Rediscovering Rome: New Attractions and Experiences for Return Visitors

Rome, the Eternal City, has always been a magnet for travellers from around the globe. Its cobblestoned streets, iconic ruins, and timeless art have lured countless visitors, and many return to dive deeper into the layers of this multifaceted metropolis. For those who have already marvelled at the Colosseum, tossed coins into the Trevi Fountain, and wandered through the Vatican Museums, Rome continues to evolve, offering new attractions and experiences that allow you to rediscover its charm.


Opera in Rome

Music lovers will find that Rome has stepped up its game in recent years. Alongside traditional operas performed at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, more eclectic performances are cropping up in lesser-known venues like Palazzo Altemps. Imagine listening to an aria surrounded by ancient Roman statues—it’s an experience that transcends any typical night at the opera. Special events and seasonal performances of the Opera in Rome allow you to dive into the Italian arts scene in ways you might not have considered on your first visit.


Contemporary Art and Culture

While Rome is synonymous with ancient history, it is also a bustling hub for contemporary art and culture. One of the standout locations for contemporary art lovers is the MAXXI Museum—the National Museum of 21st Century Arts. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the museum is an architectural marvel in itself. Inside, you will find a rotating collection of modern art installations, interactive exhibits, and works by contemporary Italian and international artists.

In addition to museums, the thriving street art scene is rapidly gaining attention. Neighborhoods like Ostiense and Quadraro are festooned with vivid murals and graffiti created by both renowned and emerging artists. For a more curated experience, several companies offer guided street art tours, ensuring you catch all the hidden gems and get in-depth analysis of the works.


Gastronomic Innovations

Italian cuisine never ceases to amaze, and Rome is at the forefront of gastronomic experimentation. Sure, you’ve probably had your fill of carbonara and Roman pizza, but the city’s food scene is ever-evolving. Try Roscioli, a hybrid concept that is part deli, part wine bar, and part restaurant, offering a unique dining experience focused on quality ingredients and innovative pairings.

For a different take, venture into the Testaccio neighborhood, traditionally known for its authentic Roman cuisine, but now teeming with avant-garde eateries and food markets. The revamped Testaccio Market has stalls serving everything from gourmet sandwiches to vegetarian dishes, reflecting the city’s growing focus on sustainability and diverse culinary trends.


Exploring Lesser-Known Historical Sites

Though packed with historical landmarks, Rome still holds many secrets even for seasoned visitors. Take the case of the Domus Aurea, Emperor Nero’s Golden House, which is undergoing continuous excavation and restoration. It offers guided tours that delve into the opulent underground palace, complete with augmented reality features that recreate its former splendor.

The Appian Way, one of Rome’s oldest and most important roads, also offers remarkable excursions. Beyond renting bikes and cycling on cobblestones thousands of years old, newer attractions like the Catacombs of San Callisto and various tombs open for exploration make for a fascinating historical journey.


Outdoor and Active Adventures

Rome is not just for history buffs and art aficionados; it also caters to the adventurous spirit. Tiber Island provides rental options for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding along the Tiber River. These offer a refreshing perspective of the city from the water, leading to surprising discoveries around every bend.

For those who prefer to keep their feet on land, Rome’s parks and gardens are becoming the settings for new and exciting activities. The Villa Borghese Park, for example, offers segway tours, rowboat rentals, and even open-air cinemas during summer months. Aventine Hill’s rose garden, an often overlooked gem, is another serene spot perfect for picnics and leisurely strolls.


Engaging with Local Community Life

Gone are the days when tourism was a one-sided affair. Modern travelers seek immersive experiences that connect them with local communities. Wine tours in the nearby Frascati countryside offer more than just tasting; they also give insights into local agricultural practices and centuries-old traditions. Similarly, Rome’s burgeoning startup scene is increasingly visible, with tech hubs and co-working spaces open for those interested in business networking.

Rome’s charm is not static; it evolves and reveals itself in new ways, urging even the most well-travelled visitors to return. From modern art and contemporary performances to gastronomic novelties and active adventures, the Eternal City offers endless opportunities for rediscovery. As it balances the ancient and the new, Rome promises a myriad of fresh experiences that resonate with both the heart and the mind.

Stewart Thurlow

Stewart Thurlow

I once shared a lift with Meryl Streep & Julianne Moore. Oh, & Victoria Beckham smiled at me. UK Editor for ADDICTED.
Stewart Thurlow

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