Regarded as one of the world’s most fascinating, important and beautiful ancient cities, Rome is Italy’s capital and largest city. It’s difficult to overstate Rome’s influence on language, art, architecture, law and government in the western world, and has long been considered the heart of Western civilisation and Christianity. Housing some of the world’s most famous historical sites and revered works of art, Rome is a city seeped in culture.
The best way to explore this incredible city is on foot. Get lost in the narrow streets, take five on the grass in one of the gardens, refresh with a scoop of gelato or perk up with an espresso…if you’re there for a long weekend, you’re going to need some stamina!
Rome’s history isn’t hidden behind museum glass, it’s on every street. Walking the city, you’ll be walking in the footprints of history- of the conception of western culture as we know it today. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, the Pantheon and the Vatican are all centres of civilisation- entertainment, politics and religion.
The Colosseum is one of the world’s most famous historical landmarks and is as much a part of Rome’s cultural fabric as The Statue of Liberty is to New York. The bloodiest site of Roman entertainment, the Colosseum’s sheer size and grandeur is still impressive almost 2000 years after it was built. Walk around the site or take a tour inside to give you a real sense of the what happened and when.
Though it sits inside Rome city, Vatican City is actually an independent state- the world’s smallest in fact. It houses some Rome’s most prestigious landmarks, including the Sistine Chapel- the Pope’s official residence and home of the world’s most celebrated ceiling, thanks to Michaelangelo!- and St Peter’s Basilica- one of the largest churches in the world generally regarded as the centre of the Catholic faith.
For a more whistle-stop tour, visit the Trevi Fountain, an ornate 26 metre-high sculptural marvel and throw in some loose change to bring you good luck for the rest of your trip. Take the weight off weary feet and spend a sunny afternoon watching the world go by on the Spanish Steps. And don’t miss The Pantheon, the magnificent temple to the gods.
While in Rome, one thing you’ll never have to worry about is finding a great place to eat. Rome is teeming with osterias, trattorias and ristorantes serving up Italy’s fine and fresh specialities. Simple yet rich in flavour, pasta and pizzas are the order of the day.
Leave any thoughts of scales at home and indulge to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content: you don’t find flavours like this in a Dolmio jar or Domino’s box! Rome’s dishes are simple but tasty affairs: pizza, pasta, seafood, fresh vegetables and antipasti, washed down with a steaming espresso.