Almosteveryone knows Rometo a greater or lesser extent. But not everyone knows that as well as the Colosseum, the Imperial Forums, the TreviFountain and the other works of art, there are lesser known wonders, small andlarge, 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 ofroads that all departed from the city, many of which are still in use. Buthidden among the winding roads of the centre, in the charming little squares ofthe ancient neighborhoods, in the winding alleyways of the outskirts, is asecret Romefull of little known wonders which could be easily missed if one were not payingattention. There are large and small gems, which would make the fame of anycity in the world, if missed, unjustly take second place and remain in theshadow of the more famous ones. It is plausible that standing before themajestic fountain, Fontana dei QuattroFiumi, in Piazza Navona, the eye probably does not wander up to thesplendid ceilings adorning the PalazzoPamphili, or that distracted by the harmonious splendour of Piazza del Popolo, one might not noticethe unusual decorations in the church of SantaMaria del Popolo.
Taking aroute through the ancient neighbourhoods,such as those of Monti, Testaccio,Trastevere or Esquilino, one hasthe chance to see all the beauties the eternal city has to offer, from the mosthidden and unusual ones to the most well known. It should all be seen. It is possible to cross the city, starting inthe Trastevere neighbourhood,believed by many to be the most authentically Roman neighbourhood for havingmaintained its characteristic rhythm and lifestyle. Here, there is an abundanceof typical small restaurants offering succulent popular cuisine such as abbacchio alla cacciatora or spring lamb, la coda alla vaccinara or oxtail stew, la trippa alla romana, tripe, or simply a bruschetta made with the bread, pane di Genzano, allaccompanied by the prized wines of Castelli Romani.
It would bea real pity not to spend a few minutes at the enchanting fountain, "Fontana delle Tartarughe" which is situated inPiazza Mattei, in the oldneighbourhood of Sant'Angelo. It is adelicate embroidery of marble and bronze, topped with small tortoises fromwhich comes a constant stream of water, Acqua Vergine, situated in a smalloasis of peace just a few steps away from the chaos of Via Vittorio Emanuele.This is the heart of the Jewish Ghetto, one of the most ancient in the worldand rich with traditions and anecdotes. Here, there is no lack of smallrestaurants where one can taste the many specialties of the Jewish-Romancuisine, such as the well known artichoke dish, Carciofi alla Giuda.