The eternal capital of romance
Masterpieces from all forms of plastic art, from architecture to painting to sculpture, are housed in the city, as are the creations of famous artists such as Michelangelo, Salvi, Sangallo, Maderno and Bernini. There are many museums and galleries around the city to delight enthusiasts, the most popular being the Borghese Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Entering the Roman Forum archaeological site, you will almost feel as if you are reliving ancient history, especially when walking along its cobbled streets. The site dates back to around 500 BC and was further expanded by Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar and Trajan. The remains of imperial Rome can be seen in the Forum, whether in the Trajan Column, the Arch of Titus or the Circus Maximus, just to name a few. After a visit to the Forum, you can try your luck with the Bocca della Verita, an ancient stone sculpture depicted a bearded man’s face with its mouth wide open. According to legend, the statue bites the hand of liars.
Italy is home to one of the oldest and richest cultural heritages in Europe. Apart from the Dolce Vita and the vintage Vespa, many festivals and celebrations take place here every year and never fail to fascinate tourists. A Roman from Caesar's time would not be confused by the eternal beauty of this landscape. But what has certainly changed are the areas where people go out, the city's night spots. In the past, people spent their evenings in the taverns of the Capitoline Hill (overlooking the Forum); today, they cross the nearby Tiber River and go at random to the Trastevere district, sure to find good food and nice bars in its medieval alleys.
Tourists come to Rome but usually change countries for a few hours to explore Vatican City, the world's smallest nation and the political and religious centre of the Roman Catholic Church. Millions of people flock to the Italian capital every year with the main purpose of visiting this site, which is said to be the burial place of the Apostle Peter. Believer or not, this place is worth a visit!
Italian gastronomy is famous all over the world, but its full potential is only revealed in authentic restaurants. Each region has its own specialities in the kitchen and there is nothing better than tasting the local food. Rome's specialities include carbonara, a pasta made with creamy eggs, pecorino cheese and guanciale ham, fried salt cod and bucatini all'amatriciana, which is essentially spaghetti seasoned with guanciale, tomato sauce and pecorino cheese. Buon Appetito!
One of the great joys of Rome is getting lost in the narrow cobbled streets that make up the Centro Storico. From Piazza del Popolo, three main roads form a trident leading to Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum. There are countless streets and alleys where you can find baroque churches, shops selling carved wooden figurines, private courtyards where the richest Romans live, ice cream parlours, cafés and restaurants. To enjoy it, no need to ask questions... all roads lead to Rome!
Uncover the secrets of the Ides of March: the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated has finally opened to visitors.
How to get there?
There are direct flights to Rome from almost all major UK airports. Depending on the flight, you may arrive at either Fiumicino or Ciampino airport, from where there are shuttle buses to Rome for around £6.
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Where to stay?
Hotels, youth hostels or rented flats: there are many possibilities for accommodation in Rome. If you want to spend a few days among the atmosphere and charm of Rome, head for the Trastevere district. There are many tourist areas and the hotel offers are following the trend. You can easily get around Rome by public transport, depending on your wishes and your budget!
You will need a valid passport to enter Italy as a UK citizen.
The Italian capital is a great place to live, and there are no particular areas to avoid, although you should be careful of pickpockets, as in any big city. At night, avoid the area around Termini station and the Villa Borghese if you don't have to go there, as they can sometimes be crowded. In the more touristy areas such as the Colosseum or the Vatican, scams are not uncommon, especially for skip-the-line tickets. Many touts come up to visitors in the queues to sell them fake or real tickets at exorbitant prices.
In Rome, there are many companies that offer visitor passes. The city has chosen to promote the Roma Pass, a card valid for 48 or 72 hours that allows you to benefit from special rates. For 2 days at £28, the pass includes a visit, public transport, discounts on numerous events, the Circo Maximo Experience and other services. For the 3-day pass, an additional visit is included for £45.
More information on the Roma Pass: Click here
Other cards such as the Omnia Card and the Rome Tourist Card are also very popular with visitors.
The public transport network is very complete in Rome: metro, bus and tramway cover most of the city. Depending on your needs and the length of your journey, you can opt for an unlimited card valid for 24, 48, 72 or 7 days, from £6 to £20. Single tickets are sold for £1.30 and are valid for 100 minutes.
For more information on the public transport network: Click here
Tipping is far from being an obligation in Rome, but it is still appreciated for certain services. In restaurants, take into account that some additional costs may be added to the bill. Cutlery and bread can increase the bill by 1 to £2.20 per person when they are not included in the price of the dishes. If this is not the case, a tip is always welcome at the time of payment, as is the case for baggage handlers and tour guides, which can amount to £1 to £2.
Good to know before booking your holiday in the Eternal City: a tourist tax applies to everyone, depending on the type of accommodation. Travellers staying in hotels will be charged £3 per person per day for 1 and 2-star hotels, £3.50 for 3-star hotels, £5.50 for 4-star hotels and £6 for 5-star hotels. If you choose Airbnb or a chambre d'hôte, the rate is £3 and £2.50 for holiday rentals and hotel residences. Campers are charged £2 per day, unlike travellers staying in youth hostels, who are exempt. The amount due must be paid on the spot, at the establishment, except for Airbnb accommodation, where the amount is included in the booking.
Ideal time of year
Rome in winter is the perfect time to avoid the crowds around the historical monuments. The Colosseum, the Vatican and its Sistine Chapel or the Trevi Fountain are all yours. But it is also the time when the city is transformed. Don't think that the streets are deserted when the temperature drops in Rome, it's time for festivities.
What to bring back?
You'll be able to pick up a few delicacies from the market stalls in Rome.Olive oil, white or red wine, limoncello, coffee and biscuits will please all food lovers and are sold en masse at the Campo de' Fiori market. As for material, vintage clothes from the market in via Sannio, books, old maps and old photos can be found on the stalls in piazza Fontanella Borghese.
There are a lot of visitors in Rome, so plan to spend extra money on tickets to save time and enjoy the city!
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