Sign up for our FREE Online Italian Culture Workshop


Tours & Experiences

Make your Italian Dream Vacation a Reality

Discover Rome’s Hidden Gems: Secret Spots Part 1

Rome, the Eternal City, needs no introduction. It is home to world-famous landmarks like the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Pantheon. So it’s easy to see why millions of travelers flock to this enchanting destination every year. Yet, amidst the well-trodden paths and popular tourist spots, Rome holds a treasure trove of hidden gems and they’re waiting to be explored! In this blog, we want to share with you our top picks for the most fascinating hidden gems of the Eternal City. You’ll get to discover some of Rome’s hidden gems. Read on and embark on a journey of unveiling the lesser known, yet equally captivating, aspects of Rome that will leave you mesmerized.

1. Aventine Hill: The Keyhole Surprise

The Aventine Hill, the southernmost of Rome’s seven hills, remains an understated delight. Away from the crowds, this tranquil spot offers breath-taking views of Rome. It’s ideal for a quiet moment of reflection as you walk through beautiful orange gardens that lead to an amazing panoramic view of the city.

But the true hidden gem lies within the Priory of the Knights of Malta. It’s a few steps to the right of the orange gardens. You will find a small, unassuming green door on the Priory’s property that holds an enchanting secret. Peer through the keyhole, and you’ll be treated to a picture-perfect view of St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s framed by a perfectly manicured garden, and will be a truly unforgettable experience. You won’t believe your eyes!

It has become somewhat of a semi-secret for travelers. We advise visiting it in the evening, or night-time to avoid the lines. It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss! You’ll be sure to truly discover Rome’s hidden gems with this one!

2. Domus Aurea: Nero’s Golden Palace

Domus Aurea

The Colosseum may steal the show, but a hidden gem lies just nearby. Domus Aurea or Nero’s Golden House. Discovered in the 15th century, this opulent palace showcases the extravagant tastes of Emperor Nero. Venture into the underground chambers adorned with intricate frescoes, and imagine the grandeur that once existed in this remarkable villa.

3. Quartiere Coppedè

Discover Rome’s hidden Gems: Quartier Coppede

Amidst the classic Roman architecture, the Quartiere Coppedè is a whimsical and much lesser-known neighborhood. It feels like a page out of a fairy tale! This enchanting square is one of Rome’s greatest, and most architecturally stimulating gems.  Designed by architect Gino Coppedè in the early 20th century, and this artistic enclave features an enrapturing blend of styles. This includes Art Nouveau, Baroque, Gothic, and Medieval.

Each building in this neighborhood boasts unique and intricate details. This makes it a photographer’s dream and a great place to stop and unleash your imagination. Coppedè is found in the local neighborhood of Trieste Solario, just outside of the city center. You can reach it by buses (63, 86, 92, 630) or trams (3, 19). These stop in Viale Liegi, Piazza Buenos Aries, Via Po or Via Tagliamento.

4. The Trastevere Neighborhood: Bohemian Appeal Meets Traditional Charm

Just cross the Tiber River, and walk into the lively neighborhood of Trastevere. There you will find an authentic, funky, bohemian atmosphere mixed with centuries-old charm. The name Trastevere is derived from Latin trans Tiberium, meaning ‘beyond the Tiber.’ Mazes of cobble-stoned streets lead to winding alleys filled with ivy-covered buildings, traditional family-owned-and-operated trattorias, pizzerias, artisan shops and craft beer pubs.


Discover The Trastevere Neighborhood

In recent years innovative gourmet restaurants have also started to pop up. It’s our favorite place for an after-dinner passeggiata (walk or stroll that nearly all Italians must do after eating!). There are numerous places to stay as well, be it B&Bs to smaller hotels. At night a young crowd occupies the vicoletti (small streets).

For wine enthusiasts, don’t miss Enoteca Ferrara and experience some of the city’s best selection of Italian wines. The sommelier will advise you and pair your wine with delectable homemade appetizers. We recommend trying the mouth-watering Carciofo alla Giudia (fried Artichoke).

Other Sites in the Area

For a cheeky tourist experience that you may not find in any guidebook, stop by this unique old book shop turned shot bar, Rivendita Libri, Cicoccolata e Vino. Delicious shots served in shot glasses made of chocolate with names that will make you blush! They will show you how to take the shots (from the bottom up!) and we guarantee that you’ll leave laughing! Truly a fun experience, and perfect for your after-dinner aperitif. It is located on Viccolo de’Cinque, 11 in Trastevere.

For a calmer, less-crowded vibe, cross the main road, Viale di Trastevere, to the ‘dark side’ of Trastevere. Here you will find delicious restaurants, more space to wander about, and lesser known (and less crowded) pubs, cocktail bars and boutiques. We highly recommend going to the dark side of Trastevere. We only call it that because it is decorated with dim, orange-tinted streetlights, giving you a bit of a break from the lively piazzas across the road.

5. Gianicolo Hill (Janiculum Hill)

Surprisingly not part of the Seven Hills of Rome since it lies beyond the Tiber River and just outside of the ancient city. Discover the hidden gem that is Janiculum Hill, the second highest hill in Rome. The amazing panoramic overlook will take your breath away. Gianicolo is well-known amongst locals, located in the Monteverde neighborhood of Rome. It’s adjacent to Trastevere and Vatican City. University students attending AUR (American University of Rome) are also familiar with it, as their campus is nearby.

I have been here at sunset many times, and the view is always astounding.  Piazza Garibaldi offers an unobstructed view of the city’s domes and rooftops, creating a breath-taking sight. There are long, short walls lining the piazza (square). There you can sit and see the city from above and take in a view you won’t find anywhere else.

