Almost everyone knows Rome to some extent. But not everyone knows that as well as the Colosseum, Piazza Venezia, the Trevi Fountain and the other works of art, there are lesser known wonders, small and large,which also deserve our attention.
The proverb"all roads lead to Rome," is derived from the fact that the Romans built a dense and extensive network of roads that all departed from the city, many of which are still in use. But hidden among the winding roads of the centre, in the charming little squares ofthe ancient neighbourhoods, in the winding alleyways of the outskirts, is a secret Rome full of little known wonders which could be easily missed if one were not paying attention. A sort of "artistic underground," abundant and of unequalled splendour, full of large and small gems which would make the fame of any cityin the world, if missed, unjustly take second place and remain in the shadow ofthe more famous ones. It is plausible that standing before the majesticfountain, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, in Piazza Navona, the eye probably does not wander up to the splendid ceilings adorning the Palazzo Pamphili, or that distracted by the harmonious splendour of Piazza del Popolo, one might not notice the unusual decorations in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo.
Taking a route through the ancient neighbourhoods, such as those of Monti, Testaccio,Trastevere or Esquilino, one has the chance to see all the beauties the eternalcity has to offer, from the most hidden and unusual ones to the most wellknown. It should all be seen.It is possible to cross the city, starting in the Trastevere neighbourhood, believed by many to be the most authentically Roman neighbourhood for having maintain edits characteristic rhythm and lifestyle. Here, there is an abundance of typical small restaurants offering popular cuisine such as bucatini alla amatriciana, or artichokes, carciofo alla giudia, all accompanied by good wine, Vini dei Castelli Romani.
It would bea real pity not to spend a few minutes at the enchanting fountain, "Fontana delle Tartarughe" which is situated in Piazza Mattei, in the old neighbourhood of Sant'Angelo. It is a delicate embroidery of marble and bronze, topped with small tortoises from which comes a constant stream of water, Acqua Vergine, situated in a small oasis of peace just a few steps away from the chaos of Via Vittorio Emanuele.
Alternative itineraries allow the visitor to admire Romein all its splendour. For example, a simple walk along Via Garibaldi leads the visitor to the Janiculum Hill where in an evocative "baretto," a typical Roman bar, it is possible to combine a glass of wine, vino di Cerveteri, with an authentic "bruschetta" made with the bread, pane di Genzano, and a breathtaking view. Eventhough it is not part of the traditional group of seven hills, the walk is away to catch a glimpse of some of the more interesting views of the old centre of Rome, as generations of couples, romantics, and travelers from every country know.