When in Rome, do as the Romans do – Close to free of cost
A lot has been said about the beautiful countryside, great food, fabulous wine, the ancient history, and all the other things to do in Italy, making it quite the exquisite country to explore all year round. One might even say life is incomplete without making a trip to Italy. While the vineyards of Florence and the romantic aura of Venice is part of every traveller’s Italy trip planner, entering the many historical streets in Rome is what leaves you overwhelmed.
When it comes to Rome, it is best seen slowly, same as the attitude of the nation. A heady mix of awe-inspiring art, haunting sights and vibrant streets, Rome – the Eternal City of Italy is one of the most inspiring and beautiful capitals in the world. Add the city to your Italy itinerary planner and take in the historic scenery while sipping on a latte, and visit these free-entry historic sites in the city.
Walk down Rome’s industrial past
Until the late ’70s, Rome’s Mattatoio in the Testaccio district was the main slaughterhouse, which, today, is a vibrant jigsaw of various entities. A music school, school of architecture, a modern art gallery, and an organic market are all based in this complex.
Every weekend, there is a farmer’s market, along with seating at a café that has grassy outdoors, where you can lounge on the deckchairs. Although most of the events, sites and exhibitions in Rome has to be paid for, you can always come to this location and enjoy the free events such as art installations, painted murals, cheese tasting, and a music concert. The complex is one of the most significant buildings of industrial Rome.
St. Valentine’s skull in the Basilica
Although some of the relics aren’t convincing enough, their remarkable aura cannot be diminished. The same can be said about the holy artefacts restored in the many Roman churches. As saintly relics go, Saint Valentine’s flower-crowned skull is a spectacle to behold, and could also be one of the things to do on your Italy travel planner. The skull of the patron saint of lovers is kept in a gold box and beautifully surrounded by fresh bouquets and candles. It makes for an intriguing attraction in addition to the rest of the Basilica it is located in.
The ‘purrrrr’-fect classical feline sanctuary
Located amidst the Torre Argentina ruins, this plush feline resort makes for a wonderful home for numerous cats. The area was excavated in 1929 and consists of the remains of Pompey’s Theatre (where Julius Caesar was claimed to have been assassinated) and 4 Republican Temples. When the ruins were opened, cats started hanging out in the site, occasionally fed by generous ‘gattare’ or cat ladies. As the years passed, the site became a more formal attraction where visitors drop by to view the historic ruins and the feline occupants.
Roman Ruins, Italy, Europe by Mark Hintsa
Treasure hunting at the vintage market in Monti
Monti is located at a short distance from the Colosseum, and is popular for hosting a brilliant ‘urban market’ each weekend. Started in 2009, the urban market is held in the Grand Hotel Palatino and is a blend of vintage fashion and contemporary creativity. You will find everything from retro clothing to handcrafts to cutting-edge designer wear and home-ware items. It is an array of diverse and colourful trinkets that makes it an ideal spot for a wandered, letting you explore the galleries hidden in the smaller streets of the area.
Monti, Italy, Europe by Alessandro Capotondi
A free film? Why not!
Villa Borghese is the beautiful public park that one has to stroll around in during their time in Rome. Resulting from an ambitious project, the Casa Del Cinema was started in 2001 and quickly transformed into a hub for silver screen lovers. Comprising of hi-tech projection equipment and playing home to a café and a film library, Casa Del Cinema is quite the dreamland for the film fan in you. The cinema quite often has special presentations where travellers and the general public get to mingle with the producers, stars and directors. Original classics and language films are screened every afternoon and evening, which means you can always catch a free cinematic treat when in Rome.
A trip to Rome is all about relaxing around the picturesque streets while enjoying the Mediterranean rhythms. You just need to go with the flow, same as the Romans do. Check out more free things to do in Rome in another article.