Dear Ms. Cabot,
I’m a study abroad student, and I feel like there is so much of Rome that I haven’t seen. I only have a few days left, so I want to see some more sites before I leave. What are your favorite places in Rome outside of Trastevere?
It is so easy to get stuck inside a bubble of places you usually go no matter what city you live in. I know I’ve spent some weeks in Rome not venturing too far outside of Trastevere (and then kicked myself later for not exploring more!). Rome is a massive city full of millennia of history, so there is no shortage of places to go and visit. Here are a few of my favorites.
The Orange Garden // Giardino degli Aranci
The Orange Garden is a beautiful park on the Aventine Hill and about a thirty minute walk from Trastevere. It’s named for the picturesque rows of bitter orange trees that line the park and that have been there for centuries. You can get a great view of the city which makes it a great destination to get your last-minute Roman photo op. Make sure you take a peek through the keyhole at the door to the Villa del Priorato di Malta. You may have to wait in line, but it’s worth it for the beautifully-framed view of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Villa Borghese gardens are my favorite in Rome. Located on the Pincian Hill, you can walk from Trastevere to the entrance to the gardens at Piazza del Popolo in about 40 minutes. The main villa you need to visit is the Galleria Borghese where there are a number of Bernini, Caravaggio and other Renaissance pieces. The gardens are also great if you’re a fan of the outdoors, and you can rent a bike to ride around or a rowing boat on the lake around the gorgeous Temple of Aesculapius. If you are looking for more rest and relaxation, the gardens are a great place to have a picnic with friends or read a book in the grass.
Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla are a must-see if you feel like you have not yet gotten your fill of Ancient Rome. The walk to the baths is about 36 minutes from Trastevere. Named after Emperor Caracalla, the baths were the second largest public baths in Rome. I like them because they’re among some of the best preserved ruins in Rome. Since you can walk through them, I found that they were more engaging than some other Roman ruins. Visiting the baths with a tour guide really does help bring the ruins back to life. If you’re a film buff, the Baths of Caracalla are where Marcello and Sylvia dance together in the party scene of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita.
I hope this gives you some ideas of places to visit. Enjoy the rest of your time in the eternal city. Make every day count!