The best things to do in Rome’s Trastevere neighbourhood and Villa Borghese gardens
If you asked me what I did a few Sundays ago, I’d talk about scavenger and treasure hunts, finding clues and exploring hidden areas of Rome. Doesn’t really sound like the typical Sunday afternoon of a 26-year-old, does it? But no – I wasn’t at a children’s party – I was exploring off-the-beaten path areas in Trastevere with Foxtrail. Call it an “urban adventure” to make it sound more adult–like, but hear me out, because this experience is something fun, worthwhile and for all ages in Rome.
The truth is – there are so many stunning places to visit in Rome and so many ways to do it! Yet everyone seems to be exploring in the same way – tours. How about a little adventure? A way to discover the city that will truly make you remember the Eternal City? What if I told you you could access a map by inserting a code in a hidden safe in Trastevere? A map with a manual with different clues that will take you through Trastevere’s most beautiful streets, piazzas and hidden courtyards while admiring jaw-dropping views of Rome? Sounds cool, right?
After one year in Rome, Foxtrail has managed to do just that! They have created two adventures in Rome, “Trastevere Revolution” and “Villa Borghese Dreamers”. These two itineraries allow groups of families, friends and colleagues of all ages to discover the Trastevere neighbourhood or the Villa Borghese gardens in an interactive way. As all scavenger hunts, you play in groups, in this case of 2 to 6 people, which depart every 15 minutes. Each group needs to decipher the clues along the trail, and this time, no phones need to be used. We’re talking back-to-the-origins, all you need is your manual and your six senses. Remember to READ the clues!
Scavenger and treasure hunts around Rome
So which experience to go for? As of now, I only tried the Trastevere Revolution adventure, dedicated to the heroes of the Roman Republic. My final say? I had a blast. I don’t want to give the experience away but I have to say, there is so much work put into this scavenger hunt. I wasn’t expecting Foxtrail’s urban adventure to be THIS cool. Each clue is a mix between history, cool use of technology and creativity. As you go from one clue to the next, you’re taken through paths that give you breathtaking views of Rome, you learn about the city and you go to places you’d never go before. I was stunned by a courtyard in Trastevere I had no clue existed (and neither did Alessandro, who is a true Trastevere enthusiast)!
The clues were so much fun to find – from augmented reality to iconic Italian objects and hidden images, there were a total of 16 clues to find. Each clue was different and some even involved local shop owners’ involvement as well as big partners like Acea and Roma Capitale.
How does Foxtrail Roma work?
So how does it work? All you need to do is head on over to Foxtrail’s website, choose the adventure, date and time and book. No need to plan ahead, you can even choose last-minute and book on the same day. The adventures are open every day, year-round, and 12 hours a day, and are about 3km long. If you can’t decipher a clue, not to worry–they have a helpline you can message to get to the next clue!
A great outdoor activity in Rome for locals, tourists and expats
Who is Foxtrail for? Everyone – tourists, expats and locals of all ages. As a Roman, I found the experience amazing, and a great way to spend a nice day out in the open. It actually got me thinking: don’t you think locals of our generation tend to lose touch with their cities? I think that in a city like Rome, locals are sometimes immune to its beauty because they’re surrounded 24/7 by it. There are so many people that know very little about their city and tend to explore other countries before discovering their own. As we all know, “travel is the only think you pay that makes you richer”, but shouldn’t we also know more about the city we live in? Whether we’re in Rome, Paris or Berlin? That’s what Foxtrail does, they offer more than 50 adventures in 15 different cities around the world, from Berlin to Paris and London. With their urban adventures mixing knowledge and technology with outdoors, they offer a wonderful opportunity to discover Rome (two itineraries for now, but more to come) in a fun and interactive way. So Romans, tourists and expats, spend an afternoon exploring Trastevere and Villa Borghese with Foxtrail’s urban adventure, and let me know what you think!
Adults €17, Children €12, Families €50
Daily 9am – 6pm, every 15 minutes