Unique Places in Rome

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Rome

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    USO for American service members

    by brendareed Written Jun 1, 2014

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    This is a hidden gem just a block away from the Vatican! The USO provides information and trip planning services as well as a comfortable place to relax to those who have a valid US military ID card (active duty or retired).

    They will arrange day trips for you or overnighters, transportation to and from the airports, hotel accommodations, and other programs. A quick check of their website will give you all the necessary information.

    We used the USO for our transportation to our hotel from the airport – it was arranged before we left through their online reservation form and the driver was waiting for us (he had our name on a sign) as we exited the baggage claim area. We also booked a day trip to Pompeii through the USO and everything went very smoothly. The USO doesn’t actually conduct the tours, but rather they make the reservations with proven tour companies that they use regularly.

    As an added bonus, you can stop by their offices near the Vatican while in town and simply grab a cup of coffee, a soft drink, or use their bathrooms. You must show your military ID in order to gain entrance to the building.

    We had a difficult time finding the USO at first because there is no signage. I knew the address and we walked past the door unaware we had arrived even though we were looking right at it. It simply did not look like anything. We walked around the block, asked some people (no luck there) and decided to walk past the address from their website one more time. Upon a closer look at the inside of the door frame, we saw a small note next to the camera and buzzer that said it was the USO and to enter you push the button and show your ID in the camera. Once they verify it, they come open the door for you. Once inside, the people were friendly and very helpful. We used the bathrooms and just simply relaxed while enjoying a drink.

    Definitely a good place to visit IF you can find it!

    Address:
    Via Vespasiano, 44 Roma - 00193 (Vatican Area)
    GPS Coordinates: N 41° 54.43' EO 12° 27.498'

    Hours of Operation:
    Monday-Saturday: 0830-1700
    Sundays: Closed

    Tel: 0039-06-397-27-419
    Fax: 0039-06-397-54-249
    E-mail: inforome@uso.org

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    Papal Coat of Arms

    by brendareed Written Jun 1, 2014

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    Each of the popes has a personal coat of arms; this tradition dates back to at least the 1200s when the first recorded coat of arms existed. In earlier centuries, these coat of arms typically would include some symbols from the pope’s family coat of arms. In Rome, two of these personal papal coat of arms (different from the coat of arms of the Holy See) can be found in several locations if one is looking closely.

    The Medici popes (four of them) typically would have the clearly identifiable Medici symbol of the balls in their coat of arms. These can be found in the Vatican Museum (look in the Raphael Rooms) and Santa Maria sopra Minerva where two of the Medici popes are located near the high altar.

    The Barberini family coat of arms included bees – symbolic of Pope Urban VIII (pope from 1623-1644). This coat of arms can be found on the baldacchino at the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica and on the Triton Fountain on the Piazza Barberini.

    The Medici popes (and the years they were pope) were:
    - Pope Leo X (1513-1521)
    - Pope Clement VII (1523-1534)
    - Pope Pius IV (1559-1565)
    - Pope Leo XI (1605-1605)

    The concept of a personal coat of arms exists still today with the new (2013) Pope Francis. While many popes do not come from a family with a family coat of arms, the popes choose details that represent important parts of their lives. Pope Francis’ coat of arms includes a gold star (Virgin Mary), a spikenard (Saint Joseph), and the emblem of the Jesuits since he is the first Jesuit pope.

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    where are the Seven Hills of Rome?

    by brendareed Written Jun 1, 2014

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    Tradition tells us that Rome was founded on seven hills, with Romulus living on one of these hills, the Palatine Hill. When Hubby and I first arrived in Rome and stood upon our balcony from our hotel room overlooking the city, we looked out and tried to find these famed seven hills. We scanned the horizon and saw some larger hills (or small mountains) in the background; we counted and found at least seven so we assumed that those must be the Seven Hills of Rome. Oh – we were wrong! Little did we realize at the time that the Seven Hills of Rome were merely small hills within the ancient part of the city – and we climbed a number of them in the course of our week in Rome.

    If you visit the Roman Forum and go to the top of the Palatine Hill, you are on top of one of the original seven hills – the one on which Romulus is said to have lived. At the other end of the Forum you can exit and climb up another of the hills – the Capitoline Hill with the current Capitoline Museum and nearby Vittorio Emanuele II monument that sits high on this hill and can be seen from all around the city.

    The others are a bit harder to find – so I’ve included a map with the hills marked. As you are climbing up the streets in Rome, you just may be climbing up one of these original seven.

