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Thursday, 01 September 2016

The Rome You Might Have Missed - Page 2

Written by Alexandria Bottelsen
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  1. Parque Borghese



To be fair, for the most part Rome is not a “day in the park” kind of city, like Paris or even London might be. The notable exception is Parque Borghese, located on the northern end of this very walkable city. While it is home to the Villa Borghese, a palace filled with exquisite art and collectables, it is also the perfect escape from the stream of tourists that flood the more popular streets and sights within Rome. The park is lush and expansive, with hidden statues and children’s playscapes tucked throughout the trees and pathways. Locals dot the area on bikes and on foot, often with dogs of all sizes. In addition to exploring, this is a popular place for festivals and events, such as the gelato tasting festival we stumbled upon deep in the heart of this urban forest.




  1. Churches Galore



Even if you are not one of the many catholic tourists visiting this sacred city, it is hard to ignore the ornate churches that dot every corner. Walking down the street on our first day in Rome, we happened across a deserted plaza which stood at the edge of an awe-inspiring building. Without knowing what it was, we stood and took some of our first pictures. It wasn’t until our walk home that we learned that the beauty we had seen had actually been the back of the Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. Even if you are not religious, it is well worth the time to stop and explore these historical masterpieces. While the entirety of outside is often decorated with intricate stonework and massive doorways, the true beauty lies up and within. Almost every inch of each of these churches is painted, sculpted, or otherwise ordained with works of art. In Rome you spend much of your time staring upwards, mouth agape at the ceilings, each containing more detail and design than most of our homes have in their entirety. It is important to hit the most well-known churches, but the intricacy held within even the smallest corner church, such as the Santa Maria ai Monti near the Roman Forum, is something to experience over and over again.


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In a trip as short as three days, you often spend much of your time racing frantically, maps in hand, on the quickest route from attraction to attraction. That extra day gives you a chance to see all the ordinary things you might have missed. These are all of the things we were able to do with our extra day, and I have since learned about numerous other sights we could have seen, including the keyhole view at the Monastery on Aventine Hill. Winding down the streets of Rome, you’ll quickly notice that every building, restaurant, and statue feels like it should be forever encapsulated in the pages of an art history textbook. So, on that fourth day, get lost. Put down the phone and the map and walk, head held high in wonder, down any street that strikes your fancy. Take pictures of buildings that have no name and stop in a tiny sandwich shop that you won’t find on any “best of Rome” tourist guide. The best way to see Rome, in all honesty, is to stumble upon it. Even in the time crunch, it is often important to stand at the top of the hill and see the entirety of the city you visit. You never know what you might have missed.




©Alexandria Bottelsen 

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Last modified on Thursday, 01 September 2016

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