Rome City Breaks
A city that never fails to impress even the most seasoned traveller. In Rome classical ruins stand right next to – or lie beneath – Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains. As well as its incredible history, Rome is very much a city of the present with a pulsating energy which leaves its mark on every visitor.
At the heart of the city the major sights of ancient Rome including the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon and the Palatine Hill are top of most visitors’ list. The Baroque splendours of Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are a delight whilst across the River Tiber the wonders of the Vatican including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are famous the world over and all deserve a visit. (Watch out for large crowds at certain times of year, particularly Easter). After all that sightseeing, you might like to just lose yourself in the labyrinth of streets in the charming area near the Pantheon with its cafés, bars and delightful little shops.
You’ll find a whole mixture of very different museums in Rome, ranging from Maxxi, the National Museum of 21st Century Art, to the Renaissance Palazzo Altemps near Piazza Navona which houses an entrancing collection of classical sculptures and the extraordinary Vatican Museums. The Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Maria in Trastevere are two of the oldest and most impressive churches in the city.
Eat and Drink
Simple, generous food, rich in flavour and character. Enjoy hand made pasta in a family run Trattoria or mingle with the fashionable crowd in a trendy restaurant. Prices vary greatly and it may be worth searching out a family-run, back street restaurant if you’re on a budget. If you’re busy sightseeing and don’t want to stop it’s easy to buy a piece of pizza which you can fold over and eat on the go sandwich-style just like the locals, and you can easily pick up delicious ice creams (gelati) from one of the many specialist outlets.
Head to the Via del Corso, Via Condotti and surroundings for Gucci, Prada, Fendi & Valentino if you’re feeling flush or take pleasure in window shopping if you’re not! Rome’s oldest market is held on Campo Dei Fiori and here you’ll find the best fish in the city as well as attractively arranged fruit and vegetables and a wide range of spices.
Many of Rome’s famous sights can get very crowded but the lesser known yet picturesque area of Trastevere is just across the River Tiber from the main centre. It’s worth exploring the narrow lanes and cobbled streets of this fascinating medieval neighbourhood.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by spending an afternoon in the Villa Doria Pamphili, Rome’s largest landscaped public park but less well known and quieter than the Villa Borghese.
The remarkably well preserved ruins of the ancient Roman port of Ostia Antica, easily accessible by train from the centre of Rome, are well worth a visit. You can easily spend several hours wandering around the old streets, shops, houses and baths, imagining what life was like two millennia ago. You should plan at least a half day for this trip.
Mild rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
From November to March if you are looking to save money and avoid the crowds.
Goes well with
Florence and/or Venice, both easily reached by train.
Glad you threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, ensuring your return to the Eternal City...
In Our Opinion
Take a history on a prodigious scale and blend it with exuberant locals fuelled by espresso and frascati and you are in for a treat!
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Combining with a stay in Florence, Rome or Sorrento