Five Perfectly Hidden Corners of Rome

by Andy Steves

You've ventured to the Eternal City, known for its incredible history, cuisine, and people, but how do you get off the beaten path and make your time in Rome truly memorable? Experienced travelers can help. These places are a compilation of some favorite corners of the city!

A Colorful Sunset in Rome.
A Colorful Sunset in Rome. Photo by Andy Steves

1. Gianicolo Hill - One of the best kept secrets in the city is the view from the top of Gianicolo Hill as the sun sets. Hike up from the Vatican or from the other side of the hill near the student neighborhood, Trastevere, and find yourself peering across history as you see the Colosseum, Forum, and Pantheon from your perch. It is a great spot to spent hours sketching or journaling, getting lost in the real beauty of Rome.

2. La Casa Del Caffe - A corner spot in the shadow of the Pantheon makes one favorite Roman treat, granita di cafe, an authentic Frappucino with rich iced coffee topped with fresh cream. Wow! Your taste buds with enjoy this treat while people watching in the square, taking in the pace of Italian life.

3. Miscellanea - A home away from home, you can find well-traveled, Rome-lovers at Mikki's, or Miscellaneas, almost every night. Whether showing friends around, celebrating a birthday, or grabbing a quick snack, travelers keep coming back to Mikki's in the Pantheon square. Owned by a rather rotund man named Mikki, this place is a solid bet for a good meal and great friends. The staff will treat you like family and make sure you leave satisfied (tell them Andy Steves sent you, and you'll get a 5 course, unlimited wine feast for a steal! Don't forget to try the sexy wine…).

4. Piazza Navona - When you're looking for an authentic night out, the winding streets around Navona are just the ticket. Get lost weaving through the squares, taking in the crowds of young Italians spilling from bars onto the streets, catch an aperitivo drink and endless snack buffet spread, and party until the sun comes up. This is the place to see and be seen, so get ready for a taste of the real Roma!

5. Trastevere - Just across from Ponte Sisto and the Tiber is the gem of the city. Trastevere has grown up as a student neighborhood and is now one of the best kept secrets in the city. From great hole in the wall restaurants, to beautiful squares and picturesque churches, you could spend days here and still leave wanting more. For a great meal, visit Dar Poeta or Carlo Menta. For delicious gelato, Old Bridge is a great bet. For a fun drink, Almalu's Harry Potter drink is notorious. For pizza to go, stop by La Boccaccia.