Rome, an amazing city filled with culture, cuisine, art, architecture and sights not to be missed. On most people's list of places to see is the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Galleria Borghese, Palatine Hill, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and the list goes on. What most people don't always hear about are some more of the strange yet wonderful places that often go unnoticed. These 4 sights should be on anyone's list of to-see places when they travel to Rome if you want something a little off the beaten path.
1) Cappuchin Crypt The Cappuchin Crypt is an amazing tiny space decorated with the clean skeletal remains of 4,000 monks. The room, which is located beneath Santa Maria della Immacolata Concezione church, is very artfully decorated with these skulls and bones because they ran out of room to bury people in this once extremely sought after burial ground (due to the soil being from Jerusalem). To fix this problem they exhumed the clean bones and used them as decoration. There is no fee to enter, but a donation is requested. Also, no photographs may be taken in the crypt.
2) Museum of Purgatory Also known as the Souls of Purgatory Museum, this can't miss sight is located in Church of the Sacred Heart. In this one small room you will see pictures and actual items that are said to be evidence of contact from those stuck between Heaven and Hell: Purgatory. There is no fee to enter this museum.
3) Rome Crime Museum Housed in an old prison, the Crime Museum has three different sections to it and is run by the Ministry of Justice. The most commonly visited section is called Punishment and Crimes and happens to be the more gruesome and gory area. It illustrates what criminals had to deal with after they were sentenced. Life size models including the Iron Maiden can be seen here. There is a small fee to enter this museum.
4) Museum of The Sanitary Arts Although this museum may not seem to be much when judged by the name, it happens to have some very fascinating things. For example, it has a set of Siamese twins, a large collection of wax models once used for teaching purposes, a basketball sized liver stone straight out of a camel, and several bottles filled with different floating things. Admission is free to this museum.
As you can see there are some strange places to visit in Rome that you have probably never heard about. Do some digging and see what other wonderful and off the beaten path places you can find. Double check the prices and hours of operation on their websites as these can vary dramatically from place to place. Now head out and enjoy the unique side of Rome.
(NOTE: Want Our Rome Cheat Sheet? Copy these done-for-you itineraries to make sure you see all of these amazing sights the right way. Get them here.)