The Romans nicknamed their capital the eternal city, because they believed that no matter what happened, Rome would continue to exist. Today the city remains a lively and mesmerising metropolis that bears the pride of 3,000 years of captivating history, proudly visible in the numerous ruins, palaces and buildings that bejewel the Italian capital.
Rome has more listed buildings, museums and palaces than most cities, and regardless of where you head to in the city, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice in discovering both famous and lesser known Roman gems. Starting with the ancient Romans, visits to the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum as well as the Pantheon should be on the top of any visitor’s list. Off the main tourist track, you’ll find places like the Roman houses under the Church of Saints John and Paul, as well as the Via Appia -the oldest road in Rome, boasting numerous beautiful ruins along its path. Similarly, a visit to Rome should not be without a trip to the micro-state of Vatican City. Gaze at the truly breathtaking Basilica of St Peter and the Sistine Chapel, with its world-famous painted ceilings. See if you can spot the Pope from the Square of St Peter and then leave the flocks of tourists behind and head beneath the surface to The Vatican’s Necropolis, where you can explore the 22 excavated rooms and even the apparent grave of St Peter himself.
Of course, Rome is much more than ruins and beautiful buildings. The capital is also about great food and wine, lots of shopping and tranquil parks to catch your breath in when looking to relax away from the city buzz. In Rome, the sweet life is paramount — you can find plenty of shops, restaurants and cosy spots throughout the city. Around the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, you’ll find plenty of luxurious shops and delightful cafés where you can grab a cup of Italian coffee, between shopping endeavours. For a green escape, immediately north of this area sits the Villa Borghese. A quaint park with lots of trees, ruins and of course the actual Villa Borghese, where you can gaze at a wide array of classical paintings and masterpieces. For an equally picturesque view, head to the west of the park and look out across the city from the Pincian Hill. As the night draws near and the streetlamps light the city in a golden glow, find a restaurant along the narrow streets and tuck into a great local pasta carbonara that will put a flavourful spin on your Roman holiday.
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