6 Secret Spots in Rome City Center Only Locals Know About!

Secret Spots in Rome City Center

If you are planning a trip to Rome, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy (and in the whole world), you should know that there are still some amazing hidden gems to be discovered, other than the most popular spots we all know about!

I lived in Rome for 2 years and I keep coming back every time I have the chance, always discovering new secret spots. 

Today I decided to share with you my 6 favorite secret spots in Rome, so you can really experience the city from a local perspective too, and this is priceless! Along with the actual names and the explanations I actually went ahead and took step-by-step pictures on how to get there so it’s easier for you to recognize it visually, just go right on the carousel to see the next pic. 

All the spots I am going to be talking about are located in the city center, so you don’t need to go anywhere far, how cool is that?

Let’s start!

If you are in a hurry 

If you don’t have time to read all the posts, check out my favorite 3 secret spots in Rome, that you should really NOT miss:

  1. Rooftop from Capitol museum – for the best views
  2. Villa Aldobrandini secret park – to chill
  3. Aqueduct under Fontana di Trevi – to take a break

Here’s a map for you to have a general idea about where all the best-hidden gems in Rome are located:

1. Go underneath the Fontana di Trevi to see the original aqueduct!

Aqueduct Fontana di Trevi Secret spots in Rome

Right beneath the famous Trevi fountain, and under the whole Trevi district in general, there is an ancient aqueduct. For those who don’t know, aqueducts are underwater channels that bring water from outside sources to cities and were commonly used in Ancient Rome.

This archaeological site dates back to the first century and was opened to the public in 2005. 

Alongside the flowing aqueduct itself, there is a museum called Vicus Caprarius which displays terra-cotta figurines, African pottery, mosaic tiles, and over 800 coins, so you’ll get a glimpse of how the homes of ancient upper-class Romans were! 

To know more about the place’s history, you can get a (pretty cool) audio guide with a map and a pen; you just have to press on your location on the map with the pen and it will talk!

But what makes this hidden gem particularly special, is that the water still runs through it: this aqueduct is actually the one that feeds into the Trevi Fountain, so the water you see in the aqueduct will eventually end up in the fountain. 

So, if you didn’t manage to drop a coin in the fountain and you really wanted to, this is your chance to do it here!

The aqueduct is fresh, cool, and not crowded at all, so it’s the perfect place to take a break from the heat and tourist crowds, plus they have a toilet (which we all know is a big plus when traveling) and a disabled access entrance too!

PRICE: €4 to enter, +  €3,5 audio guide if you want

This amazing secret spot is only 1 min walk from Fontana, scroll through the carousel images below to see how to get there:

2. Have a drink at a rooftop bar with a view of Fontana di Trevi

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Since you are in the area of the Trevi Fountain, why not find a nice place to relax with a view? If you want to take a break from all the visiting you’ll do in the eternal city, I have the perfect secret spot for you: Trevi RoofTop bar

The bar is located on the 3rd floor, just walk through the indoor part of the bar and straight to the outdoor balcony… from here you’ll have the best views of the Trevi fountain!

This super cute rooftop bar is not that big, and has a little couch area and a few small tables so you can enjoy a cocktail or a coffee away from the crowds! 

PRO TIP: If the spots at the edge with the best view are occupied when you arrive, take an available table behind and let your server know that you would like to move when the better seats become available. You may need to wait for a little, but it is worth it (that’s what we did!).

The drinks are pricey (18-20€, check out the pics below) but you’re paying for the view, plus they also bring you some salty snacks with them (mostly small bites) so I think it’s a good deal!


P.S.: This is also a great hotel in Rome if you want to stay in the area!

Scroll through the carousel images below to see how to get there, it takes just 1 min to walk from the fountain:

3. Chill in the secret park at Villa Aldobrandini

Villa Aldobrandini Rome

Another amazing secret spot where you can take a break from the city life and all the touristy things to do in Rome is Villa Aldobrandini: a hidden, elevated park located right on the grounds of a historic villa, also offering incredible city views!

Here you’ll find gardens, statues, fountains, trees, and benches, and literally, only locals, even if it’s located in the heart of Rome, no tourists really discover it! 

This is my absolute favorite secret spot in the city. I am sharing it to help you have the same amazing experience, but please keep it to yourself so it doesn’t get overcrowded… it would lose all its magic!

Come to this oasis of peace to enjoy some shadow under the leafy trees, chill, read a book, have a picnic with your family or friends, or see the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and Piazza Venezia from a different perspective! 

To get there you will have to climb some steps but it’s worth it! You can check the position on google map or to have more details about the directions starting from the Taiana column, scroll through the pics below (the park is at 7 minute’s walk from there):

4. Relax in the beautiful free garden of Palazzo Venezia

Palazzo Venezia Park unusual things to do in rome

If you are wandering around the famous Piazza Venezia, you cannot skip this beautiful garden located right inside the walls of Palazzo Venezia’s historic palace, which also hosts a national museum.

