For thousands of years tourists have found their way towards the town built on seven hills along the banks of the Tiber and it’s easy to see why. The Eternal City, has just about the richest, fullest history of any town on earth but even though it is impossible not to see any of the obvious sights in Rome, such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Spanish Steps, Rome is far from being a museum. There are plenty of other fascinating attractions to look out for, the food, the culture, the ambience and the surrounding scenery make a great holiday even if you don’t survey a single ruin or statuetrevi, fountain.
Rome’s mild climate makes it popular to visit year-round; however, spring and autumn are without doubt the best times to visit, the trees in bloom in Spring are glorious. July and August are very hot with the highest rainfall in November. From December to February there is briskly cold weather, although it’s rarely grey and gloomy.
Typical Roman food has its roots in the past and reflects the old traditions in most of its offerings. It is based on fresh vegetables and inexpensive cuts of meats. It also consists of deep fried, tasty appetizers and sharp “pecorino cheese” (made from sheep’s milk from the nearby countryside), a very important ingredient in many recipes. Oddly Roman cuisine has always observed a timetable, Thursdays, for example, is the day of Gnocchi, served with a sauce of meat and tomato or cheese and pepper; on Friday, ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach, and cod stew made with tomato, pine seeds and raisins. While Saturday is tripe flavored with Roman wild mint; on Sunday dig it is the turn of tagliatelle prepared in one of its numerous forms. There are few Roman desserts however definitely worth a try is the ricotta cake, which is made with fresh ricotta cheese mixed with sugar, lemon, vanilla, candied fruits, pine nuts and raisins. View Rome Tour
In a city that is simply replete with important historic buildings and monuments, the Pantheon still manages to stand out. The bronze cladding and the marble facing have all been stripped away over the years but the sheer majesty of the dome is unmissable.
The Colossuem is Rome’s most famous monument, occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum. Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum is the largest remaining Roman-era amphitheatre anywhere. A visit here provides a fascinating look back at a very important aspect of life in the ancient capital. It was here that gladiatorial contests, mock naval battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on mythology took place when the building was completed in 80AD.
The Vatican City
The Vatican City has its own country in the middle of central Rome and while Vatican City is technically its own independent city-state, no one visits Vatican City on its own without visiting Rome as well. Its collection of artefacts from the history of Christianity makes it well worth a visit. St Peters is obviously a highlight with its gold and marble statues, but the only part of the Vatican Palace itself that you can visit independently is the Vatican Museums. This museum is extraordinary, showing the wealth accumulated by the Catholic Church throughout its history. The walls are adorned with paintings from floor to ceiling and the corridors with tiny portraits of saints in gold and bright colours. As its name suggests, the complex holds a series of museums on very diverse subjects – displays of classical statuary, Renaissance painting, Etruscan relics, Egyptian artefacts, not to mention the furnishings and decoration of the building itself. The feature you really shouldn’t miss is the Sistine Chapel. It is here that serves as the pope’s official private chapel and the scene of the conclaves of cardinals for the election of each new pontiff. The ceiling frescoes here, and painting of the Last Judgement on the altar wall, are probably the most viewed paintings in the world: it’s estimated that on an average day about 15,000 people trudge through to take a look.
The Spanish Steps
With its characteristic butterfly plan, the Spanish Steps are one of the most famous images in the world. They are located in an upmarket area of Rome, and join the Piazza di Spagna with the church of Trinita dei Monti. The Spanish Steps are usually crowded during the summer months but a trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without a visit here.
Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
Located in the historic centre of Rome, is what must be the most spectacular fountain in the city, the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi Fountain stands at the end of the Aqua Virgo, which has supplied fresh water to Rome since 19 B.C. It brings water all the way from the Salone Springs, which is over 20 kilometres away. The fountain is inspired by Roman triumphal arches and is the largest and most popular in Rome at 25.9 meters high and 19.8 meters wide. The central figures of the fountain are Neptun (God of the sea), flanked by two Tritons that symbolize the two contrasting moods of the sea.
Piazza del Campidoglio
This splendid square was conceived by Michelangelo, who also designed the two palaces on the opposite sides of the square. It is reached by the grand flight of steps known as the “Cordonata”. Piazza del Campidoglio is at the top of the Capitol Hill in Rome, where Roman Divinities were once praised and nowadays it is headquarter of the Italian Government.