Photo by: Amanda Zuber

The Secret Keyhole of {Rome}

This post is part of Operation Vicarious {Rome}

I love the insider scoop. The story behind the story.

When exploring a city, whether I’ve been there several times or it’s brand new to me, I live to experience unique moments and visit odd little places.

Enter the Knights of Malta Gate, complete with a secret keyhole and a stunning view. This little gem is the perfect blend of quirk and mystery.

Many of us know that the Vatican is its own city state. It operates independently of Italy and once you’re through the gates, you’re in its jurisdiction. But Rome is not just comprised only of Italy and the Vatican. There is a another county within the city limits —Malta.

Rather than a history lesson, I want to tell you about the keyhole found within the huge set of wooden green gates. Located atop the Aventine Hill at Piazza Cavalieri di Malta, the gates are actually the entrance to Malta and are very rarely opened.

When you peer through the keyhole, you are viewing the gardens of the Villa del Priorato di Malta, one of the Roman properties of the famous Knights of Malta. Beyond the gardens and perfectly framed within the keyhole is the dome, St. Peter’s Basilica.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland as I stepped up to the door and looked into the keyhole. It was as if the white rabbit was going to hop out of the hedge at any moment and beckon me to follow.

What makes this experience even more unique is while you’re standing in Italy looking through the keyhole, you’re viewing the gardens of Malta, which are framing the dome of the Vatican. Three countries, all at once. Love.IT.

It’s not known if the perfect alignment was by design or luck, either way it’s well worth the trip.

Getting a shot of the view through the keyhole is more than my iPhone 6 can handle, but never fear, the internet is here. Check out the view.

If you’re interested in being scootered up here on a private vespa tour (duh) contact Annie and Giovanni at Scooteroma Tours.