1. Roma SparitaRoma Sparita means “The Rome that has Disappeared.” Just the name of this family owned restaurant should intrigue you, not to mention their tasty wood-fired pizzas and beautiful view of the Piazza di Santa Cecilia. Relax on their quiet patio away from the traffic and chaos and enjoy old Roman recipes such as, Tagliolini al Cacio e Pepe and Coda alla Vaccinara. Check it out, to taste the true flavor of Rome!
2. Tazza d’OroWhile it’s not off the beaten path, it’s a rite of passage for any student studying in Rome: a granita al caffè from the famous “Tazza d’Oro.” Just imagine an iced coffee topped with thick whipped cream; it is coffee in its most perfect form! Tazza d’Oro is located right by the Pantheon, making it convenient for you to grab a coffee before you head out for a day full of sightseeing.
3. The KeyholeOn the Aventine Hill there is a closed garden near the ruins of the Savelli family castle, called the Parco Savello. The garden is better known as the Giardino degli Aranci (Garden of the Orange Trees). Onlookers can gaze through an unsuspecting keyhole (an actual keyhole!) in the in the Piazza Cavalieri di Malta to see much more than just the gorgeous orange trees. We challenge you to take a picture of the surprising view!
4. Cat SanctuaryIf you have any sort of soft spot for furry animals, you must plan a stop to the Cat Sanctuary in Largo di Torre Argentina. This is the scared site where Caesar was murdered more than 2,000 years ago and is home to some of Rome’s earliest temples. Most visitors to Rome will stop by this archaeological site and marvel at the number of cats lounging around the ruins. Few visitors notice that you can descend into the archaeological area to a place dedicated to medicating, vaccinating, sterilizing and safeguarding Rome’s abandoned cats.
5. The Ancient Cult of MithrasA student in Rome will eventually come across the Church of San Clemente, an amazing testament to the “layers” of the Eternal City. A highlight of this visit is a peek into the Mithraeum, where worshippers of Mithras gathered to make animal sacrifices during the Roman era. If you stop by the church of Santa Prisca on the 2nd or 4th Sunday of the month, you can descend below the church to see lesser known and larger Mithraeum, complete with beautiful paintings and reliefs. If you listen closely you will be able to hear rushing water from the ancient aqueducts.
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