This post is written by Alberto Statti travel blogger.
The best way to appreciate Rome in its entirety is, according to travel experts, discover the unusual spots following a route off the beaten path. If you already know the main sights of Eternal City, such as Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Navona Square, Castel Sant’Angelo etc. now it’s time to explore lesser-known places located in the historic center of Rome.
I have to thank the local experts of Wonder Where To Stay, a travel agency specialized in holiday apartments rental in Rome center; they recommended to me some attractions and a restaurant that has just been opened close to the Quirinal Palace.
Palazzo SpadaClose to the Palazzo Farnese (seat of French Embassy) there is Palazzo Spada, an elegant palace that accommodates an art collection, the Galleria Spada. I liked so much this place because is a great example of optical illusion: the architect Francesco Borromini, in fact, used the technique of forced perspective in the arcaded courtyard, creating the illusion of a gallery 37 meters long.
Once you get there, you will realize that the corridor is much shorter, and the sculpture much smaller, than they appear.
I recommend a tour of Galleria Spada, which hosts paintings from 16th and 17th century by Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Rubens, Dürer and Parmigianino, among others.
The palace is located at Piazza Capo di Ferro 13, check the official website for opening hours: www.galleriaspada.beniculturali.it.
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Vallicella
This church is also known as Chiesa Nuova and is located in Piazza della Chiesa Nuova, along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, in the heart of historic center.
Have a look at its altarpieces realized by Barocci, the frescoes by Pietro da Cortona and the Rubens slate and copper altarpiece.
About Rubens paintings, the Chiesa Nuova houses a removable oval painting of the Virgin that covers a “miraculous” icon of the Virgin Mary that is exposed exclusively on Sundays and special solemnities.
This church is an example of Baroque style and worth a visit when you walk around Torre Argentina, Campo de’ Fiori and other well-known spots in the surroundings.
Hendrik Christian Andersen House Museum
The Hendrik Christian Andersen House Museum is very close to Piazza del Popolo and was the atelier of the American artist Andersen, born in Norway.
Now the house museum displays his monumental sculptures, some paintings and temporary exhibitions of foreign artists of XIX, XX and XXI century.
Entrance is free and I recommend a visit when you are in Flaminio district, an area close to the center, full of restaurants and shops, ideal for a relaxing walk away from the crowd.
Yugo Fusion Bar
Fusion cuisine is an emerging trend in Rome, a popular city among foodies, due to the wide choice of restaurants, trattoria, pizzeria and bistro.
Yugo Fusion Bar is a new restaurant and cocktail bar located at Largo Angelicum 2, in Monti, one of the hippest districts in Rome.
This restaurant offers a combination of Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes and is headed by the prestigious chef Anthony Genovese.
The modern and minimal design is an additional reason to have a dinner at Yugo (open from 7 pm until 2:00 am), where you can taste delicious dim sum and appetizing cocktails.
I had a fulfilling dinner at Yugo Fusion Bar and I think it’s a wonderful way to end a walking tour in the Eternal City, a destination that discloses its secrets only to the most curious travelers.