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Rome is a capital city unlike any other in Europe. Its ancient past is evident at every corner in the magnificent architecture of its churches, museums, galleries and ruins. Vatican City, the world’s smallest nation state, is an absolute treasure house of art work from the old masters. Since there is such an enormous amount to see in Rome careful planning is necessary. If your stay is short you will need to prioritise your sightseeing.
Apart from historic Rome there is much to please visitors. It is a vibrant city by both day and night with many bars, clubs and restaurants. Italy is known for its fashion houses and Rome’s boutiques certainly have style.
Rome offers magnificent architecture, ancient ruins, wonderful churches and fascinating museums. There is nightlife to suit all tastes and restaurants catering for all palates.
Rome is popular with most age groups with the exception of families with small children. Most people appreciate the splendour of Rome and couples in particular enjoy the romance of the city.
Although Rome is a city that can be visited at any time of year, the main season begins at Easter and continues until the end of October. Easter is a very popular time for Christian pilgrims to gather in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the Catholic Church’s most important feast. In summer the temperatures can reach the early thirties and since many places of interest close for a couple of hours in the heat of the day, it is a good idea to take a siesta at this time. Remember, when in Rome...
There is so much to marvel at in the wonderful city of Rome that it is difficult to know where to begin. The churches, temples, museums, monuments and piazzas are so numerous that choices have to be made if your stay is short.
There is a good view to be had of the city from the Palatine Hill. While you are there you can visit the newly restored home of Augustus the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, open to the public from March 2008. He lived there in30BC before he came to power.
The Colosseum is one of Rome’s most popular sights. Almost everyone will have seen films depicting the Colosseum in its gladiatorial heyday and this amazing amphitheatre will not disappoint. Built by Jewish slaves it hosted four hundred and fifty years of races, fights to the death and the bloody slaughter of wild animals.
The Vatican is not to be missed. St. Peter’s dominates the square and holds amazing treasures such as Michaelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s Baroque stained glass window underneath which sits St. Peter’s chair. The Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s ceiling is world famous. It illustrates the line of power from God to the Pope beginning with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
The Pantheon, a Pagan Temple given to the Church in 608, has the worlds largest stone built dome being one hundred and forty-two feet wide. Everything about it is impressive including the twenty- seven foot oculus, the hole in its dome, its huge bronze doors and its pillared portico.
Beneath the surface of Rome lie the Catacombs, the largest of which are the Catacombs of Domitilla where thousands of bodies were laid in burial niches. Here the bones remain but in many catacombs they have been removed to ossuaries.
Rome can easily challenge Paris’ claim to be the most romantic city in Europe. The illuminated buildings in the evening add to the splendour and romance of the city. Visit the Trevi Fountain and make a wish or wander the gardens of Pincio for a moonlit view over Rome.
A short city break to Rome will enthral but not satisfy, leaving you with a hunger for more. One visit is certainly not enough.
Nightlife in Rome can be as lively or as peaceful as you choose. There are very many wonderful restaurants where couples can enjoy an intimate meal by candlelight. Although the Italians are not big drinkers there are plenty of bars and clubs where visitors can drink and dance until dawn.
Rome is for serious shoppers with its multitude of chic boutiques and designer shops. All the famous names are there including Gucci, Prada and Armani. There are also a number of markets such as the Saturday Via Sannio market, where designer fakes can be bought.
There are an enormous number of restaurants providing a wide range of menu. Eating out is not cheap in Rome but there are some very reasonable pizzerias.