Beyond the Coliseum – The Quirky Side of Rome

From the Pantheon to St. Peter’s Basilica, there’s no shortage of impressive must-sees in Rome. You could very well spend eternity exploring the Eternal City and never run out of things to do. The following are a few interesting options off the beaten path, when you’ve tired of the crowds at the more famous spots.

Capuchin Crypt

Designed to be a reminder of our swift time on Earth, the Capuchin Crypt is located beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione. It contains the skeletal remains of 4,000 bodies, who are believed to be Capuchin friars, painstakingly arranged in artful decorations on the walls and light fixtures. Spooky and intriguing at the same time, it’s a sight that will make you think.

Little Shop of Horrors

Named after his influential film Profondo Rosso, or “Deep Red,” legendary filmmaker Dario Argento’s shop and museum is a must-see for anyone who has taken flights to Rome and is into horror movies, or cinema in general. It’s got everything from film stills to creepy masks, so you’re sure to pick up some piece of rare memorabilia to show off to your friends at home.

Pasta Museum

When you’ve had your fill of sampling pasta in Rome’s trattorias, you can sate your curiosity at the city’s Pasta Museum. Dedicated to pasta facts collected over the past 8 centuries, you can wander through the museum’s eleven different rooms. You’ll find a wealth of information, along with pasta-related artwork and old pasta machines. The museum’s gift shop is the perfect place to pick up an edible souvenir to take back home with you – or something to eat on that Easyjet flight back.

Geronimo’s Pub

If you’ve tired of visiting classy wine bars and want to take a walk on the wild side, Easy Rider style, you could visit Geronimo’s Pub. The clientele might look tough with their Harley Davidsons parked outside, but you’ll find a convivial atmosphere in this rock n’ roll Roman biker bar. There’s live music most nights of the week, ranging from metal to 90′s alternative.

Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary

One thing you may notice in Rome is the abundance of stray cats and dogs strolling about the ruins and cobbled alleyways. If you’re missing your furry friend back home, you can visit the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, located in an old Roman temple. Strays have been congregating here since its excavation in 1929, fed by the local “gattare,” or cat ladies. Today the shelter is more official, organizing adoptions as well as offering tours to visitors.