the first time I decided to follow this itinerary! At last, I kindly ask you to leave a review in the following page, so that the next traveller will be grateful for your tip. I wish you a great (and smart) holiday in Rome.

Tour overview
Rome's most secret spots
Tap to jump on the step guide