Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome



When one thinks of Rome, iconic landmarks such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Trevi Fountain immediately come to mind. While these popular attractions are undoubtedly awe-inspiring, the Eternal City has much more to offer beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. In this guide, we will explore non-touristy things to do in Rome, providing you with a unique and authentic experience of this historically rich city.

Explore Trastevere’s Narrow Streets

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

Trastevere, located on the west bank of the Tiber River, is a charming and bohemian neighborhood that offers a delightful escape from the bustling tourist areas. Wander through its narrow cobblestone streets, adorned with colorful buildings and lined with local trattorias and artisan shops. Trastevere provides a genuine Roman atmosphere and is an ideal spot to savor authentic Italian cuisine away from the tourist crowds.

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Visit the Aventine Keyhole

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

For a unique and enchanting view of St. Peter’s Basilica, head to the Aventine Hill. The Aventine Keyhole, located in the Priory of the Knights of Malta, frames the iconic dome of St. Peter’s Basilica perfectly. This hidden gem is a secret among locals, and finding it feels like discovering a hidden treasure.

Bike Along the Appian Way

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

Step away from the crowded city center and embark on a journey along the ancient Appian Way. Rent a bike and pedal through the picturesque countryside, passing ancient ruins, Roman tombs, and scenic landscapes. The Appian Way offers a peaceful and historically rich alternative to the bustling urban experience.

Discover the Hidden Art of Quartiere Coppedè

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

Quartiere Coppedè is a whimsical and lesser-known neighborhood that boasts a unique blend of architectural styles. Located near Villa Borghese, this hidden gem features fantastical buildings adorned with intricate mosaics, sculptures, and Art Nouveau designs. Take a leisurely stroll through its enchanting streets to discover the artistic secrets that lie off the beaten path.

Attend a Performance at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

While Rome is renowned for its historical sites, it also has a vibrant cultural scene. Escape the crowds and indulge in an evening of opera or ballet at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. This historic venue offers a sophisticated and artistic experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural richness.

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Relax at the Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci)

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at the Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine Hill. This peaceful garden provides a stunning panoramic view of Rome, with the iconic dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the background. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, relax on a bench, and savor the tranquility of this hidden oasis.

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Savor Authentic Roman Street Food

Non-Touristy Things To Do in Rome

While Rome is famous for its traditional cuisine, the true essence of Roman street food is often overlooked. Venture beyond the tourist areas to indulge in local favorites like supplì (fried rice balls), trapizzino (pizza pocket with various fillings), and a classic Roman-style pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) from a neighborhood bakery.

Rome’s magic extends far beyond its tourist-laden attractions. By venturing off the beaten path, you can uncover the city’s hidden gems, experience authentic Roman life, and create memories that go beyond the typical tourist experience. Embrace the local culture, explore lesser-known neighborhoods, and savor the beauty of Rome in a more intimate and personal way.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rome’s Hidden Gems

Q: What are some hidden gems in Rome that are not often visited by tourists?

A: There are several hidden gems in Rome that offer a unique experience away from the tourist crowds. Some examples include Trastevere, a charming neighborhood with narrow streets and authentic trattorias; the Aventine Keyhole, providing a magical view of St. Peter’s Basilica; Quartiere Coppedè, a whimsical area known for its unique architectural styles; and the Appian Way, an ancient road offering a peaceful bike ride through Roman countryside.

Q: How can I explore Trastevere like a local?

A: To explore Trastevere like a local, take leisurely strolls through its narrow cobblestone streets, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of local markets, and dine at authentic trattorias known for serving traditional Roman cuisine. Trastevere is an excellent place to savor the genuine local lifestyle and escape the more touristy areas of the city.

Q: What is the Aventine Keyhole, and where can I find it?

A: The Aventine Keyhole is a hidden gem located on the Aventine Hill, specifically within the Priory of the Knights of Malta. To find it, head to the Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta and look for the green door. Through the keyhole, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking view of St. Peter’s Basilica perfectly framed by the surrounding gardens.

Q: Can you recommend some off-the-beaten-path activities in Rome for a unique experience?

A: Certainly! Apart from the mentioned hidden gems, consider exploring the artistic Quartiere Coppedè, renting a bike to ride along the ancient Appian Way, attending a performance at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for a cultural experience, and relaxing at the peaceful Giardino degli Aranci on the Aventine Hill. These activities provide a more intimate and authentic taste of Rome.

Q: Where can I find authentic Roman street food in the city?

A: To savor authentic Roman street food, venture beyond the tourist hotspots. Look for local bakeries and street vendors in neighborhoods away from the city center. Try supplì, fried rice balls; trapizzino, a pizza pocket with various fillings; and classic Roman-style pizza al taglio, available at neighborhood bakeries serving slices of pizza. These hidden culinary delights offer a genuine taste of Rome.

Q: How can I avoid the crowds while exploring Rome’s hidden gems?

A: To avoid crowds while exploring hidden gems in Rome, consider visiting attractions during off-peak hours, such as early mornings or weekdays. Explore neighborhoods like Trastevere and Quartiere Coppedè during quieter times, and opt for less popular but equally charming spots. Additionally, planning your itinerary to include a mix of well-known and lesser-known attractions can help you enjoy a more relaxed experience in the Eternal City.


In conclusion, Rome’s hidden gems offer a treasure trove of experiences for those seeking to venture off the beaten path and discover the city’s authentic charm. From the enchanting streets of Trastevere to the magical view through the Aventine Keyhole, each hidden gem provides a unique and intimate encounter with the rich history and culture of the Eternal City.

Exploring Quartiere Coppedè’s artistic wonders, cycling along the ancient Appian Way, attending a performance at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and unwinding in the serene Giardino degli Aranci are opportunities to escape the tourist crowds and immerse oneself in the true spirit of Rome.

For those looking to savor the flavors of the city, sampling authentic Roman street food in local neighborhoods adds an extra layer of authenticity to the culinary journey. By embracing these non-touristy activities, visitors can create lasting memories and a deeper connection with the heart and soul of Rome, far beyond the iconic landmarks that often dominate tourist itineraries. So, step off the well-trodden path, explore the hidden gems, and let Rome unveil its secrets in a way that only a truly curious and adventurous traveler can experience.

In another related article, Best Places to Visit in Rome

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