5 Hidden Gems You Can Visit When You Study Abroad in Rome

John Cabot University

It’s easy to adjust to life away from home with so many fun, low-cost things to do in Rome. Exploring the environment around you can help you feel more at home and enrich your education, while giving you something to do with the new friends that you make from all over the world.

The city of Rome has many sights that are world-renowned. However, when you are studying abroad you will have a lot of time to explore Rome, so you can go beyond the Colosseum, Vatican, and Pantheon to explore some of the many interesting, lesser-known gems that Rome has to offer.

1. Have a Chilling Experience in the Capuchin Crypt

Biology, pre-med, and nursing students in particular may find this display just as fascinating as our creative writing and literature students will find it inspiring. This crypt is situated within Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins, a church commissioned by Pope Urban VII in the 17th century. Later, Pope Urban VIII ordered to have the bones of diseased friars displayed in the church’s crypt, arranged artistically in religious motifs on the walls. Entire skeletons are also displayed, dressed in the brown habit worn by the friars. This is a fascinating and strange part of Rome where the meaning of life can be contemplated, though it’s not for the faint of heart!

2. Visit the Hidden Courtyard of Galleria Sciarra

It costs much less than you think to have a fruitful and exciting experience when you study abroad. Rome is chock full of free, or nearly free, works of art and historical monuments. Just a short walk from the Trevi Fountain, Galleria Sciarra features a courtyard with walls covered in beautiful artwork. Originally meant to be a shopping mall, the building is now used for offices. During business hours, the public is welcome to enter the courtyard for free and view the gorgeous Art Nouveau frescoes, depicting a theme of female virtues.

3. Take a Break in Quartiere Coppedè

The complex of buildings around Piazza Mincio is full of whimsical architecture featuring animals, monsters, and other figures. The main square is adorned by the Fountain of the Frogs, a monumental piece with dynamic sculptures of frogs around a circular basin. Quartiere Coppedè is often described as fairytale-like and is relatively new, created in the early 20th century. This gem offers a nice contrast to ancient Roman monuments and landmarks.

A view from Quartiere Coppede in Rome

A view from Quartiere Coppedè in Rome

4. Relax at the Basilica di Santa Cecilia in Trastevere

Santa Maria in Trastevere is the most famous basilica in the neighborhood, which means that Santa Cecilia is often overlooked. It exists in a less-frequented part of Trastevere, just across Viale Trastevere from JCU. Santa Cecilia is the patron saint of music, with the basilica as her final resting place. With no shortage of beautiful architecture and a peaceful setting, including a lovely courtyard with a fountain in front of the basilica, it’s the perfect place for a busy John Cabot student to wind down, relax, and reflect.

5. Enjoy the Whimsical Turtle Fountain

If you liked the Fountain of the Frogs in Quartiere Coppedè, check out this animal-adorned fountain in Piazza Mattei located in the Jewish Ghetto, a short walk from John Cabot. The Renaissance fountain has an interesting history of revisions. Originally designed without the turtles (they were added about a century later), the fountain first featured young men and dolphins. The dolphins were later removed. The square is a great place to decompress from your studies or spend some time chatting with a new friend.

Turtle Fountain stands in Piazza Mattei

The Turtle Fountain stands in Piazza Mattei

Are you interested in exploring Rome’s hidden gems with a study abroad program?

Contact John Cabot University for more information!

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