Being one of the most important cities, both historically and culturally, in the world, the Italian capital of Rome is a destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. From the times of Romulus, through to the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar, to the Papacy and the Catholic Church, to the Italian Renaissance and Baroque movements, right through to the creation of Vatican City as its own country, Rome is filled with history and it is no wonder that it is fondly known as the ‘Eternal City’. No wonder it is one of the most popular destinations to fly to in Italy. Flights to Rome take just under two and a half hours, so it's a very manageable journey if you've only got a few days to spare. In fact, Rome is a great last minute destination.
Rome serves as one of the most fascinating places on this planet and there really is something for everyone to enjoy. While a lot of people do go to Rome for religious purposes, this important aspect of the city is definitely one of its unique points that attracts many from all walks of life. Culture vultures will be amazed by the historical relics that still stand in Rome, from the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and the works of Michelangelo, every corner you turn in the city has something breathtaking to be explored. You can travel to Rome at any time of the year and still enjoy lovely weather, with temperatures rarely dropping below 0°C during the winter and reaching up to around 30°C in the summer. If you're planning to discover the city on foot, spring and autumn are probably the best times to fly, as the weather is typically dry and warm, without being overly hot.If this isn’t enough to persuade you to think of Rome as a holiday destination, then the fantastic Italian food the capital offers certainly is.
For only 4€ extra you can pre book tickets to the Colosseum and Vatican. This way you can avoid the 2 hour queue for tickets.
Vatican City is actually the world’s smallest country and has been since it was given such status in 1929. While it is around an eighth of the size of Central Park in New York, it is where the head of the Catholic Church lives. It is built over the tomb of St Peter and is the most powerful place within the religion.
St Peter’s Basilica is truly breathtaking, and being over 180 metres high, is the world’s largest Christian Basilica. It is situated in the heart of the Vatican and is surrounded by the Swiss Guards who are known for their blue, red, orange and yellow uniforms. Those who are lucky enough to visit St Peter’s Basilica on a Wednesday morning from 10.30am may just get the chance to see the Pope himself.
A visit to Vatican City is not complete without a trip to the Sistine Chapel to experience the work of Michelangelo, in particular the impressive ceiling which he began working on in 1508. The Creation of Adam remains one of the most important pieces of art throughout history, illustrating the moment in which God gave breath to Adam, the first man.
The Colosseum is one of the most interesting places to visit in Rome. Built in 69-79 AD, it was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre and seats 50,000. Up until the 6th Century, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, executions and re-enactments of famous battles.
Taking a moment to stand in the arena is breathtaking and it is almost impossible not to imagine the historical events and scenes which once took place in it.
The Italians are known for their love of food and if there is one place in which you are guaranteed to experience some of the greatest tastes it is the country’s capital.
While it may have originated in Naples, Rome truly offers some of the most delicious and authentic Italian pizzas in the country. There are restaurants which offer a traditional thin base, with a Quattro Stagioni (four seasons) being one that is particularly recommended, while others have adopted a thick-rimmed style which is equally as delicious.
While Rome is within the mainland of Italy, for those who decide that they would like to spend a day at the beach, the coast is only a short train ride away. Sperlonga offers a beautiful stretch of beach based at the foot of a hill which is made up of scenic whitewashed houses which have been built up in a way which makes them look as though they are one big cluster.