    Essentially, the hills and a general location are:

    Aventine Hill – next to the Tiber, southwest of the Palatine
    Palatine Hill – part of the Roman Forum
    Caelian Hill – east of the Palatine and Colosseum and west of St. John Lateran
    Capitoline Hill – the west end of the Roman Forum and next to the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
    Esquiline Hill – north and across the street from the Colosseum, southeast of San Pietro in Vincoli
    Viminal Hill – the smallest of the hills, located by the Termini train station; at the top of this hill is the Ministry of Interior located in the palace of Viminale
    Quirinal Hill – the northernmost of the seven hills; just east of the Trevi Fountain; the Palazzo del Quirinale is on this hill.

    You will see (and maybe climb) other hills in Rome, such as the Vatican Hill, the Pincian Hill, and Janiculum Hill; but these are not part of the original Seven Hills of Rome.

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    San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) 2014

    by windoweb Written May 13, 2014

    We found this fabulous church when we walked up the stairs across from the Grand Hotel Palatino. This church was plain on the outside but spectacular inside.

    History of San Pietro in Vincoli

    The basilica was first built in the middle of the 5th century to house the relic of the chains that bound Saint Peter while imprisoned in Jerusalem, given to Pope Leo I by Empress Eudoxia (wife of Emperor Valentinian III).

    According to legend, when the pope held them next to the chains from of Peter's first imprisonment in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, the two chains miraculously fused together.

    What to See at San Pietro in Vincoli

    The chains said to have held Peter in Rome and Jerusalem are kept in a reliquary under the main altar in the basilica.

    Michelangelo's magnificent Moses, which dates from 1515, is the most notable piece of artwork in the basilica. It was originally intended as part of a 40-statue funeral monument for Pope Julius II.

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    Just off the Colassium.

    by Pod Written Sep 18, 2013

    There was a man...he took photos... he took photos of places other photographers could not take photos. ....you have found that man. .... that man who takes photos of photos that other photographers take photos of..

    off the colassium. Pod. in Rome. The Colassium extras. on the way to the Colassium.
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    Villa Paganini

    by gwened Written Sep 4, 2013

    across from torlonia another wonderful oasis of calm and architecture beauty in the Nomentano district.

    Villa Paganini's origins are linked to Cardinal Mariano Pierbenedetti from Camerino, who bought the vineyard in 1585 to turn it into a prestigious residence. In 1722 the estate was purchased by Cardinal Giulio Alberoni which undertook important work of buildings and the garden. The villa then passed into the hands of several other owners, until in 1890 the property was purchased by Senator Paganini. The wide surrounding the Casino Nobile was cultivated with vines and reeds, and the Park was divided and split into numerous cottages.
    In 1934 the city of Rome acquired the complex allocated for public use and the noble Casino . The Villa was opened to the public on 21 April 1934 in the presence of Benito Mussolini. In 1938, on the side of via Nomentana was placed the monumento ai caduti in World War I by Arnaldo Zocchi (1862-1940). In the years ' 50, in a portion of the Park, were built a series of prefabricated housing and local service schools.

    It has a nice pond with a wooden bridge over it and grottos with fountains now covered. nice family place.

    statue at villa paganini gardens the gardens and pond the front of the grotto cave inside the grotto the back of the grotto and gardens
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    Museo historico Bersaglieri

    by gwened Written Sep 3, 2013

    A nice architecture building and a wonderful military museum with great history. This is what I am after.

    The museum is unique because it gives credit to a corp still in active duty. The Bersaglieri (Marksmen in English) are a corps of the Italian Army originally created by General Alessandro La Marmora on 18 June 1836 to serve in the Piedmontese Army, later to become the Royal Italian Army.

    The idea of creating the museum came from army inspector and Bersaglieri Edoardo Testafochi in 1895. the idea continue until finally ,the Museo Storico dei Bersaglieri opened by king Vittorio Emanuele III on June 18 1904, near the army post of "La Marmora" in Trastevere. On December 27 , 1921, it is transfered to the present location by the Porta Pia ,at via XX Settembre.

    You can visit as individuals on Mondays, Wednesdays,and Fridays from 9h to 13h30.

    museo dei bersaglieri at porta pia back entrance to museum porta pia monument and museum bersaglieri inside courtyard for entrance to museum front facing porta pia to via nomentana
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    The bridges of Rome

    by gwened Written Aug 27, 2013

    Walking on bridges is always full of history and great views, often going from one totally different side of the town to the next with great differences in architecture and history. Love ponte palatino!

    Rome is one of these cities that has districts well aligned full of history and architecture. A joy to walk and we really did try a few, see them and enjoy Roma

    Ponte Palatino to ponte Rotto on the Tiber Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II ponte palatino Ponte Sant Angelo ponte palatino cascades to ponte centrio
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    See Rome from above and beyond

    by gwened Written Aug 27, 2013

    Walking is great for us and on any historical city like Rome it was a treat. However, walking in hilly streets and climbing and seeing the views from above down on Rome is awesome.