The main piazza is decorated with a few walking paths, a small park and historic monuments. These are dedicated to those who fought for the unification of Rome. Especially the grand equestrian statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi found right in the center of Gianicolo Square. It’s an amazing off-the-beaten track gem.

Final Thoughts

Rome’s hidden spots are a testament to the city’s layered history and the wealth of experiences it offers beyond the well-known hotspots. As you explore these captivating secrets, you’ll not only witness Rome’s eternal charm, but also develop a profound appreciation for its lesser-known stories. We hope you have enjoyed learning about our favorite hidden gems.

Want more? Discover Rome’s hidden gems in part 2 of this blog, and you learn about 5 more secret spots! Venture off the beaten path and embrace the mysteries waiting to be discovered in the Eternal City. Your journey of awe and wonder awaits! If you are planning to visit Rome, then let us create a personalized itinerary just for you. We’ll arrange everything you’d love to see and do on your Italian vacation.

Book a Free Consultation with one of our travel experts. You can get more information about private walking tours, food and wine tours, cooking classes, and private car services that take you to see the best views of the city. Already been to Rome? We can customize your Italian dream vacation to visit other regions like Tuscany, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily. Visit Immersive Italy for more information.


Christopher JohnsonChristopher Johnson
23:09 30 Jan 24
Mark and Tiffany did an excellent job planning my trip to Italy. The attention to detail was on point and helped make a truly incredible and memorable experience. Their knowledge of the language, culture and everything in between was truly superior and I'd highly recommend Immersive Italy Tours to anyone looking for a great adventure!
Charm CleaningCharm Cleaning
17:08 23 Jan 24
Mark and Tiffany did such an amazing job helping me plan my trip to Italy last year! They were very professional and took the time to listen to everything that I wanted to do in Italy.They were super helpful with every step of the planning process and I felt ZERO stress when I was preparing for the trip. This was the most memorable trip of my life and thank you again Mark and Tiffany!!!I recommend that you 100% hire them to book your tripod Italy.
Nicole RomanNicole Roman
21:24 16 Jan 24
Tiffany has helped plan two trips to Italy so far, and both times we had an excellent experience! Her knowledge of the region is remarkable, and she was very attentive to our needs. Our first trip was spent in Rome, Florence and Venice, with a trip to the Vatican. The second trip was to Sorrento and Positano. Both trips were so memorable, thanks in large part to Tiffany's masterful planning! We will definitely be using Immersive Italy again in the future!
Monica McQueenMonica McQueen
15:53 26 Oct 23
Mark & Tiffany did such a fabulous job - I cannot recommend them enough (in fact, I've told everyone I can about them). I used them to plan my 50th Birthday Girls' Trip, as I've never been to Europe. I'm an event planner with very high standards for details, and they both made my trip experience so relaxing, from buying all the train tickets to arranging private tours and drivers, to knowing where we needed to spend extra time and the order of seeing the cities and which restaurants and bars to go to. I especially appreciated their tremendous support with little things while we were there - I actually never thought we'd hear from them while there, due to the time difference, but they were so attentive, making sure we got where we needed to be at all traveling points. Beyond that, they're extraordinarily nice people, and we felt like they were part of our trip family. They paid attention to all of my 'wish list' items (cooking classes, winery tours/tastings, boat trips, food tours) and created a completely over-the-top feeling, custom trip and for much less than I would have thought it would cost. They went above and beyond every step of the way, and I can't wait until I can plan another trip with their help.
Colleen OmanColleen Oman
23:24 26 Jul 23
Mark and Tiffany did an exceptional job planning and organizing our trip…. Highly recommend using their services!
Am NorgrenAm Norgren
00:13 21 Jul 23
I learned about Immersive Italy Tours while I was recently traveling in Italy, and I'm glad I did! Mark shared an outline of experiences and detailed recommendations for the area I was visiting, and it saved me tons of time that I would have spent searching. Highly recommend!
Bill MurphyBill Murphy
15:33 15 Jul 23
Mark and Tiffany planned an amazing trip for us! Their professionalism and attention to detail made our trip such a memorable experience. The travel was seamless and very easy. Definitely hire Immersive Italy to plan your trip.
Kim PanzanaroKim Panzanaro
20:50 29 Jun 23
Tiffany and Mark were amazing! They helped us plan our trip from NY to Rome, Florence, Ischia, and sorrento! They set up all of our travel plans within italy on the high speed trains and ferry to and from ischia. The excisions they arranged we awesome! The private day trip to Tuscany was an absolute dream with lunch at a winery and visits to Siena and San Gimignano. We had a private boat to take us out for the day around Capri that was the best! Can’t wait to go back and do it all again, with immersive Italy’s help, of course!
Kate KennedyKate Kennedy
22:28 19 Jun 23
Our family vacation was an absolutely amazing, fully customized, unique Italian experience thanks to Immersive Italy! There’s so much to do and see there — it’s so exciting, but it can feel overwhelming when planning — that’s why we were so thankful to have expert guidance every step of the way. From coordinating our overall itinerary, train travel and professional ground transportation to specially selected tours — each experience went smoothly and took the stress out of the logistics so we could enjoy each moment. It was refreshing to know if we needed help during our trip, the team was extremely communicative and available to offer personalized assistance. We loved our private tours of some of the top tourist attractions, including: the Vatican, Colosseum and Pompeii. The English speaking guides were passionate, knowledgeable and friendly — and skipping the massively long lines to walk right in was so worth it! We especially enjoyed our private wine tour in Tuscany and day trip boating excursion to Capri — unbelievably special, amazing experiences! Huge thanks to Immersive Italy for memories that will last a lifetime.