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Trip Report Rome – Off the Beaten Path-Trip Report

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Off the beaten path in Rome? Is that possible? Just to clarify, by off the beaten path, I mean less tourists, not no tourists. If you’ve been to Rome, you would understand what I mean. I don’t think there is anywhere in Rome, or Italy, for that matter that is tourist free. (We traveled 6 hours south east from Pompei on a train, then bus to a town called Matera, and still encountered a tour bus.) But I digress.

The Baths of Diocletian – the largest bath complex ever built in Rome. It is located near the Terminale Train Station in RomeThe Baths were built around 300AD. It ¬now houses a church (Santa Maria degli Angelie dei Martiri) in a small portion of its structure. The church was the last structure designed by Michelangelo, but he died before its completion. Within the Baths, a Meridian Line was built. At true noon, sunlight comes through a slit cut through the walls of the building to illuminate the date on the marble floor.

Basilica di San Clemente. It is a church that boasts 4 excavated layers beneath it. The church has no entrance fee but the excavations have an admission fee of 10EU for adults (free for kids under 16 accompanied by their parents). Beware the siesta here. At this church, you can wander through 4 levels of history from a 12th century church to a 4th century church, to a 2nd century pagan temple to 1st century Roman homes and listen to the underground river passing by. Though the cost might seem high by Roman standards, where else can you walk through 4 layers of history under one building? We stopped at the Basilica di San Clemente on our walk to the Colosseum. One bonus walking from the Basilica to the Colosseum is our encounter with the Gladiator’s Tunnels just across the street from the Colosseum.

Just a metro ride away is Ostia Antica, the ancient Roman port from around 400BC which was buried under river silt. Ostia Antica may have been Rome’s first colony. By the time we got to Ostia Antica, we had seen many ruins. But we did spot some “new” things there that we had not seen elsewhere. Ancient latrines, ancient apartment buildings and ancient warehouses were some unique structures that we saw there. Of course, as in most ancient Roman cities, there was a forum, bath houses, temples, and theaters as well. Ostia Antica also has the added bonus of being less crowded than the Colosseum or Pompeii, but still boasts the well-preserved structures

Another metro ride away is Via Appia Antica, THE old Roman road, dubbed the Queen of Roads. Originally built it was 210km, later extended to 560 km and links Rome to Italy’s south eastern coast near the port city of Brindisi. Construction of the road started around 300BC. There is a section of Appia Antica that is pedestrian friendly, where you can walk on cobblestone streets that once saw Roman slaves walking in their final hours.

On the way to Appia Antica, we walked through Parco degli Aquadotti (Aquaduct Park). Aquaduct Park boasts the remnants of several aquaducts built at different times in Roman history. Aquaduct construction started in 312 BC and ended in 226 AD and carried many gallons of water to Roman residents, making it possible for the Romans to have their magnificent baths.

Feel free to stop by my blog at http://budgettravelwithkids.com/blog/rome/ for more details and pictures.

We enjoyed our time in Rome, my husband, our 3 kids and myself. This was my second trip to Rome, the first for my husband and kids. We did all the tourist hotspots as well (i.e. Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican, Forum, etc) but added these destinations above to escape the crowds. We were glad we did.

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