Secret Rome: unusual and little-known places to visit

Palazzo Spada | Roma segreta


Secret Rome is the city made up of palaces and places distant from traditional tourist itinerary. I’m referring to those little-known places which allow you to discover an authentic city.

In this post I’ll talk about the secret and little-known Rome, the city which can’t be visited by those who have little time.
Those little-famous places but not for this reason less charming.

Secret Rome

Casina delle Civette | Villa Torlonia Rome

Casina delle Civette

Rome is a unique city. It boasts a thousand-year old history and each age has left an indelible trace in its building, roads and urban landscape.

To discover Rome’s main museums and monuments, read the post containing my advice on what to see in Rome. If, instead, you want to discoversecret and little-known Rome here where you should go.

Casina delle Civette (House of the Owls)
The first stop of the itinerary dedicated to secret Rome is Villa Torlonia, a noble residence with one of the few examples of English-style gardens in Rome inside which there are some unusual buildings and constructions such as the Casina delle Civette.
This fairy-tale house was the residence of Prince Giovanni Torlonia jr. and was built in 1840 and decorated in Art Nouveau style, with towers, turrets, esoteric symbols and owls depicted on the stained glass windows which this amazing building derives its name from.

  • How to visit the Casina delle Civette: 
    Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm | on December 24th and 31st from 9 am to 2 pm | closed on Monday, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th. You can book the ticket of Villa Torlonia Museums which includes the visit both to the Casina delle Civette and the Casino Nobile, the residence of the Mussolini family in Rome.
Spada Gallery | secret Rome

Spada Gallery

Spada Gallery
To discover secret Rome you must enter a real Roman house and Villa Spada is perfect. It’s a Baroque  residence containing works by artists such as Caravaggio and Titian, but especially a place where you can cross the false perspective created by Francesco Borromini.
The gallery Borromini built in 1653 is only 9 meters long but it looks much longer (at least 30 meters!). Crossing it will leave you breathless!

How to visit the Spada Gallery: 
Open from Wednesday to Monday from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm | Closed on Tuesday.
To book your admission ticket click on the link Spada Gallery Tickets.

Villa Farnesina
One of the masterpieces of Italian Renaissance is Villa Farnesina, commissioned by Agostino Chigi and decorated with frescoes by Raphael and Giulio Romano, just to mention the most important artists who left here their masterpieces.
Today Villa Farnesina is home to the Accademia dei Lincei but is also a museum open to the public that should be included in the tourist itineraries and be visited at least once.

  • How to visit Villa Farnesina:
    To appreciate the beauty of this place you’d better visit it with a tour guide.
    A three-hour guided tour will make you discover the masterpieces and secret of this place.

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