What to see in Rome: 5 unusual and hidden places

byVerónica Crocitti

From the keyhole overlooking St. Peter's to the street art of Tor Pignattara: here are 5 unusual and incredible places in Rome.

For all famous places ofRome, there are other unusual, hidden, little-known and, precisely for this reason, even more beautiful. After telling you about20 things you absolutely must do and see in Caput MundiI leave you a small list of five magical Roman glimpses to find, experience and love.

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Crypt of the Capuchin Friars

Located at number 27 of via Veneto, right next to Piazza Barberini, the Church of Santa Maria Immacolata, which is none other than the Convent of the Capuchin Friars, contains a real jewel: aossuary crypt made up of the bones and skulls of about 4,000 friars. These are "finds" collected between 1528 and 1870 in the old cemetery of the Church of Santa Croce and Bonaventura dei Lucchesi then placed in the new convent in five small chapels. The plaque that you will find at the entrance is quite explanatory: “What you are we were; what we are you will be”. Inside the church there is also a museum, the tombstone of Cardinal Agapito Mosca and the tomb of Father Mariano of Turin. The Museum and the Crypt are open every day from 9 to 19 and the standard cost ofticket is 8.50 euros. Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed.

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Unusual places Rome

Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli

Among the most unusual places in Rome, the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli stands out, located in the splendid Rione Monti at the top of the picturesque Borgia staircase, just behind the Domus Aerea and in the shadow of the Colosseum. Built in the 5th century, it takes its name from a large religious artifact placed by Pope Leo I and kept for centuries to come:the chains with which St. Peter was imprisoned a Jerusalem. Inside the Church there is also the Mausoleum of Pope Julius II, a great work commissioned from Michelangelo whose fulcrum is Moses, one of the major manifestations of Renaissance sculpture. The Church is open every day from 8 to 12.30 and from 15.30 to 18. Admission is free.

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The Stadium of Domitian under Piazza Navona

Almost five meters deep from the surface of the magnificent Piazza Navona lies an underground Rome made up of history, antiquity and culture. The remains of the Stadium of Domitian, also known as Circus Agonalis, have been declaredUNESCO heritagein 1954 and represent a little-known, yet beautiful glimpse of the capital of Italy. This is the ancient structure which, in ancient times, hosted competitions and fights, as well as sporting events of boxing, long jump, discus and javelin throwing. The entrance to the Stadio di Domiziano is located in via di Tor Sanguigna n°3. The opening hours are: every day from 10 to 19 (Saturday from 10 to 20). Thestandard ticket is 8.50 euros(audio guide included).

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The keyhole with a view of St. Peter's

On top of the Aventine Hill, not far fromOrange Garden, there is one of the most unusual places in Rome: a keyhole from which it is possible to see, perfectly framed, the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

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This is the entrance gate of the Villa del Priorato dei Cavalieri di Malta, today the institutional seat of the Order and its Grand Master. The portal overlooks a small eighteenth-century square in rococo style (Peter of Illyria Square) decorated with war trophies, signed byGiovanni Battista Piranesi. To observe the Cupolone it is not necessary to buy any ticket as the door is located outside the Villa. The times are:

  • From October to February: 7am – 6pm
  • March and September: 7 – 20
  • From April to August: 7am – 9pm

Street Art of Tor Pignattara

Very few (even among the Romans themselves) know that, among the narrow streets of the district ofTor Pignattara, there is a real open-air museum of street art. The murals that embellish the walls of Torpigna are works born in 2015 thanks to the project "I love Torpignart”. The objective, as explained by the District Committee, is precisely that of "disseminating knowledge of the enormous heritage available" and reconverting areas that would otherwise remain in oblivion in an artistic key.

Tra i murales più celebri murales spiccano:

  • The fall of Pasolini(via Galeazzo Alessi 215)
  • Herakut (via Capua 11)
  • Pure Evil (Via Galeazzo Alessi 122)
  • Carlos Atoche (Via della Marranella 98)
  • The Atlas(via Galeazzo Alessi 219)
  • Sten & Lex (via Francesco Baracca 11)

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