Not many people decide to go against trends and try completely different places to enjoy their Rome’s foodie experiences, nor do they choose to avoid the usual touristic common attractions. Do not worry, I got you. This is the list that is not on TikTok, and you can enjoy running away from the crowd. I hope you love it.
Are you looking for some amazing viewpoints you cannot miss? I have chosen 5 for you: in the bar “9 Hotel Cesari y Terrazza,” you will find an amazing view of all the historical buildings downtown. Inside Chiostro Palace, there is a “Bramante caffe and bistro” where you can enjoy a luxury treat while enjoying the beautiful view of the city. Inside another hotel this time, the “Roof Garden” in Les Etoiles is fantastic for enjoying the view for free. It reminds me of the view point on the terrace of Les Galleries Lafayette Haussmann in Paris. The Terrazzo Piazzale Caffarelli is a secret gem in Rome that only natives and locals know about. Do not forget to visit! At the end, but not less important, is the Monument to Vitorio Emmanuele II. The first terraza is free. I would not recommend going up the second terrazza; it costs 16 euros per person, and the view is the same.
I have the luck to go a lot to Rome because of my job, and even though this is not my favorite city in Europe, there are still some essentials you cannot miss: the Colosseum (which is free the first Sunday of every month), Piazza Navona, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps, and Pantheon (free the first Sunday of every month). The church near the Pantheon called San Luigi dei Francesi is also a secret gem that not many people know and that locals enjoy in secret. Their frescoes are something that belongs to heaven. The Monti quarter is filled with Roman charm, but another secret gem is located in the Chiesa San Pietro en Vincoli, where the Moises of Michelangelo are located, for free!
What are my favorite places in Rome that only locals know? Here is my list; you shall have it. No tourist in sight when I go every time. Tempolo di Adriano (free cinema for everyone, what?), Biblioteca Angelica, Galleria Borguese, Palazzo Zuccari, San Clemente Basilica, Palazzo Colonna, Chiesa del Gesú, Galleria Sciarra, Basilica Maria Maggiore, and Basilica de Santa Maria degli Angeli (this last one was orchestrated by Michelangelo and is a complete secret but for the Romans).
Food is a complex topic. As a Spaniard, I love our cuisine, and our pasta and pizza, I believe, are way better (you may hate me for this, but I will never lie to you). In my family, we all cook really well, so even in Spain, sometimes when we go out, we find the food is not a big deal. I have always wanted to go to Rome; it was my dream, and now that I know the city quite well, I can say it is not my favorite place. Some Romans recommended me a trattoria and a bakery that are not touristic places (important fact); they described these places as the “best in Rome," and the pizza, even though it was okay, was not what all videos on YouTube or influencers say. The cannoli were a deception too; they were not fresh and too expensive for what they are. I do not want to deceive you or convince you to change your trip destination, because that is not my intention. Rome has so much to offer; nevertheless, I want you to not have too high expectations, especially if you are from countries like Morocco, Spain, or Greece, because our cuisine and sites are always on our minds when we go out.
Do not forget to include in your itinerary the Galleria Spada (5 euros per person), Palazzo Bonaparte (16 euros per person), and Galleria Doria Pamphilj (16 euros per person). Some final tips: for accommodation, do not miss Termini. At ten minutes from Termini Station, you will find it way easier to plan your return to the airport; it does not matter if it is Fiumicino or Ciampino. Enjoy Rome!