Whenever I am walking through Monti, one of my favorite things to do is to take a detour to stroll along the “secret” passageway that runs through Trajan’s Market.
Most people who visit this area of Rome walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali, the large road that connects Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. This is not a bad choice because the street was literally paved over by Mussolini specifically to impress people with its views.
You have the Roman forum to one side, Trajan’s Markets on the other, and the Vittoriano Monument and the Colosseum on either end.
However, my favorite place to escape the crowds that inevitably wander along this street is to take the little-known passageway that hangs out over the ruins.
The easiest way to find the entrance is to walk from the neighborhood of Monti. (Or keep an eye out when you are walking away from the Colosseum. The entrance will be on your right past a little lookout point).
From Monti, walk down Via Baccina towards the Forum. At the end of the street, turn right on Via Tor de’ Conti and you will see the arch above.
Before you reach it, turn left on Via di Campo Carleo and there you have it:
The secret passage.
There is a small gate to prevent scooters from driving through, but I was about to navigate it with a stroller.
The views and the relative solitude are worth the small detour. You can either go back to Monti or connect to the main road and continue on to Piazza Venezia.
I find it heartening that there are still these quiet corners in a busy city. Plus, it is an easy free thing to do in Rome.
If you would like to actually walk through the complex and get a birdseye view of the markets, you will need a ticket. This also grants you access to the museum dedicated to Trajan’s Markets.