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Rome is one of the oldest towns in Europe and a popular tourist destination since it is home to some of the continent’s most significant historical sites. It’s no surprise that Rome is consistently one of the world’s top 10 most visited cities, given the abundance of things to do, famous landmarks, and tourist attractions it offers, as well as the abundance of mystery temples and hidden gems. However, Rome’s metropolitan region encompasses five times as much land as the city. This article sheds light on some of Rome’s most attractive, off-the-beaten-path communities, which are often overlooked by visitors.

The Rome Metropolitan Area is 5,352 sq. km., making it the second-largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and slightly bigger than Istanbul (3,344). There are more than a hundred tiny towns and villages and forty communes in that area, but they don’t get nearly as much attention as some of Rome’s most famous sites.

1. Tivoli

Tivoli, Rome
To kick off this list of Rome’s outlying towns and villages, we’ll visit one of the city’s most frequented day-trip spots: Tivoli. Approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Rome, in the shadow of the Monti Tiburtini hills, is the medieval town of Tivoli. The city has been inhabited since ancient times. It has always been an essential stop along the main trade route between Rome and the Abruzzi. Population close to 50,000, the city is renowned for its stunning medieval center, the ruins of Hadrian’s Villa, and the splendid gardens of the Villa d’Este.

2. Sabazia Anguillara

Sabazia Anguillara, Rome, Italy
If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss seeing Anguillara Sabazia, one of the most fascinating ancient settlements in the Rome Metropolitan Area. A Roman villa is thought to lie beneath the town’s cobblestone streets, hence the neighborhood’s name. Expeditions to the area’s archaeological sites had uncovered evidence of human habitation dating back centuries before the Roman Empire was established. Anguillara Sabazia’s unusual town fountain was apparently inspired by the municipality’s eel symbol.

3. Tolfa

Tolfa, Rome, Italy
Tolfa, located midway between Lake Bracciano and the shore of Civitavecchia, is one of the most peaceful settlements in the Rome Metropolitan Area. Tolfa is accessible via a lonely road that winds through picturesque, verdant valleys that will have you wondering if you’re still in Rome and, if so, how can a place so close to such a bustling metropolis be so quiet.

4. Bracciano

Bracciano, Rome, Italy

Bracciano, one of the most charming communities in the Rome Metropolitan Area, takes its name from the picturesque lake close to the city. The principal town of Bracciano Lake boasts a wealth of exciting attractions. Everyone may find what they’re looking for in Bracciano, whether it’s a quiet day by the lake, a day of water sports, a trip to the ancient Bracciano Castle, or a stroll through the town’s historic streets.

5. Rocca di Papa

Rocca di Papa, Rome, Italy

This picturesque village’s name means “Fortress of the Pope” in Italian. The town’s castle, known as Rocca di Papa, was home to Pope Eugene III (1145–1153) and remained in papal use for centuries after his death. The papal castle that stands as the town’s most recognizable landmark has been attacked multiple times in history, including by Allied bombers during World War II.

Rocca di Papa is now a small town with a population of 17,000 and a commune in the center of the Regional Park of Castelli Romani. The Sacred Way (Via Sacra) and the Church of the Assunta (Chiesa del Crocefisso) are well worth visiting while in Rocca di Papa.

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