Rome’s Hidden Treasures

The city of Rome is a treasure in and of itself but if you get off the beaten path, you will discover that there are many jewels just waiting to be discovered. One of these jewels is the Colonna Palace located in the heart of Rome. It is one of the oldest and certainly most majestic private palaces in the ancient city. It was built in the 14th century by The Colonna family who at the time was one of the most powerful and influential families in Rome

It is said that Michelangelo was also a frequent visitor at the palace as a guest of the Poetess Vittoria Colonna his muse and very close friend.

The Colonna Art Gallery houses one of the largest private art collections in Rome and is open every Saturday from 9am to 1:15pm. Entrance to the Art Gallery and the Princess Isabelle Apartments is from Via della Pilotta 17. However, private appointments are also available seven days a week if one makes a reservation.

Below is a video that gives you a glimpse of the beauty that awaits you within the walls of this beautiful Roman residence.

Colonna Palace: If you’d like to learn more about the Colonna Family and the history of the palace, visit the official web site at Colonna Palace. Now leaving the beautiful and majestic Colonna Palace we make our way towards Via Vittorio Veneto to visit probably the most macabre church in all of Rome.

The Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Capuchins , Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini is a church well worth a visit for its peculiarity. It is located on Via Vittorio Veneto near piazza Barberini and I have to say that if I hadn’t been told about this unusual church I would never have discovered it on my own.

This 17th century church is notable for its crypt that lies directly under the church. The Capuchin Crypt is comprised of six chapels; Crypt of the Resurrection, The Mass Chapel, Crypt of the Skulls, Crypt of the Pelvises, Crypt of the leg and thigh Bones and The Three Skeletons. As you can see from the titles of the chapels each crypt contains bones of Friars. There is said to be around 3,700 bones throughout the crypt. What makes this crypt so unusual is the way the bones have been displayed. The bones have been nailed to the walls and arranged in various patterns such as flowers, crosses, stars and if you raise your head to the ceiling, you will even see chandeliers made from bones!

Some famous authors that have visited the Crypt include Mark Twain who wrote about it in his travel book. The Innocence abroad and Nathaniel Hawthorn who included descriptions of the crypt in his novel ,The Marble Faun. The church is located on Via Vittorio Veneto 27. Opening are hours are from 9am to 7pm and included with the entrance to the Crypt there is also a multimedia museum on the history of the Capuchin order that is well worth the visit but is so often overlooked in the rush to get to the crypt.

Tour tip: If you’ve booked a Rome tour with us Civitavecchia Shuttle Express be sure to ask about including these sites on your tour or creating your very own personalized tour.

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