The historic garden of Palazzo Venezia is unique because it has all the characteristics of Neapolitan Era gardens in the same place: a beautiful fountain with statues, tunnels, grottos, big palm trees, and lovely plants.

When you enter here you’ll immediately pass from the chaotic sounds of Rome to the sound of little birds singing… such an amazing difference! This is the perfect place to enjoy some private time, meditate and just chill.

While before you could only see it as part of the museum, now it’s open for everyone and free: but remember to go there before 6 pm after that time the gate will be closed. 

Here below you find the directions on how to get there, simply scroll through the pictures:

5. Check out the best city views from the rooftop restaurant at the Capitol museum

The Caffarelli Palace and Terrace Rome

Here’s another great secret rooftop that I am sure you’ll fall in love with: Terrazza Caffarelli, a restaurant/cafe located in the Capitol Museum, which will give you the BEST views of Rome. 

You don’t need to buy a museum ticket to go there, just tell the ticket controller that you want to go to the cafe and go all the way up… you’ll be speechless in front of such beauty!

Here you can take some amazing pictures (the best souvenir you can take home from Rome) or just sit at the restaurant and have a delicious Italian meal, an aperitif or a coffee.

I suggest you come to this secret viewpoint for sunset (note the place closes at 7 pm so check the sunset time before you go), so you can enjoy the Rome skyline under the best light of the day while sipping a good wine… what else do you need?

Check out Google Maps to see where it is located, or the pictures in the carousel below with all the directions:

6. Discover the aqueduct & rooftop inside a shopping mall

Rinascente shopping mall view

At literally 3 mins walking from the Fontana di Trevi, where we saw the first secret spot, there is another one… and this one also includes an aqueduct!

Just near the famous fountain, there is actually the Rinascente shopping mall which offers 2 hidden gems: an amazing rooftop upstairs and an ancient aqueduct downstairs, both worthy to check out if you’re in the mall for a shopping evening.

The rooftop offers a bar & restaurant with panoramic views of the city as well as great food and drinks (a bit expensive, but the view you get is definitely worth it!). 

But less well-known is the ancient aqueduct you’ll find in the basement (-1) level which is still functioning: an interesting show to watch from the seating surrounding it.

The aqueduct is sort of hidden in the back of the store at -1 level. To find it, just keep going away from the front of the store until you’ll find a small cafe/bar and an area selling leather goods, and the aqueduct is the back wall of the area. 

For this hidden gem, I don’t have a proper carousel with a visual explanation of how to get there, but you can check Google Maps to have the directions!

👀 Secret view:Terrazza Caffarelli
🍸 Rooftop bar:Trevi RoofTop bar
🏛️ Underground museum:Vicus Caprarius
🌳 Tranquil Park: Palazzo Venezia

BONUS: Another secret tip for visiting Rome!

Water fountain in rome how to use

We are almost at the end of this guide about the best secret spots in Rome, but there’s still one last tiny secret I want to share with you!

In Rome, you’ll find fountains popping up at every corner, which is very useful when you want to refill your water bottle on hot days! 

Roman fountains are made in a different way from what we’re used to, and I noticed lots of tourists don’t know how to use them. So check out the pic below to understand how to open them, simply cover the hole in the bottom to make the water spurt out the top. 

It’s pretty simple but I saw lots of people going crazy with that!

Frequently asked questions about secret spots in Rome

6 most crowded places in Rome and how to avoid the line 2 saint peter dome 2

🤐 Which are the best secret spots in Rome?

The best secret spots in Rome are the Trevi RoofTop bar, from where you’ll have the best views of the Trevi fountain, the Villa Aldobrandini park, offering incredible city views, or the aqueduct right beneath the famous Trevi fountain, where you can throw a coin!

✔️ What should you not miss in Rome?

The most popular attractions you cannot miss in Rome are the Colosseum, dating back to 72 AD, The Pantheon, the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens, the Trevi Fountain to throw a lucky coin, and the Roman Forum.

📍 Where can I relax in Rome?

In Rome, you can chill in Villa Aldobrandini (a hidden, elevated park located right on the grounds of a historic villa) or in the beautiful garden right inside the walls of Palazzo Venezia palace: both secluded, with few people, and almost without tourists!

🎨 Where do the hipsters live in Rome?

Hipsters in Rome live in the Pigneto area, located south-east Rome. Pigneto has become the hipster capital of Rome because it hosts trendy restaurants, bohemian bars, artistry, culinary craftsmanship, and more!

Conclusion

6 Secret Spots in Rome

Here we are at the end of this secret guide with the 6 best-hidden gems in Rome to visit during your holiday!

We saw some ancient aqueducts, rooftops where you can enjoy panoramic views, and parks to enjoy some quietness far from the tourist crowds.

These are the spots I got to know about during my time living in Rome for 2 years, but I am sure there are more… If you know any (and you want to share them with me), please do so in the comments below, I may even add it in this guide to make it even more special!

Have the best holiday! 

Yulia


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