4 Off-the-Beaten-Path Tours in Rome

By: James Stafford

Sure, Rome has become synonomous with world-famous sights—such as the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, and the Great Roman Forum. However, much of the mystique and beauty of the Eternal City lies in the hidden nooks and crannies of the city that lie tucked away off the beaten tourist paths. So don’t be afraid to leave the comfort of your hotel in the shadow of the Spanish Steps, and escape to Rome’s surrounding villages and forgotten districts…


1. Trastevere

Tucked away behind the Tiber, Trastevere is a maze of narrow winding streets that wrap themselves around trendy clubs and hidden history of merchant times that date back 2500 years past.

Trastevere italy

2. Testaccio

This once merchant port is littered with ancient ruins. Today, a lively spot for young club kids, you can get funky after savoring an organ meat dish that’s considered “authentically Roman”.

marcovarro / Shutterstock.com
marcovarro / Shutterstock.com

3. Villa d’Este

Imagine strolling through regal gardens while birds fly overhead and a splendid estate sprawls out in the distance. This is a daily reality at Villa d’Este, the formal mansion and historic garden grounds that hearken back to the splendor of the Renaissance. You’ll be surprised by this magical garden at every turn, thanks to the whimsical paths, musical fountains, stunning statues and frescoes, and cool waterfalls.

Villa d'Este rome

4. Hadrian’s Villa

Although it’s a one-hour trek, you won’t be disappointed if you take the trip to the small village of Tivoli to Hadrian’s Villa, built during the second century by the Emperor Hadrian as his regal retreat from the bustling capital. Dip your toes in the true luxury that was once only reserved to emperors as you explore the over 250-acres of marble paths, and 30 ancient buildings that make up palaces, theaters, libraries, baths, temples, and private quarters.

Hadrian's Villa rome