As a girl that spends a quarter of her time in Rome, I need to share with you five beautiful, magical and less known places that you can visit next time you plan your trip in the ancient capital of Bella Italia. That is not to say you should ignore the rest of thousands of iconic places and buildings of Rome, but the Colosseum is kind of hard to not come across VERY easily.

  1.       Giardino degli Aranci (Orange Trees Garden)

This is my number one favourite place, and not because I shared a stunning kiss right here, but because it has a breath-taking view of the Tevere river, as well as…. well, a big part of Rome. You can literally admire this artistic city in all its splendor, and you can take very stylish photos here so that you will always remember sunny warm days in a dreamy city. The garden is about 7,800 square meters and is located on the Aventine Hill and was designed in 1932 by Raffaele De Vico. If you are curious about the name, it comes from the fact that many bitter orange trees grow there. I know, very innovative name.

  1.       Serratura (The Aventine Keyhole)

This semi-secret peephole vista is also a former Crusader stronghold. An unremarkable green door at the end of a cul-de-sac features a spectacularly well-framed, if comically tiny, view of the dome of St. Peter’s perfectly situated in the center. The doorway in question leads to the Priory of the Knights of Malta, the legendary crusader knights, and religious order. Although the property has been in their hands for centuries, the site has seen many occupants. It originally held a fortified palace belonging to Alberico II, the ruler of Rome from 932-954,and then became a Benedictine monastery. The Knights Templar in the 1100s owned the place, then in the 1400s it was the property of the Knights of Malta.  As it holds extraterritorial status, it is not technically “Italy” within the walls. The keyhole vista lines up perfectly with the garden, centered on the Vatican in the distance. No one seems to be able to say with certainty whether this was a beautifully planned peepshow—or just a lucky coincidence.

  1.       Cinecittà

Or the Broadway of Rome, is a large film studio in Rome, Italy. With an area of 400,000 square metres, it is actually the largest film studio in Europe and is considered the hub of Italian cinema. The studios were constructed during the Fascist era as part of a plan to revive the Italian film industry. Filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Mel Gibson have worked at Cinecittà. More than 3,000 movies have been filmed there, of which 90 received an Academy Award nomination and 47 of these won it. Pretty impressive! You can take a walk on the streets of this neighbourhood, and you will see stars with famous actors’ names in them on the ground, really magical and definitely cool.

  1.       Quartiere Garbatella (Garbatella Neighbourhood)

For some real and authentic atmosphere of Rome go to this quarter of Rome which was planned and constructed some exact 101 years ago. What makes Garbatella so intriguing is its distinctive design. This Rome neighbourhood was modeled on the garden city suburbs that were popular in England in the early 20th century, creating a particularly unique style of architecture and sense of community. But from its humble origins, Garbatella has grown into one of Rome’s culture centers, with art.  An iconic landmark of Quartiere Garbatella is The Teatro Palladium. It opened as a cinema in the mid-1920s but is now managed by the University of Roma Tre and has a full line-up of dramatic and musical performances. After the pandemic, you can check the schedule online to plan a night out with seats on the second-level balcony inside the retro theatre. Figo!

  1.       Sacripante – Gallery & Cocktail Bar

Your girl here did not forget you maybe wanna have some fun while having a break. In Italy, it is a must to have an Aperitivo, which basically means drinking a slightly alcoholic drink (usually Aperol Spritz) while eating some snacks, like Prosciutto crudo with delicious bread. This exquisite bar will allow you to not only discover a wonderful area, Monti, but to also enjoy drinks with art. Built into the bones of an old convent, Sacripante strives to mix the old with the new, just like the very essence of its neighbourhood.  As you step inside this dual art gallery and bar, you pass by the old stone walls on which hang modern paintings and photographs made by local artists. It’s divided into small rooms, their interiors designed by an innovative Italian architect, and each boasts comfortable couches and gentle light that create a feeling of perfect intimacy.  Take a seat at the bar, and you’ll feel transported to another place, to an older time, with Sacripante’s range of cocktails reminiscent of a 1920s American speakeasy. Order a classic drink, or if you are feeling daring and creative–like the art that hangs around you– try one of their signature drinks. I recommend going to Monti at night, so you can also enjoy the romantic view.

I hope my small guide will help you dream of your next vacation, whenever that will be! And don’t forget to enjoy life, be romantic and have fun! Stay safe guys!

 

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Travel Editor 2020-21

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