8 Unusual destinations in Rome
There are many ways to discover a city. This time we in Rome hunting for some original and fun places. If you well know the usual tourist itineraries, this is your opportunity to discover Rome from a different prospect.
The House of the Owls
You know the fairytale houses? Here, the hoot owls seems the one of those books. You can find it inside the mansion of Prince Torlonia, Via Nomentana - the owls is the most loved animal by Prince Alessandro Torlonia. The style is eclectic, ranging from Gothic to Art Nouveau, with no apparent sense. And that's what makes it so unusual.
The Galleria Spada
By the master architect Francesco Borromini you always expects something amazing. The Spada Gallery is a place completely able to give unusual optical illusions. Its "telescopic" shape brings up and makes the tunnel looks much longer than its eight miserable and a half meters. Just to increase the perspective deception, at the end of the gallery has been placed a statue of Mars: looked from a distance, it looks huge. You can just get closer to find out it is only eighty centimeters high. Enjoy!
The Museum of Rome in Trastevere
In one of the most popular and picturesque neighborhoods, scene of a busy night life, appear the modern history of the city. The museum is set in Piazza Sant'Egidio, in a seventeenth century building once inhabited by the Discalced Carmelites. The highlights of the exhibition are the Roman scenes, "sets reproducing life-size aspects of Roman life in the early nineteenth century." The museum also houses the Trilussa Room, dedicated to poetry, as well as temporary exhibitions, shows and conferences.
It is in Via Pasquale Stanislao Mancini and since 1999, and it is one of four museums of the National Gallery of Modern Art. This is the Renaissance mansion inhabited for forty years by the Norwegian painter and sculptor Hendrik Christian Andersen - the owner donated it to the Italian State at his death, along with all the works and furnishings. The first floor of the house-museum houses events and exhibitions dedicated to all forms of art. The ground floor, however, is the space dedicated to the permanent exhibitions. Admission is free.
The water clock of the Pincio
That's right. The clock works with the water that flows from one of the fountains of the Pincio walk, in the gardens of Villa Borghese, a few steps from Piazza del Popolo. The mechanism is protected by a kind of casket iron and wood cast, and stands on a small rock in the middle of a rural pond. It’s unbelievable, but the clock strikes the hours since 1873 with the only power of water.
Pastificio Ceres (restaurant)
In the seventies was the place chosen by the artists of the San Lorenzo school to set up their studios. Bustling and friendly, the restaurant is at 196 Via Tiburtina, close to Piazzale del Verano, and proposes the typical Roman cuisine, daily. The former pasta factory, dates from the early twentieth century, also houses a contemporary art gallery, exhibitions and residencies for artists under 30.
La Cantina Checchino
"Dug under mount Testaccio, a hill made of pieces of earthenware jars erected during the Roman Empire" period, Checchino Cellar is not just a place where to get a drink: it is a real archaeological site in the belly of Rome, just below the mountain of amphoras or, as the Romans call it, the Monte dei Cocci. If you descend the steps, you will be breathless: layers and layers of ancient Roman amphorae (you would not believe it). The restaurant awaits for you at 30 Via di Monte Testaccio.
The House of Jazz
Go to 55 Viale di Porta Ardeatina. In a beautiful park you will find Villa Osio. The residence, built by one of the founders of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, changed my owners and ended up with Enrico Nicoletti, one of the boss of Banda Magliana, before becoming a jazz club. His motto? “It Means nothing if it does not swing!” (taken over by Duke Ellington). This place has a restaurant and organize many evenings events to enjoy good music. For the less experienced, the “Guides to the listen”, to listen (and understand) the jazz club music helped by experts.