    All the best views are from the aventino area around the chevaliers de malta and churchs of St Sabina and St Alessio, as well as climbing the church of trinita dei monte up villa borghese. just wonderful up and down steeep streets and gorgeous views
    enjoy Roma

    from parco Savello to Rome a view from parco Savello another view from parco savello the view from above viale trinita dei monte
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    Planetario delle Terme di Diocleziano

    by gwened Written Aug 24, 2013

    Its always nice to see the stars when in Rome, the planetarium will do. Planetario di Roma that is.
    This is the old planetarium so you make believe amongst old buildings, what this central location was doing(the new one was done modern and away from city center)

    the old one is at v. iuseppe-Romita 8 I - 00185 Roma
    A magnificent octagonal hall (hence the name Planetarium) where brick, in an unreal light exposes some masterpieces of classical statuary: the Boxer and the Hellenistic Prince, are two rare examples of surviving intact bronzes. The Aphrodite of Cyrene, a mamo reminiscent of ivory, is magnificent. And the place is just magical.

    You should come by it the area is nice too and buses past by it such as 62

    old planetarium square from of old planetarium back of old planetarium
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    Forum Boarium

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 23, 2013

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    This area used to be the cattle market in ancient times. It is located near the Mouth of Truth and has two well preserved temples: the circular temple of Hercules Victor and the rectangular Temple of Portunus. Both are well-preserved as they were converted from temples to churches.

    The Temple of Hercules Victor.
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    The Non-Catholic Cemetery. Poets' Graves.

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 23, 2013

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    Rome was very crowded during our visit and one of the quietest, most peaceful and most interesting places we visited was the non-catholic cemetery. You can get there by taking the metro B-line to pyramid station. The cemetery contains the graves of several famous people. Two of the most famous are Keats and Shelley.

    Keats went to Rome when he found out he had TB. One of his brothers had died of this disease and Keats probably contracted it while caring for him. In Rome Keats lived with an artist friend next to the Spanish Steps during his illness, but he could not fight it and died. He requested that the words 'Here lies one whose name was writ on water.' on his tombstone. His friends obliged but added more words to show the anger they felt at the attacks Keats had been subjected to by several critics. The friend who nursed Keats is buried next to him.

    Shelley died in a boating accident in which he drowned. His ashes were buried in the non-catholic cemetery. He had apparently visited it before his death and stated what a wonderful, peaceful place it was. The inscription on his tomb comes from Shakespeare.

    Keats' Tomb. Inscription on Keats' tomb. Acrostic on plaque near Keats' tomb. Shelley's tomb.
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    Janiculum Hill, Rome’s Balcony

    by von.otter Updated Mar 19, 2013

    “You, too, women, cast away all the cowards from your embraces; they will give you only cowards for children, and you who are the daughters of the land of beauty must bear children who are noble and brave.”
    — Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882)

    Known as Rome’s balcony, the Janiculum, the second highest hill in modern-day Rome and separate from the famed Seven Hills of Ancient Rome, was the center for the Janus, god of beginnings and endings. Because of its stunning location overlooking the city, the priests of the worship of Janus would stand atop the hill and look for signs from the gods.

    The Aurelian Wall was built up to the Janiculum Hill, to include inside the city walls the water mills, used to grind wheat for making bread, located there. The ancient water mills were in use until the end of ninth century AD.

    Centuries later, Janiculum Hill was the site of a memorable battle. In 1849, Giuseppe Garibaldi fought French troops, who were attempting to reclaim Rome for the pope following Garibaldi’s capture of the city in his effort to unify Italy. Although the French outnumbered Garibaldi’s troops, they were able to resist the French for several weeks; but ultimately were defeated. To commemorate this battle, several monuments were built on Janiculum to pay homage to Garibaldi and his comrades.

    Come for the views. Stay for the sights, including, an authentic puppet theater for kids; the Garibaldi Monuments, one to Giuseppe another to his wife Anita; the Independence War Memorial; San Pietro in Montorio and Tempietto; and Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

    Janiculum Hill, View, Roma, May 2007 Janiculum Hill, View, Roma, May 2007 Janiculum Hill, View, Roma, May 2007 Janiculum Hill, View, Roma, May 2007 Janiculum Hill, View, Roma, May 2007
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    Foot of Marble

    by TexasDave Written Mar 8, 2013

    The one remaining fragment of a massive statue, the Pie de Marmo is a sandaled foot on a plinth of impressive size. Not much is known about its origin, some think it was originally a large statue in a temple.

    Appropriately is is on Via di pie de Marmo, it is a block and a half West from the back of the Pantheon.

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    Porte di Roma

    by von.otter Updated Feb 25, 2013

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    “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
    —Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)

    The doors of Rome are many and varied. Most are closed for privacy.

    Doors of Rome, May 2007 Doors of Rome, May 2007 Doors of Rome, May 2007 Doors of Rome, May 2007
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