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Rome City Holidays

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Top 5 things to see and do in the Eternal City

1. Explore Classical Rome

Be transported back in time to the days of ‘Gladiator’ when you visit Rome’s epic monuments. Go to the Colosseum and imagine what it was like standing in the arena and hearing the roar of the crowd. Or follow in Julius Caesar’s footsteps when you stroll around the magnificent marble Pantheon and Roman Forum.

2. Hang out in a piazza

Soak up the atmosphere as you sip an espresso in one of the city’s squares. Hang out in Piazza Navona and you’ll be entertained by street performers while you admire the ornate buildings and fountains. The Piazza di Spagna has the Spanish Steps at the top – the perfect place for a Roman photo op. And you can get a fantastic view of the city from Piazza Garibaldi.

3. Stroll around fountains and villas

The ornate, swirling Trevi Fountain is one of the city’s iconic sights. Its Neptune and frolicking horses are best seen lit up at night – and it’s likely to be less crowded the later you go. Throwing a coin into the fountain means you’re sure to return to Rome one day. Great escapes from the bustle of the city are the gardens of the Villa Borghese and Villa Torlonia.

4. Visit the Vatican City

The smallest state in the world is in the heart of Rome and packed with must-sees. St Peter’s Basilica and St Peter’s Square, where the Pope holds his audiences, is here. So is Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel with its fabulous frescos. You can enjoy some peace and quiet in the cool greenery of the Vatican gardens.

5. Eat gelato

What’s the difference between ice cream and gelato? Basically, gelato is made with less cream than ice cream. And lots of people think it’s much nicer. Rome is full of places selling the delicious dessert, so make sure you eat enough to judge for yourself. Gelateria Valentino and Gelateria II Dolce Sorriso are among the top picks.

Insider Tip

1) Great Market Hall is the number one place to pick up real Hungarian food and drink. It can get very busy at weekends, but is quieter during the week – especially on a Monday.

2) Take a break from the bustle of the city in Rome’s beautiful parks. The Villa Borghese is the best of the bunch, with its gorgeous fountains, monuments and even a Renaissance art gallery.

3) Enjoy an ice cream under the bright Roman sunshine. The city’s gelaterias are world-renowned for the inventiveness of their flavours, such as sage & raspberry, balsamic vinegar and even wasabi!

4) Rome is famous for its archaeological sites, yet some of the best-preserved structures actually lie just outside the city at the ancient port of Ostia Antica. It’s a great idea for a day trip.

Food and drink

The quieter, less travelled streets of the Trastevere district offer you the opportunity to try Roman delicacies such as bruschetta and spaghetti carbonara in atmospheric surroundings. You’ll also find fine dining restaurants clustered around the Via Nazionale and Via Veneto, serving delights like the crisp white wines of Lazio and artichokes soaked in fragrant olive oil. It’s well worth visiting Monteverde Vecchio to eat like the locals too.

Shopping

A classy shopping destination, Rome’s most upmarket area for fashion is the Piazza Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps, lined with Italian designer boutiques including Gucci, Versace and Prada. Via del Corso is also a central street featuring international brands in the historic centre of Rome. Alternatively, Campo de Fiore is the city’s oldest market, offering an array of fresh produce and souvenirs.

Must-see

Walk in the footsteps of emperors, in awe of the huge milk-white columns of the Roman Forum, culminating in the captivating sight of the Colosseum. Then make your way to the spiritual setting of the Vatican City to admire the Renaissance delights of St. Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. The naturally artistic beauty of Rome continues at the rearing white stone horses of the Trevi Fountain.

Getting around

Rome’s Metropolitana system is especially well developed, and travels around all of the main attractions spread across the large city. It’s well worth considering a Roma Pass too, as this includes free admission to attractions along with access to public transport. You can also hop on the city’s electric buses, which have six different tramlines and take you through the narrow streets in the historic centre.

If you're in town...

…on 21st of April you can join in when Rome celebrates its birthday. For the Natale di Roma festival, people get their togas on and reenact the city’s historical battles and events. Street performers and parades are the order of the day, and it’s all rounded off with a firework display.

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Rome City

top holiday deals

nights,

At A Glance

  • Language

    Italian
  • Currency

    euro
  • Time difference

    +1 hour
  • Travel

    11 euro for a 3-day public transport tourist ticket (approx £8.70)
  • Beer

    5 euro (approx £4.00)
  • 3-course meal

    30 to 60 euro (approx £23.50 to £47.00)
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