Once known as the ‘Capital of the World’, Rome has long maintained an allure of power and innovation.
Today, Rome city breaks are perfect for those looking to absorb everything this stunning historical place has to offer – devastatingly beautiful architecture, historic grandeur, effortless style and cuisine of the highest calibre Italy’s capital is the perfect destination for a city break. Intoxicating, seductive and full of surprises, it captivates all with every curve of its amphitheatres, taste of its gelato and every ray of its ever-present sun. Stroll the ancient streets, shop in style at chic boutiques and gorge yourself on traditional Italian treats – there are plenty of things to do in this magical city.
A city break in Rome has so much to offer. Art lovers, party animals, fashionistas and families can all feel at home in its patchwork of neighbourhoods. Those looking to be immersed in the Rome depicted in history books should stay in the city centre. Nestled between the dramatic ruins of the Pantheon, countless ornate churches and the magnificent Camp de’Fiori are numerous hotels, perfect for culture vultures.
To experience Rome’s contemporary side, there are sleek 5-star hotels in the centre, giving you the opportunity to explore the sights from a city base. For an elegant mix of culture and beauty, stay in Colosseo – home of the notorious colosseum as well as a selection of fascinating museums.
For many, the allure of Rome lies in its artistic heritage. From its Etruscan roots to modern day avant-garde scene, the artists of the city have been pushing boundaries and breaking rules. Visible in its marble statues, baroque-style churches and Renaissance frescoes, the Roman artistic flair is distinctive and powerful. Wander its magnificent galleries, marvel at the array of architectural prowess on display and feel inspired by the city’s unique aesthetic.
Rome city breaks are not solely about sightseeing and culture – there is of course, the notorious cuisine. From gastro bistro finery to home-cooked rustic meals complete with checked table-cloths and wine bottle candles, the city’s food options are endless. As well as the quintessential pizza and pasta, Roman chefs serve up great speciality seafood dishes, not to mention the ever-growing flavours of gelato available!
While city breaks in Rome are a menagerie of romance and historical charm, this is also a city with its feet firmly in the modern world. Edgy designers flock to its piazzas for inspiration while quirky bars create a lively atmosphere with the latest in cutting-edge music. Get under this city’s skin and you’ll discover the vitality that pulsates through its very core.
To catch a glimpse of one of Rome’s most awe-inspiring sights, take a trip to the Colosseum. Grand, majestic, haunting – this ruin is all of the above. With a vivid insight into Rome’s ancient civilisations and home for innovation, this is sure to be top of your list on your Rome city breaks.
The rambling climb of the Spanish Steps offers a picturesque setting to take the weight off your feet and bask in the surroundings of the stunning Piazza de Spanga. Wander across to the Trevi Fountain to join the many that have exchanged their pennies for a dose of luck, through the ritual of throwing money over the shoulder and into the fountain’s depths.
Art-lovers will embrace the Galleria Doria Pamphilj. Despite its shabby exterior, it hosts the finest collection of classical art the city has to offer. With pieces by Raphael, Titan and Velazquez to name but a few, hours can feel like minutes in this creative treasure trove.
Rome is a wonderful city for a romantic getaway: just look at the love story of Roman Holiday or the recent Woody Allen film, To Rome With Love. During the day you should make a pilgrimage to the main film locations with a Vespa tour or walking tour which explores the real-life places you've seen on screen. For more information, see the Rome film map on the blog.
The city is particularly beautiful at night and there are some excellent restaurants and bars to enjoy delicious candlelit meals or a quiet drink for two. Couples can enjoy a wide selection of boutique hotels and even spas and, during the day, enjoy strolling through the cobblestone streets and piazzas, and stop for a picnic in one of the lush green parks.
Italian food is world-renowned for its variety and sumptuous flavours and a trip to Rome is the ideal place to enjoy some authentic dishes. As well as delicious pizzas, you'll find that the local cheese, wine and pastries are superb. If you're on a health kick then don't panic as there are many healthy meals you can enjoy without compromising on taste, such as fresh salads, soups and seafood.
