Telling someone they should travel to Rome is like telling someone they should breath. It’s honestly a no brainer. When it comes to history, Rome has been at the center of it all for millennia after millennia, much like its Grecian counterpart, Athens.
While Italy has no shortage of amazing cities to check out, Athens needs to be high on your list. Keeping in mind that you still should do the more traditional touristy things, there are still some oddball items you definitely need to add to your itinerary.
St. Valentine’s Skull
Nothing screams romance like going to visit the skull of a Catholic saint housed in a glass reliquary. If that’s something that fits in to your travel style, then you should probably plan a stop by one of the most unique locations in Rome.
Housed in the Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the skull of St. Valentine has been drawing in visitors for many years. The problem is there was more than one St. Valentine and no one is 100% that this is the most infamous one of them all.
Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Resting on the banks of the Tiber River, the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore del Suffragio is already a popular destination in Rome. It might not be the biggest cathedral in the city but it certainly makes up for size with beauty.
It’s also home to a fun little spot called the Museum of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and it’s probably exactly what you think. All of the objects in this museums have burn marks from where they were supposedly touched by souls trapped in purgatory. Fun!
Rome’s The Mouth of Truth
Deep in Rome is the Piazza della Bocca della Verità which rests on the site of the historic ancient Forum Boarium. The Piazza is also home to the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, which is a wonderful place to visit. But don’t miss the giant mask right beside it.
Just kidding. The Mouth of Truth is virtually impossible to miss. It is a massive jade mask that stands beside the church’s portico depicting a pagan face. Legends say it will bite the hand off of any liar who is bold enough to make such a bold play.
Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts
If you’re ever in Rome, you absolutely have to check out the remains of the Capuchin friars in these crypts. That’s not a recommendation you’ll get often on most trips, mainly because most people wouldn’t recommend going somewhere like this.
The Santa Maria della Concezione Crypts reputedly contains the remains of more than 4,000 Capuchin friars. This includes a room filled entirely with pelvises as well as one skeleton framed by bones that’s holding a scythe and scales made of bones.
Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari
The weird side of Rome isn’t all so dark and foreboding. Some of it is on the lighter side of life, including the Museo Nazionale delle Paste Alimentari. Reputedly, this is the only museum dedicated to pasta in the entire world.
It stands to reason that if you’re in Italy in the first place, you’re probably more than a little familiar pasta. This is the perfect, and apparently only, place to go and immerse yourself in the history of one of the world’s greatest genres of food.