Rome ~ Off the Beaten Path

 When visiting Rome there’s the must do, the Coloseum, Vatican, Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps.If you have time I would also recommend a visit to these other sights as well.

Ostia Antica is about a 30 minute train ride and a short walk from Rome. It was settled around 400BC at the mouth of the Tiber River. In it’s hey day it was an important harbor city supplying goods to ancient Rome. With the fall of Rome, the economy collapased and and the port was abandoned. Eventually silt dried up the harbor and now the river is about 6 miles away.There are many archeological remains. Baths, stores, theater and even the ruts from the chariots on the cobble stones. Having also been to Pompei, Ostia Antica is just as impressive and no crowds!
Tivoli is located in the Roman country side about a 45 minute bus/car ride from Rome. There are 2 Unesco World Sites located in Tivoli, Hadrian’s Villa and Villa d’Este.

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Hadrian’s Villa was built in the 2nd century by the Emperor Hadrian as a vacation home and a tribute to  his male lover. There are more than 30 buildings that include palace ruins, thermal baths, temples and underground passages.

 Up the hill from the Hadrian’s Villa is Villa D’Este. It’s palace and beautiful gardens were built in the 1500s by a Catholic Cardinal who did not like the monastery that assigned to him as his residence. The gardens with its numerous fountains stretch over 2 steep slopes. No mechanical pumps are used at all.The fountains are created by gravity and the different levels. Pretty amazing, one of my all time favorite places.

Lastly is the charming medeival neighborhood of Trastevere is actually in Rome across the Tiber River. It is very picturesque with winding cobblestone streets. It’s also home to one of the oldest churches in the city, Santa Maria. Trastevere has become known for it’s great food and great prices. We strolled the neighborhood on private food tour sampling pizza, gelato, espresso then capping the night off with a glass of wine. Definitely a must do!