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Hidden Gems: Passetto del Biscione

There is always something to do, see, and discover in Rome. There are places, hidden gems in Rome, that preserve a rare beauty, which tell stories related to the history of the city and that often remain mostly unknown.
 
 
An example is the Passetto del Biscione, a sort of mini gallery just a few steps away from the famous Campo De ‘Fiori. Despite its central position, it is little known by tourists, as well as Romans, probably in part because it doesn’t look very inviting from the outside and many visitors don’t even notice it. 

This ancient passageway is located on the site of the Theater of Pompey, which was completed in 55 BC and was the first permanent theater to be built in Rome. It’s thought the passetto connected the theater auditorium with the outside and provided entry for spectators. 
 
© Beni Culturali
 
 
Today it connects Piazza del Biscione with Via di Grottapinta and has recently been used as an exhibition space. Beautifully frescoed (and restored in 2016), it also hosts a sacred image of the Madonna. Hence the Italian saying “Looking for Mary around Rome“, which means looking for someone, with a very common name, in a city as big as Rome: an almost impossible undertaking. So the image of the Madonna was so hidden that to find it they almost had to organize a treasure hunt!
 
 
 
The Passetto del Biscione is quite a small treasure that contains a very special and unique and special corner of the Eternal City. A little gem of Roman history and traditions that is worth seeing, in order to add another little piece to the list of unusual and extraordinary treasures of the Capital. You can reach the Passetto del Biscione both from Corso Vittorio and Via dei Chiavari/Largo del Pallaro. It’s an ideal stop before going shopping at the Campo De ‘Fiori market or between Largo di Torre Argentina and Piazza Navona. You have lots of opportunities to discover it!
 
 
 

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