We visit Rome very often as part of my family lives just outside in the beach town of Ostia. Coming here is always a pleasure for me, but it tends to get repetitive and not much of a holiday experience. So to make it more fun for all, we visit plenty of attractions Rome and Lazio have to offer that often get missed by the mass tourism.
Here I’ll show you some great places to visit if you go to Rome and fancy seeing something beyond the Vatican and Colosseum…
Villa D’Este, Tivoli, Lazio
A beautiful villa located in Tivoli, Lazio (XV century by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este), only an hour away from Rome by car.
The villa itself is quite empty as throughout the years the furniture, paintings and decorations have been sold to cover the wealthy but full in debts family.
The gardens, on the other side, still offer a full glory to the visitors. Included in the UNESCO world heritage list, this impressive concentration of fountains, nymphs, grottoes, plays of water, and music, it’s a much-copied model for European gardens in the mannerist and baroque styles.
Nearby is also the much older version of a phenomenal villa- Villa Adriana. This was built by the Romans for the emperor Hadrian.
Necropolis, Cerveteri, Lazio
A trip to the Etruscan past
The Etruscan are an old European civilisation, older than the Romans even. The city of the dead – Necropolis is located in Lazio, north from Rome. It’s fairly easy to reach the destination by car (around 45 min from central Rome).
Caere was one of the city-states of the Etruscan League and at its height, around 600 BC, its population was perhaps around 25,000 – 40,000 people.
The city of death was quite similar to the city of the living as many of the burial chambers resembled a typical Etruscan home with rooms and beds.
There are around 10,000 tombs in the area and not all have been recovered.
Instead of being built, the constructions, toads and monuments have been dug in the 30 meters high lava originated rocks by the Etruscans.
More of the statues, decorations and ceramics found inside the tombs can be seen in Villa Giulia in Rome.
The 8 euro ticket offers the opportunity to look around the Etruscan tombs. The tombs vary, from some big enough to fit two people to some huge ones looking almost as Egyptian pyramids.
Differently to the Egyptian culture, Etruscan civilisation did not mummify the corps, which is why there is very little left of them.
Ostia Antica is the old Roman port and one of the best preserved Roman cities from over 2000 years ago. The place is located in Rome and easy to reach by car and public transport from Rome and Fiumicino airport.
The city was large and visitors can still see a Roman theatre, residential homes, government buildings, merchant storage, market streets and much more.
There is lots more to visit in the area, including the beaches of Ostia. Let me know in the comments if you wish me to expand on any of the described places above or other off-the bitten track ideas in Rome and Lazio.