Stand in awe of the ancient ruins, legendary artworks and breathtaking cityscapes that make Italy’s capital so alluring.
With a population today of over 2.8 million, the modern-day city is a fascinating mix of ancient buildings and ruins nestled between elegant Baroque palaces and churches. The scorching summer temperatures and frenetic city streets can be exhausting, prompting an after- meal snooze to recharge the batteries just in time for the fabulous entertainment evenings have to offer.
The best way to discover the city is on foot, although there is a reliable bus service and the Metropolitana subway is handy for getting around quickly between areas. The city is famous for its seven hills and the various districts contained within them surround the Tiber River, which divides the central zone of the city. Navigate the labyrinth of narrow and winding alleys with a good old-fashioned map, as finding your destination among the cobbled streets can be confusing for first-time visitors.
The long list of cultural and historic attractions include Vatican City, including the breath-taking St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Every visitor to Rome should also head for the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain at least once during their trip, if only to toss a coin into the water, to guarantee a return to the city again one day. For a welcome break in a busy schedule stop at the picturesque Piazza Navona for an espresso and then visit the Pantheon to marvel at the architectural prowess of the city’s ancient inhabitants.
The Roman passion for architecture and football is only matched by their love of food and wine, and the capital does not disappoint when it comes to the culinary arts. Seek out eateries that are off the beaten track or packed with locals, where you can sample classic Italian dishes.
The saying goes: ‘When in Rome … do as the Romans do’; so after a long day on your feet taking in the sights, find a bar, sit on the terrace for an aperitivo while you watch the evening sun go down. Perfetto!