5 unusual things to see in Rome

Not only famous monuments and piazzas, but also curious and secret places. Here you find 5 unusual things to see in the Eternal city, which even some  locals don’t know about!

  • The magic door of Piazza Vittorio

This door used to be a part of a famous villa, called Villa Palombara, and now it is located into the garden of piazza Vittorio, close to Termini station. Two  statues of the ancient Egyptian deity Bes are its “supervisors” and someone says that it may shield the secret of the philosopher’s stone.

The Magic Door (Photo credit: Restorefood-Instagram)

  • The Tureen of via Vittorio

It is not so far from Piazza Navona: this is a really peculiar fountain because…it has a lid! It used to be located in campo De’ Fiiori, but the Pope Gregorio XV decided to relocated it, because it was used to wash fruits and vegetables. Its nickname was chosen by Romans to make fun of it.

  •  The optical illusion of via Piccolomini

Via Niccolò Piccolomini is a small street in Rome where you have the feeling of being in front of the St. Peter’s Dome. Something strange happens here: the closer you get, the smaller the Dome becomes. If you step back, the Dome will appear bigger and closer. Go and have a look!

Via Piccolomini (Photo credit: @mariannaalvarenz-Instagram)

  •  The “motorized” painting of Rubens

Rubens painted a work entitled Angels Adoring the Madonna Vallicelliana, which is displayed in the church of Santa Maria Valicella. It incorporates a special feature, a panel that could be removed to reveal behind it the holy image it was designed to protect. The priest usually moves it with a remote control after the Saturday Mass.

  • The Zuccari Palace

Close to Spanich Steps, this palace seems to be like others. But it’s not true. It is also known as “a monster house” because its door and windows are monsters’ faces with their mounths wide open.

Palazzetto Zuccari (Photo credit: @lubi1982-Instagram)

Rome is a city to discover…Don’t you think?

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Five little secrets of Rome’s most famous sites you probably don’t know

Rome is one of the most famous and beautiful city in the world. It can surprise everyone, thanks to its history, art and unique places. But are you sure you know every little secret of its most visited monuments? Here you find five fun facts about the Eternal City.

  • Colosseum

It’s the symbol of the city, the breathtaking proof of the greatness of Ancient Rome. Once upon a time it was covered by marble, which was used to build the Saint Peter’s Basilica and other important buildings. The missing part, which gives it its  asymmetric profile, was destroyed by an eartquake in 851 a.c.

colosseo-gennaio

  • Piazza Navona

In Ancient Rome this amazing place was a oval-shaped stadium, built by the Emperor Domitian. It’s still possible to visit the ruins of the old structure. Sometimes ancient Romans would even flood the stadium and hold naval battles there: maybe that’s why now it’s called “Navona”, which means “big ship”.

  • Pantheon

The most captivating part of the Pantheon- it used to be a pagan temple, then transformed into a church- is its dome, with the hole, called oculus, in the top. Roman engineers built the dome lightening it as much as possible; its special structure doesn’t allow the rain to fall inside frequently. If it happens, the floor is slanted and drains the water.

pantheon-gennaio

  • Campo De’Fiori

Now it’s a delicious square, with reasturants and shops. But during the XVII century, executions used to be held publicly here. The famous philosophy Giordano Bruno was burnt alive in this place: that’s why now we find a monument dedicated to him.

  • Trevi Fountain

According to the legend, you have to throw  a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder to return to Rome. Almost every tourist who visits the fountain does it. But what happens to all the coins into the fountain? They are collected by Caritas, a Roman Catholic charity, to fund projects for poor people.

fontana-di-trevi-gennaio