Rome hidden gems: the ultimate guide – part 4

If you missed part 3 of this Hidden Gems Guide, click on this link: Rome Hidden Gems: the Ultimate Guide – part 3

Now let’s continue with the fourth part!

28) Michelangelo’s house

Michelangelo spent many years of his life in Rome, during which he made some of the eternal masterpieces that we are still so lucky to admire today. Think of the Sistine chapel, the Pietà, the dome of St Peter..

But the question is, where is the place where he rested after working at those wonders, where did he sleep over some new ideas, where did he spent his life in Rome?

Here you have the answer 😉

📍Passeggiata del Gianicolo

29) The Virgo Aqueduct inside a department store

What happens when you enter the Rinascente department store? After scrolling hundreds of designer handbags, shoes, kitchenware and bikinis you find yourself in front of an ancient Roman wall! That wall has arches, and looks like an ancient Roman aqueduct: the Virgo aqueduct! Imagine, this massive infrastructure starts in Salone (east of Rome) and still today ends its journey in a glorious exhibit that we all know: the Trevi fountain!

Have you ever found ancient ruins between the lanes of a shopping mall? 😜

📍Rinascente department store. Via del Tritone, 61

Discover how to get here and how to combine the Aqueduct ruins with other hidden gems around the area with our Off-the-beaten-path Video Guide of Rome

30) Vicus Caprarius

This is a mind blowing tour of the underground layer of Rome! We are few steps away to the Trevi fountain and here we will discover where all of the water of the most famous fountain of Rome comes from!

In fact, this is where the water tank of the Aqua Virgo is, one of the most ancient Roman Aqueducts. This aqueduct was built by Agrippa (right-hand man of Augustus) in 19BC to provide water to his Thermal Baths. The thermal baths of Agrippa were the first public thermal baths of Rome! It is amazing to imagine that the aqueduct feeding the first thermal baths of Rome, today provide water to some of the most beautiful fountains of the city: Trevi fountain, Barcaccia fountain in Spanish Steps, the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona and more.. Rome once again proves us that it is not just a beautiful city on the surface, but also underground! 🙂

📍Vicolo del Puttarello, 25

31) Domus Aurea

Among all the archaeological sites, this is one of those who simply stole my heart.

The Domus Aurea of Nero was built after the great fire of Rome on the year 64AD. Even though scholars in recent years are agreeing more and more to the fact that Nero had very little to do with that fire that destroyed the city, he has always been associated with that.

Probably he simply had a bad timing.. certainly building such an extraordinaire lush villa right after and where the great fire happened could be easily felt as something fishy at the time. Nonetheless Nero can be considered the patron of an architectural revolution with no precedents.

📍Via della Domus Aurea, 1

32) Caravaggio’s paintings in the Church of St Agostino

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The Madonna of the Pilgrims by Caravaggio

We are in the church of Sant’Agostino in the center of Rome and this is defending one of those churches where you must go in and have a look around! As you enter, look at your left. At the very end you will find the Madonna of the Pilgrims by Caravaggio!

📍Piazza di S. Agostino

33) Caravaggio’s paintings in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi

A priceless treasure that you don’t expect to find by simply entering into a church..

Three (not only one!!) paintings of Caravaggio standing there, for you to admire by simply walking in. No tickets, no queues. Caravaggio painted three phases of the life of the gospel writer Matthew: the call of God, the inspiration and the martyrdom.

Everything painted in an extraordinary realism, it almost feels like the characters could jump out of the paintings!

📍Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. Piazza di S. Luigi de’ Francesi

34) 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

35) Passeggiata del Gelsomino

Only share this place with someone special 🤫😜

Have you ever been to the Passeggiata del Gelsomino? The name literally translates into Jasmine stroll, because of the Jasmine plants on the side, which feel the air with a beautiful fragrance. How to reach this hidden gem with views of St Peter in the Vatican? You simply need to enter the train station Roma -San Pietro, then head to platform number 1. When upstairs you keep walking along the platform until a beautiful view opens up over St Peter’s dome.

Who would have thought that a train station would hide such a precious gem? 😉

📍Platform 1. Roma-San Pietro train station

36) The perspective illusions of the church of St Ignatius

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The ceiling looks like it’s broken and we can see the sky from here!

You literally won’t believe your eyes!

This is the church of Sant’ Ignazio di Loyola, a Jesuit church inaugurated in 1626, only a few steps away from the Pantheon.

When you enter and look up to the ceiling, you feel disoriented.. is that ceiling open? Which cornice is real and which one is painted? Is the dome a real dome?

Andrea Pozzo, who painted the ceiling, would be so proud of your confusion. He put together very sophisticated mathematical calculations in order to fool the human eye. And he’s been fooling visitors’ eyes since 400 years..

📍Via del Caravita, 8a

Be sure to read part 5

To read the third part of this Hidden Gems of Rome Guide, click on this link: Rome hidden gems: the ultimate guide – part 5

Map of the hidden gems of Rome by Live Virtual Guide

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Written by Federica

Creative director of Live Virtual Guide. Her favorite things are gelato, pizza and the hidden gems of Rome.
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