Countless words have illustrated the Colosseum, and its fearless gladiators; the Pantheon, and its gateway to the gods; and the Roman Forum, once heart of the mighty Roman Empire. But what of the hidden tourist attractions of Rome and those that receive fewer column inches?
For a taste of the macabre try the Capuchin Crypt, the original haunted house. Ghoulishly decorated with the bones of long dead monks, the Crypt is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Those monks privileged enough to retain their bones in skeletal form have been propped up against the wall and dressed in hooded robes. Be sure to greet your hosts as you savour the creepy ambience and explore for lost souls. Its a place you will either love or hate, though its probably unsuitable for young children.
The Gothic Sacro Cuore del Suffragio church claims to have evidence of paranormal activity. Enclosed in a glass case to protect from contamination, several handprints are believed to be those of lost souls awaiting their journey to heaven.
Egyptian influence is evident in the Pyramid of Caius Cestius. In ancient Rome many built their tombs in Egyptian fashion, but today, this is the only survivor. Constructed as part of a wall defending the city, it remains a compelling monument for the Tribune of the People for whom it was intended.
According to inscriptions upon the stones, the tomb was built over a period of 330 days and stands 118 feet (36 metres) tall. Completed in 12 BC, though the tomb may have the Egyptian signature, it differs in regard to its finish. The Romans loved marble, and in keeping with their tastes the pyramid was completed with marble slabs over the brick.
The Romans – indeed Italians in general – are justifiably proud of their culinary expertise, serving the world with their recipes. The National Museum of Pasta proudly reveals the origins of pasta in the heart of Italy, dating way back to the conception of the foodstuff some time in the 12th century.
The museum goes to great length detailing correct cooking procedures and the million and one variations on the theme that make the dish so versatile.
Learn how to cook the perfect pasta and discover how rigorous chewing can aid your digestive system.