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POV: You find yourself in the center of the Rome, after being there about 200 times, and suddenly feel like there’s nothing new for you to see.
That’s why I am here for. To tell you that no one in Rome can say “I’ve seen it all”. Quite impossible I would say.
There’s always something new around the corner. Also in the most beaten areas of the city.
Let me show you these 7 mind-blowing Rome hidden gems that you can find only few steps away from Piazza Venezia.
Looking for something new to see elsewhere in the city? Check out our Ultimate Hidden Gems Guide!
Hidden Gems nearby Piazza Venezia in Rome
How many of these have you ticked off your bucket list?
1) Galleria Colonna
We are in an oasis of peace in the hectic heart of Rome. We are in Palazzo Colonna, a palace belonging to the Colonna family since the Middle Ages and still inhabited by them today!
But who are the Colonna’s?
You need to know that in Rome through the centuries there has been a lot of noble families, and each one of them had their family palace. The biggest one is the magnificent Palazzo Colonna!
The Colonna’s have been such an important family for the history of Rome. To give you an example, Pope Martino V was a Colonna.
He was the Pope that brought back to Rome the Pope seat in the 1400s. The Pope seat in fact had been for almost 100 years in Avignon, France. This means that Rome returned being an important city and raised from its ashes thanks to that.
What would Rome look like if Martino V wouldn’t have done that? Certainly very different!
📍Via della Pilotta, 17
Read also: 3 highlights of the Colonna Gallery in Rome
2) The secret garden in Palazzo Venezia
If you have been to Rome already, you have probably walked past it without noticing it. This secret garden is located in an inner courtyard inside Palazzo Venezia.
It is incredible to find out that in the middle of one of the busiest and most chaotic areas of the city, you can still find a piece of heaven to relax.
A perfect place to have a break between visits and tours in the city 😉
📍Via del Plebiscito, 118
3) The insula of Ara Coeli
No one ever notices this when walking around Piazza Venezia 😭
I do a lot of live virtual tours around this area and every time I am here I see people giving nothing more than a quick glance to this marvel..
This is the insula (Latin word for ancient Roman apartment building) of Ara Coeli. A six-storey high building that looked not so different from our modern condominiums today!
You’re probably surprised to find out Ancient Rome had apartment buildings, but think about it: if in the 2nd century Rome had over 1million inhabitants, where did all those people leave??!
This is the only apartment building still surviving today in such good shape in the city of Rome, and that is also because it was reutilized.. as a church!
We can see traces of that church thanks to that fresco depicting a Christian scene. The church was moved somewhere else in the 1930s and this building was uncovered to show what is left today of it.
📍Piazza d’Aracoeli, 1
We show you this ancient Roman building during our live-streamed guided tour: Virtual Walk through Ancient Rome ruins. Check it out!
4) Chiesa del Gesù
The Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù, in Italian) is the mother church of the Jesuit order, whose founder was Ignazio di Loyola.
Something beautiful happens every day at 5:30PM in Rome. Watch the video above to find out what happens 😉
📍Via degli Astalli, 16
5) Panoramic view from the stairs of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli
While on the Capitoline hill (Campidoglio), enter the church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli. Enjoy the views inside, and then walk out towards the main facade.
From up here you can get one of the most beautiful views of Rome (and escape the crowds).
📍Scala dell’Arce Capitolina, 12
6) Piazzale Caffarelli
Do you like those peaceful and hidden corners in the middle of Rome’s hectic life? This is another one.
Climb up the stairs of the Capitoline hill, have a look at the beautiful square designed by Michelangelo, but then make a right. You will end up in Piazzale Caffarelli, a beautiful terrace with views over the skyline of Rome.
Best enjoyed during sunsets 😉
7) Crypta Balbi
A few steps away from the location where Caesar was assassinated, you can find a one of those Rome hidden gems that will surprise you.
The Crypta Balbi is where all the layers of the Roman history come together in one single place! What I like to call a “lasagna of history”.
What was the Crypta Balbi? Despite the name, Crypta Balbi was not a crypt.
It was actually a portico running around an outdoor square. This square was located right next to the Theatre of Balbo. The Crypta Balbi was the place where the spectators used to take shelter in case of rain, or where they were spending their time in the breaks during the plays.
In Ancient Rome the word “crypt” was used to refer also to an area covered with a portico. The term “crypt” was later used by the Christians to refer to the area which is usually below the altar of a church. Today the Crypta Balbi is underground, but this is only because of the ground level that has been raised through the centuries. Originally the Crypta Balbi was on the street level.
Want to know more about it? Read this: Crypta Balbi: a secret underground Rome
📍Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 31