Try to head out of the tourist areas to find some really authentic spots. Italians love their coffee and a cappuccino or espresso is ideal mid-morning with a light snack.
Romans enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres, or aperitivi and antipasti, before dinner in one of the attractive piazzas. After dinner, there are many bars, clubs and live music venues, as well as Irish pubs. For something a little different, there are plenty of theatres and performing arts venues, hosting music and dance, as well as theatre, though it will be in Italian. Rome Opera Ballet and the RAI Symphony Orchestra are well-worth seeing.
Rome is one of the cultural capitals of the world. Must-sees include the famous sights such as the Colosseum, Spanish Steps and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel. The city is full of beautiful squares, or piazzas, including the Piazza della Rotonda, spread out in front of the Pantheon. Rome is full of top galleries and museums; some of the best including the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the superb Vatican Museum.
Rome is a fashion capital, and the famous Via Condotti is the main street for high fashion and designer stores. The other main shopping areas include Bia del Corso and the surrounding streets, with a mixture of high end and affordable boutiques and chain stores. There are several large shopping malls, gift shops in the main tourist areas and La Rinascentre, Rome’s first ever department store, opened in 1887.
Ostia is a residential town just outside the centre of Rome. It can be reached in about 40 minutes and is a pleasant place to visit and relax on the beautiful beach, Lido di Ostia; a welcome break from the bustle of the city. There are also several well-known Etruscan cities near Rome, including the incredible preserved Cerveteri, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re up for the journey, the famous Pompeii is around 3 hours from the city.
Fans of Italian food will be spoilt for choice in Rome. The city is full of restaurant choices, but for some really authentic cuisine, head out of the touristy areas to residential parts and eat where the Romans do. Be sure to try some real pizza and stop for a delicious Italian espresso and sweet pastry. Another must is a gelateria, an Italian ice cream parlour.
The River Palace Hotel is in the heart of Rome City, close to the beautiful Piazza di Spagna and just a 10 minute walk from the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. The hotel is grand and elegant, with elegant and refined guestrooms with air conditioning and marble bathrooms, with luxurious touches including in-room massage.
Intrastevere Guest House is a comfortable and affordable budget hotel located in the old quarter of Trastevere. It is ideal for visitors simply after a base in the city, close to public transport links and a number of restaurants and amenities. Rooms are well-equipped and include en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.
Hotel Adas enjoys an unbeatable location in the centre of Rome, seconds from Colosseum and other landmarks, and within walking distance of public transport links. The hotel provides a selection of air conditioned rooms, a bar and internet access, with free city maps to help you explore the incredible city.
One of Rome’s most famous landmarks, the Colosseum is a must-see on any holiday to Rome. Known officially as the Flavian Amphitheatre, it once sat over 50,000 and saw bloody battles between gladiators and exotic animals.
The stunning Trevi Fountain, made famous in the film Three Coins in the Fountain, is now one of Rome’s most popular sights. Hidden away in the Piazza di Trevi, it gleams in gold baroque style with Ocean, a bearded figure in a chariot, at its centre. You'll find that the fountain is a lot bigger than it looks in the photos! In order to make sure you return to Rome, you must throw a coin into the fountain.
The Roman Forum should also be part of your sightseeing tour. The political and religious heart of the whole Roman Empire, it is a must-see for anyone interested in the city's history. Wander around the ruins which include the Basilica Aemilia, the Arch of Titus and the Temple of Julius Caesar.
Vatican City, the home of Catholicism, is the only Papal state in the world. It is easily reached from Rome, even on foot, and is enjoyable exploring on foot, although a lot of it is not open to tourists – the best places to see is the Vatican Museum and Basilica of St. Peter, as well as the Swiss Papal Guards at the entrance of the city who protect the Pope.