Europe Travel

5 Lesser-Known Places You Need To Visit In Rome, Italy

View of Rome, Italy from the Palatine Hill
View of Rome, Italy from the Palatine Hill

If you’re planning or daydreaming about a trip to Rome, you were probably already planning on visiting the Colosseum, Vatican, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, and Piazza Navona.
All of these sites are absolutely worth visiting, but here are five lesser-known places you need to visit in Rome.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the oldest parts of the city. According to Roman mythology, this hill was the site of the cave where the wolf, Lupa, found Romulus and Remus.

On the Palatine Hill, you’ll find ruins of the palaces of Augustus, Tiberius, and Domitian, a temple dedicated to Apollo, and the Palatine Museum. But as interesting as the ruins are, it’s the views of the Roman Forum, Colosseum, and Circus Maximus that are truly worth the climb.

View from the Palatine Hill
View from the Palatine Hill

There are two entrances to the Palatine Hill. The main entrance is near the Arch of Titus and Colosseum, and the second entrance is on Via di San Gregorioso. So, it’s easy to combine a visit to the Palatine Hill with your tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum as seen when climbing the Palatine Hill
The Roman Forum as seen when climbing the Palatine Hill

The cost to enter the Palatine Hill can be combined with tickets to the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

Click here for updated ticket prices, closest public transportation, and hours of operation.

Stadium of the Palace of Domitian on the Palatine Hill
Stadium of the Palace of Domitian on the Palatine Hill

Trajan’s Forum

Trajan’s Forum was the last and largest of the Imperial Forums – public squares that formed the political and governmental center of the Roman Empire – built by Emperor Trajan in 112 AD and 113 AD. The forum consisted of an enormous basilica, two libraries, markets, Trajan’s Column, and a large temple.

The carvings on Trajan’s Column tell the story of Trajan’s victory over the Dacians (modern-day Romania). The carvings would measure about 660 feet (200 meters) if stretched out.
The carvings on Trajan’s Column tell the story of Trajan’s victory over the Dacians (modern-day Romania). The carvings would measure about 660 feet (200 meters) if stretched out.

Historians believe that, in its prime, Trajan’s Forum was one of the most impressive and magnificent groups of buildings in Rome.

Today, you can still see Trajan’s Column in its entirety and wander through the remains of the shops in Trajan’s Market – considered the world’s first shopping complex.

Trajan’s Forum is only about a ten-minute walk from the Colosseum, and the forum is near the Vittoriano – the Victory Monument to Vittorio Emanuelle II.

Check out this site for details on ticket prices, tour options, and opening hours.

Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campus Martius is a Roman Catholic church built from 1626-1650 in honor of Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Society.

Interior of the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Interior of the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

The exterior of this church is very unassuming, but the interior is a lavish work of art. The entire nave ceiling is a stunning fresco. Stucco statues can be found throughout the church, the alters are ornately decorated, and frescos line the walls.

Your neck will be as stiff from looking up at the ceilings in this church as in the Sistine Chapel.

As of this posting, there’s no entry fee to the church, and it’s open Sunday: 9am-7pm; Monday-Saturday: 7:30am-7pm.

This church is a short walk from the Pantheon (which you were probably going to visit already), and the church faces the Piazza di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola, which is also worth seeing.

Interior of the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Interior of the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is an archaeological site about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Rome. It used to be the seaport of ancient Rome, but because of silting, the site now lies 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the sea.

Ostia Antica is known for the exceptional preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes, and impressive mosaics.

Because Ostia Antica is so close to Rome, it makes for a great half-day trip. By car, Ostia Antica is less than an hour’s drive from Rome. There is the modern-day town of Ostia near the archaeological site, so make sure you’ve programmed your GPS for Ostia Antica.

Ruins of Ostia Antica - lesser-known places you need to visit in rome
Ruins of Ostia Antica

Via public transportation, it takes less than an hour to get to Ostia Antica. You take the metro line B and get off at Piramide. Then take the Roma Lido commuter train to Ostia Antica and the site’s a ten-minute walk from there.

Click here for updated entry fees and hours.

You can also do a guided tour from Rome. Here are links for a few tour options:

Ponte Umberto I

Ponte Sant’Angelo is arguably the most famous bridge with views of Saint Peter’s Basilica. But if you go one bridge to the East, to Ponte Umberto I, you get the same views of the basilica while getting to see the Ponte Sant’Angelo as well.

Ponte Umberto I is a five minute walk from the Piazza Navona and the Ponte Sant’Angelo.

View of Saint Peter’s Basilica from the Ponte Umberto I - lesser-known places you need to visit in rome
View of Saint Peter’s Basilica from the Ponte Umberto I

Lesser-known places you need to visit in Rome

So here you go, some lesser-known places you need to visit in Rome. Of course, you should also visit the well-known sights. But if you have some time left over or just want to escape the crowds, go to these places!

Lucy on Locale

Lucy from Lucy on Locale is a traveler and photographer. She travels and makes all these amazing pictures! All these pictures are made by Lucy and I am so jealous of them!

Check out her site, Instagram, and Facebook for more amazing posts from her!

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lesser-known places you need to visit in rome
lesser-known places you need to visit in rome
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