Five Unusual Things To Do In Rome

They say that Rome wasn't built in a day and so it's no surprise that it takes many days to discover the secrets of this Eternal City. This makes Rome the perfect place in Italy to visit time again - you will always find something new or see parts of the city that you haven't seen before!

Here's our list of five of the more unusual things that you can do in Rome...

FIRST: Go underground into an interactive world

Did you know that some of the most spectacular sights in Rome are 18 metres underground? One of the best places to visit is the Domus of Palazzo Valentini, the home of a wealthy family of the Roman Empire that has been made “interactive” by breath-taking multimedia. Thanks to reconstruction with light projections that redress the rooms, you can absorb yourself in the past with incredible mosaics, marvellous floors, frescoes, and private baths.

SECOND: Feel the jazz in the house of a mob boss

In Viale di Porta Ardeatina, in a magnificent park, you’ll come across the House of Jazz, whose motto is: “It does not mean anything if it does not have swing”. The jazz club is located in Villa Osio, which was built in the late thirties by Arturo Osio, one of the founders of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, and designed by Cesare Pascoletti, who was a student of Piacentini. The house then passed to the Vatican and then to the head of the Magliana Gang, Enrico Nicoletti. It was later confiscated and transformed into the jazz club that it is today, where you’ll also find a restaurant.

THIRD: Discover a better world

Villa Helene is an elegant building that was built by the Norwegian painter and sculptor Hendrik Christian Andresen in 1922. He was an idealist of the last century, who believed art could encourage the wellbeing and morality of humanity. He devoted himself to a project called “World City”, which was the development of a dedicated art hub that could support moral renewal. Today, Villa Helene is a magnificent museum, which is home to over two hundred plaster and bronze sculptures, as well as hundreds of paintings and graphic works.

FOURTH: Dine in the pasta factory of artists

Pasta Ceres, in the San Lorenzo area, is a place rich in ideas. In 1905 it was developed as a pasta factory and it became the favourite place of artists who were attending the new school of San Lorenzo. They set up studios for their art there and today there are about thirty studios and a gallery of contemporary art called The Ceres Foundation, which organizes exhibitions and provides residences for artists under 30. There is also a lively and friendly restaurant, which serves amazing ravioli with amatriciana sauce, stewed cod and crispy pork.

FIFTH: Discover a true Romanesque church

Have you ever seen a Romanesque church in Rome? It’s not as easy as you may first think! However, a visit to the Basilica of the Holy Four Crowned is well worth battling through the gateway of a fortified building, past its sombre-looking tower and through two courtyards (which house the convent of the Augustinian nuns). Your efforts will be rewarded with Romanesque architecture, mosaic floors, a silent cloister closed by a porch with paired columns and a small chapel. If you stop to speak to the nuns, they will recommend you visit the Oratory of San Silvestro, which is a truly magical place, where the walls are decorated with a formidable series of thirteenth-century frescoes depicting the conversion of Constantine and the story of Pope Sylvester.

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