Keep an eye out for these seven lesser known piazzas as you stroll through the Eternal City.
It’s no secret that Rome is the city of cinema, treasure-filled crypts, incredible food and magnificent squares. Pretty much every corner of Rome deserves a visit,. While there are gorgeous well-known squares that everyone must see, many of the Eternal City’s most beautiful hidden squares don’t always fall on the typical tourist-trodden path. So, keep an eye out for these seven exquisite piazzas when you’re in town.
1. Piazza San Simeone Square
Piazza San Simeone is not too far from the iconic Piazza Navona and is known for a charming sixteenth-century fountain designed by Giacomo Della Porta. The majestic Palazzo Lancellotti stands in the square, too, its distinct architrave façade created by the architect Domenichino.
2. Piazza of the Knights of Malta
This square on Aventine Hill became famous–and perhaps even a little less secret–thanks to Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza,. However, this pizza is one of the Eternal City’s most suggestive. Cypress trees and a boundary wall created by architect and visionary engraver Giovan Battista Piranesi surround the square, which is home to the Grand Priory of the Order of the Knights of Malta. If you peek through the keyhole, you can admire an unprecedented view of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
3. Mattei Square
One of Rome’s most romantic places, Piazza Mattei sits in the narrow streets of the Sant’Angelo district, sheltered from the crowds. The small square is quite famous for the Fountain of Turtles, which takes its name from four cute little turtles carved in African marble and held up by four ephebes. Located in the same district as the Jewish ghetto, you’d fare well to treat yourself to pizza ebraica (Jewish pizza) at Pasticceria il Boccione or carciofi alla giudìa (Jewish style fried artichokes) while you’re in town.
4. Piazza Madonna dei Monti
Located in the Monti District, Piazza Madonna dei Monti contains a fountain at its core and is located just across the street from the church of Santa Maria dei Monti, named for its overwhelming charm after sunset when the piazza is most alive. Stop by before, during after a night out for some conversation, music and laughter. It never gets too rowdy!
5. Piazza Testaccio
Piazza Testaccio in the heart of the Testaccio district and exemplifies the lively quarter’s different souls. The nightlife never stops here, and the architecture is varied, from the fascist-era buildings to ancient ruins. Trees and typical yellow houses surround the large piazza where you can find a market, the Fascist-era Fountain of the Amphorae, and a Madonna shrine with the reproduction of an image that dates back to the mid-seventeenth century.
6. San Cosimato Square
Piazza San Cosimato in Trastevere has become “the place to be”, especially during summer. From 2 July, a film festival organized by the cultural association Piccolo Cinema America will be on. This big screen in the square will show a program that ranges from great classics to new releases.
7. Piazza Santa Cecilia
The Basilica of Santa Cecilia with its magnificent bell tower gives its name to this piazza in Trastevere. The basilica stands where the home of Cecilia once stood, a Roman woman who was tortured in her house and martyred for trying to convince her husband and brother to convert to Christianity. Her perfectly intact, the uncorrupted body was eventually transferred from the catacombs to her namesake church.