If you’re planning a trip to Rome that takes in the usual sights such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Imperial Holes, the Sistine Chapel and the Pantheon, you need to visit some unusual places too. Here’s a guide to the unusual places in Rome, are you ready?

1)Domitian’s stadium and the basement of the Piazza Navona

Five metres below the street level of today’s Piazza Navona lies one of Rome’s best-preserved and least-known archaeological sites. This stadium could hold up to 30,000 spectators! This is your chance to discover something new in Rome!

2)Villa Doria Pamphili

This is the largest park in the city of Rome. It has a wonderful garden and a French-style villa. Here you can relax like a local. Is this the perfect place to put on your list of unusual places in Rome?

3)The Cat Sanctuary

There are over 300,000 cats in Rome, most of whom live on the streets. Many of these cats are in the Argentine Tower, which has taken on the name of “cat sanctuary” due to the large number of cats housed there.

4)Church of Saint Ignatius of Loyola

A marvellous Baroque-style church, a must-see for its spectacular frescoes and oil-on-canvas paintings by Andrea Pozzo. Have you noticed the dome? Wrong, it’s just an optical effect!

5)The keyhole

In the “Cavalieri di Malta” square there is a large door and if you look through the keyhole you can see the dome of St Peter’s! You can’t miss this unusual place in Rome!

6)San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo is the most alternative area of Rome. Here you can find lots of Italian students spending the evening, where there are lots of bars and music!


10,000 people live in this district, which was built by the Fascist regime in the 1930s. Here you can see a cube-shaped building with 216 arches.

8)Porta Portese market

You can go to this market on Sunday afternoons. Here you can find lots of things like books and antique clocks. It’s the perfect place to socialise with the locals!

9)Non-Catholic cemetery in Rome

It was built in the 18th century to bury the bodies of non-Catholic foreigners. A different place, but certainly interesting.

10)Via Appia Antica

Here you can find the first paved road to be built in the days of the Roman Empire. It is 513km long, a little too long to visit in just one day, but a good idea is to visit the place where this road begins: Terme di Caracalla.

11)Pincio water clock

This clock was designed by Giovan Battista Embriaco in 1867. It is powered by water, and the gear part is visible because it is covered by transparent walls. This is one of the most interesting and little-known unusual places in Rome!

12)Casina delle civette

This house is a truly extravagant building. Inside, you’ll find a variety of styles and even a large stained-glass window depicting an owl, which is why the house got its name!

13)Galleria Spada

This house does not have a large garden, so the architect has chosen to create an illusion: the gallery is only 8 metres long, but thanks to the illusion it seems much longer!

14)Front of Palazzo Zuccari

This palace may look like many others, but if you look closely at its façade, you’ll see that the frames of the main door and the two windows resemble the open mouths of monsters! That’s why it’s also known as the “house of monsters”.

15)Cinema dei piccoli

In Villa Borghese you can find the “cinema dei piccoli”, the smallest cinema in the world, recognised by the Guinness World Record. There are always screenings and events. If you’re interested and want to find out more about what you can see in this strange but unique cinema, check out the website. https://www.cinemadeipiccoli.com/

16)L’Arco dei Banchi

The Arco dei Banchi is a street that links Via Banco di Santo Spirito to Via Paola. The interior features an image of the Madonna and the ceiling depicts a starry sky, bringing peace to those who pass by.

17)Janiculum Cannon

Whatever the weather, you can go to the Gianicolo to watch and hear the cannon fire at 12 o’clock. An unusual activity to tell your friends and family about, don’t you think?

18)Appia Antica Park

In this park, you can find nature and history. You could say it’s an open-air museum. There are lots of rabbits here, too, and the children have fun looking for them in the bushes!

19)Pyramid of Cestius

You’re in Rome, but you can see a pyramid. It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? This pyramid is 36 metres high and is the tomb of Caio Cestio.

20)Chiostro del Bramante

The Chiostro del Bramante is an elegant Renaissance-style building. Inside you will find Raffaello’s Sibylline Hall. Nowadays, the Chiostro hosts meditation and yoga courses, seminars and book presentations, concerts and theatre performances. There’s a lot to discover here, so take a look at the website! https://www.chiostrodelbramante.it/

21)Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum

This is the house-museum of the sculptor Andersen. It’s not very well known, but here you can see lots of wonderful statues to spend a good day immersed in art.

22)Passetto del Biscione

The “Passetto del Biscione” is a covered passageway linking Via di Grotta Pinta to Piazza del Biscione. Passing through here, you will be charmed by the marvellous frescoes that adorn the walls and ceilings.

23)Sacro Cuore del Suffragio church

This church has a Gothic style and its exterior is very similar to the “Duomo di Milano”. In the sacristy is the Museum of the Souls of Purgatory, created after people saw the soul of a deceased person in a fire, which was then printed on the wall.

24)Via del Trullo

In Calle del Trullo you can admire some wonderful colourful murals, with images of important people such as Frida Kahlo, Samanta Cristoforetti and Greta Thunberg. It’s a chance to see a different street full of art!

25)Ospedale delle Bambole

It’s a very strange place, where craftsmen have been restoring dolls for years. Now it’s not just a shop, it’s also a museum. An unusual place, isn’t it? It couldn’t be missing from this list of unusual places in Rome. Are you convinced to visit it? Here’s the website: https://www.ospedaledellebambole.com/

26)Crypt of the Capuchin Friars

This magnificent and highly unusual crypt is located beneath the church of “Santa Maria della Concezione”. It comprises six chapels housing the remains of 4,000 Capuchin friars.

27)Apothecary’s shop in Santa Maria alla Scala

This spice shop is hidden and little known. It is located in the convent of the “Carmelitani Scalzi”. In the 1600s, the spices made by the friars were sold here. Today, it’s just a place to visit.

28)The Valentine’s skull

In the church of “Santa Maria in Cosmedin”, as well as the beautiful mosaics, you can admire the skull of Saint Valentine. A rather unusual activity, don’t you think?

29)Piazza Vittorio magic door

In Piazza Vittorio, between two statues, you can see a mysterious door. This mysterious door is accompanied by a coded message, the meaning of which has yet to be discovered. Are you curious to visit this unusual place?

30)Street Art in Ostiense

Ostiense is a district of Rome, and it’s also one of the most fun places in Rome. You can see buildings painted entirely by street artists. What are you waiting for?

31)Coppedè district

The Coppedè district is home to some magnificent and bizarre villas, with their strange and enchanting shapes. Aren’t you curious to visit this district and dream of living in one of its splendid villas?

32)Little London

In the Flaminio district, you’ll find a street whose houses are reminiscent of those in Notting Hill and Chelsea in London. You’ll feel like you’re in London, but you’ll still be in beautiful Rome!

Now you’re ready to head off to Rome to visit not only the usual places, but also some very unusual ones, surprising everyone when you get back from your wonderful holiday and showing off pictures of the places you’ve visited!

If you want to find out some interesting facts about the Italian people, I suggest you read this blog: https://international-horizons.eu/la-vision-de-la-masculinite-et-de-la-feminite-en-italie-et-en-france/