The city of Rome is certainly one of a kind with its mix of different eras and styles. You can find history and beauty everywhere on its streets and in its squares. Join a guided walking tour or try something new and hop on a segway with Segway Rome Tours for a fun way of exploring all of the monuments and buildings the city has to offer. If unique experiences are your kind of thing, the following lesser-known attractions will probably appeal too.
THE ALCHEMIST’S MAGIC DOOR
The so-called Porta Alchemica in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, not far from the train station of Roma Termini, was built in the second half of the 17th century by the Marquis Massimiliano Palombara as a part of his residence on Esquilino hill.
According to the legend, the door was discovered by the alchemist Giuseppe Francesco Borri who spent the night by the villa searching in the garden for a magic herb capable of creating gold. The following morning, he disappeared leaving just some small fragments of gold that suggested he’d been successful. A mysterious document containing symbols and equations supposedly relating to the process was also found. The marquis had these symbols carved on the walls and gates of his home in the hope that they might one day be translated.
PIAZZA DI PASQUINO
Just two streets away from the famous Piazza Navona is the unique Piazza di Pasquino, which became renowned among the Romans during the 16th to 19th centuries. Pasquino was, and still is, a talking statue. During the night, anonymous papers containing satire and messages on popular discontent regarding popes and politics were hung around its neck or feet (the so-called ‘pasquinate’), despite this act being forbidden for some periods of time in history. To this day, messages are left behind.
The neighbourhood of Coppedè, realized by the architect Gino Coppedè at the beginning of the 2oth century, brings together liberty, art decò, classic, gothic and medieval architecture styles in its 45 buildings of various sizes right in the centre of Rome.
The main square, which is easy to reach by bus from piazza Venezia but also by subway line B, is called Piazza Mincio. Here, there is an ornamental fountain in baroque style, ‘Fontana delle Rane’, which The Beatles are said to have bathed in following a concert at the nearby club Piper in 1965.