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City Breaks in Rome

History is around every corner of Rome. From the Pantheon and the piazzas to Vatican City’s Sistine Chapel, the ‘Eternal City’ is one of the world’s most historically significant destinations. In Italy’s capital, you’ll discover cultural remnants of the Roman Empire, awe-inspiring Renaissance art, numerous historic landmarks as well as the culinary delights of la dolce vita - the sweet life.

29 °C

Best time to visit: April-June and September-October

2.5 hours

Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) is 26km southwest of the city centre

A city break in Rome offers countless things to see and do, buy or eat. Some of the world’s most influential art is here – both inside museums and outside in the public squares and parks. Walk among ancient ruins of the Roman Empire or drop a coin in the Trevi Fountain.  Buy Italian leather goods in the market and order fresh gnocchi at dinner.

The iconic symbol of Imperial Rome is the Colosseum: the world’s largest amphitheatre and a wonder of Roman engineering from the 1st century. Walk in the footsteps of Julius Caesar among the Roman Forum ruins nearby. One of the most popular places to visit in Rome is the Pantheon, a well-preserved circular temple now almost 2,000 years old.

It’s easy to wander the medieval cobbled streets and escape the crowds. Take a passeggiata (evening stroll) past grand palazzos and courtyards. Rome has hundreds of fountains in lovely piazzas (plazas) and hidden squares throughout town. Don’t miss Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna (at the foot of the Spanish Steps) and the Trevi Fountain.

When in Rome, eat and drink as the Romans do! Order thin-crust pizza by the slice, don’t drink cappuccino after 11am and always save room for gelato. Roman specialities include gnocchi and pasta coda alla vaccinara, a ragu made from braised oxtail stew. House wines are excellent and inexpensive. 

A city break in Rome is not complete without visiting this centre of the Catholic world. At St Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church, climb 323 narrow steps to the top of the dome for both indoor and city views. In the Vatican Museums, you’ll find Raphael’s Rooms and Michelangelo's frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The city may be old, but the nightlife is young and lively. Evening activities in Rome include having pre-dinner drinks at a wine bar near Campo de' Fiori or dining alfresco around the Pantheon. There are plenty of nightclubs and a steady stream of live music options.

ROME IS BEST FOR...

Foodies: If you’ve had your fill of gelato, try tiramisu – a combination of cheese, chocolate and coffee.

Art enthusiasts: Marvel at the frescos lining the interior of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

Couples: Walk through the piazzas and along the Tiber River as the sun sets.


FAST FACTS

Language: The language spoken in Rome is Italian

Currency: The currency used in Rome is the Euro (€)

Local time: Rome is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time

Fly: Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) is 26km southwest of the city centre

Flight time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Tourist information: Further Rome tourist information can be found at www.turismoroma.it

Visa & Health: Before your holiday to Rome, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy for recommendations and advice on visas and health.


WEATHER AND CLIMATE

Temperature: Average highs of 29 (°C) in summer and 13 (°C) in winter

Best time to visit: April-June and September-October

Rome’s Mediterranean heat is especially balmy in July and August. The spring and autumn months are more comfortable.


GETTING AROUND

By foot: The city centre is easiest to cover on foot. Look out for mopeds and bicycles when crossing the street at busy intersections.
 
By tourist bus: When not walking between attractions, try one of the many hop-on/hop-off, open-top tourist buses.

By bus or metro: Buses are a reliable (but crowded) way to get round the city. A 2-3 day Roma Pass includes all public transport, entrance fees to two attractions and discounts to many other museums.

By taxi: Taxi stands are at all the piazzas and train stations. Make sure the meter is running. If paying by credit card, inform the driver before starting the journey.


EVENTS

White Night: On La Notte Bianca, the Eternal City becomes a pedestrian zone and stays open all night, offering street dances, concerts, wine tastings, museum tours and children’s activities. Rome’s ancient monuments are lit and open to the public.

Estate Romana (Roman summer): If you can bear the heat, Rome has an extraordinary cultural programme throughout the summer. Over a thousand performances, events and exhibitions are held, including an open-air cinema and pop-up shops and food stalls on the Tiber riverbank.
 
Easter Sunday: On Pasqua, the Roman Catholic Pope gives a blessing and an Easter message from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to everyone gathered in St Peter’s Square.


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