Exploring Italy: The TOP 5 Underrated Piazzas of Rome

March 9, 2016,

Italian Week on the blog ended yesterday – but I was inspired to write another post to close the week, seeing as 3 out of the 4#ItalianWeekwithHWE posts were by contributors. I love getting different points of view and experiences on the blog so I’m really grateful for last week’s contributors. But now it’s my turn to explore Italy with you and share the TOP 5 underrated piazzas of Rome!

First, let’s look at what makes a good piazza – I’d say: fountain(s), seating, views (whether panoramic or a humble perspective of a neighbourhood) and good vibes. There are hundreds of piazzas in Rome, and some of the most famous are definitely worthy of their notoriety – Trevi, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Campo de’ Fiori… but today I want to share a few of my favourites, the TOP 5 underrated piazzas in the city. Without further ado, (and in no particular order) here they are:

Piazza degli Zingari in Rome // Photo via Pinterest // Rome's Top 5 Underrated Piazzas on happiestwhenexploring . com Photo via Pinterest Nancy Aiello Tours

Piazza degli Zingari
Piazza degli Zingari is a quaint little piazza in the Monti district. During the day, it is very quiet and you might see locals, and tourists alike, taking a break on one of the stone benches overlooking Via Urbana. In the evenings, the tiny, triangular piazza is poppin’ with locals.

Piazza Mincio in Rome // Photo via Rome Your Guide to Italy // Rome's TOP 5 Underrated Piazzas at happiestwhenexploring . com Photo by Rome Your Guide to Italy

Piazza Mincio
Piazza Mincio belongs to the often-overlooked quarter of Rome, Coppedè. Coppedè is sort-of out of the way and “far” from the main sights (the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, Trevi…) so you won’t find many tourists here. Instead, you will find locals gathering for family lunches at one of the many restaurants, clerks from speciality shops stopping for an espresso or a gelato at the neighbouring bar, and vice-versa. It’s quite a lovely and peaceful area to escape to if you can spare a day. But back to Piazza Mincio! The piazza showcases la Fontana delle Rane and is at the centre of an intersection (if you can call it that). The piazza is surrounded by the some of the most spectacular and unusual buildings in Rome. Bonus: The Beatles once jumped, fully dressed, into la Fontana delle Rane (translating to The Fountain of the Frogs).


Piazza Mattei, Fontana delle Tartarughe via Roman Homes // Rome's Top 5 Underrated PiazzasPhoto via Roman Homes

Piazza Mattei
Piazza Mattei is probably the sweetest, most picturesque piazza of them all. Located close to the Tiber river in the Sant’Angelo district, Piazza Mattei houses the beautiful Fontana delle Tartarughe. There are many stories and legends about the fountain, its origin and meaning and it was very popular at the time of its inauguration (~1580). Every time I visited the piazza, there were never more than a handful of people admiring or sitting by the fountain. To me, Piazza Mattei and Fontana delle Tartarughe are gems of Rome and deserve to be admired now.


Piazza Trilussa, Rome (Trastevere) Photo by Ivan Marra // Rome's Top 5 Underrated Piazzas on happiestwhenexploring . comPhoto by Ivan Marra via Spotted by Locals

Piazza Trilussa
Piazza Trilussa is right off the Ponte Sisto, in Trastevere (P.S. do yourself a favour and add Trastevere to your MUST-SEE list for Rome if you haven’t already). The piazza seems like it was designed for fun and entertaining – with its large stage-like area and the steps leading to a fountain that work like concert seats, to accommodate a crowd. If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon street performers set up in the square. My favourite show to date has been by Fabulous Wood performing in Piazza Trilussa. 

Piazza della Madonna dei Monti Photo by Rebecca via romeing.it // Rome's Top 5 Underrated Piazzas on happiestwhenexploring . comPhoto by Rebecca via Romeing.it

Piazza Santa Maria dei Monti (or Piazza della Madonna dei Monti)
Last but not least is Piazza Santa Maria dei Monti in – you guessed it – the Monti neighbourhood. The piazza is always full of people, old and young (but mostly young). During the day, you will find locals taking a break, enjoying their lunch on the fountains steps. At night, the piazza is buzzing with people laughing and talking, enjoying a beer or two with friends, and even some playing music. It’s a really lovely spot to sit, enjoy a gelato (or a beer) and people watch. 

I don’t know about you but after all that talk about Rome I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, and #maldiEuropa (term by Kossi Komla-Ebri – look him up, too)! Who else is off to plan their next trip to Italy? 😛 


What are your favourite piazzas in Rome (or elsewhere in Italy)? Exploring Italy: Rome's TOP 5 Underrated Piazzas by happiestwhenexploring . com [for photo credit, please visit the article]



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  • Reply Ilena C. March 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I July of 2013 my husband and I rented an apartment a five-minute walk from Piazza degli Zingari. One afternoon I went for a walk all by myself and by accident saw this cute, little, triangular piazza. I sat on the bench and read for about half an hour. It was in the middle of the afternoon and the sun was still high and it was hot so not too many locals were out. It was magical. Then later that evening we went back and had a gelato at the gelateria Fata Morgana. It was one of our last nights so it was pretty special. Next time I want to wander to the Coppedè neighbourhood. Thanks!

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring March 9, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you for letting me know about Piazza degli Zingari… and the Monti neighbourhood, for that matter! Grazie mille. And yes, Coppedè is very special – you will love walking the streets in person!

  • Reply Celia March 16, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Piazza Navona was my favourite (in terms of the popular one), I remember heading toward that direction in the middle of the night with my zio and cugino. There was nobody, therefore had the piazza to myself and the fountain was light up with a yellowish and green lights which made it spectacular. Italy is magical.

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring March 16, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      That sounds so magical… I agree with you on that one too, Piazza Navona is one of my favs! The church (Sant’Agnese in Agone) just behind is it spectacular too!

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