A Long time popular destination, Rome is famous for the classic Roman buildings and the culture that surrounds the city. Set half way down the leg of Italy, on the Western side, the city is now 2,700 years old.
What is Rome like?
Rome is a beautiful, historic city full of architecture and the hustle and bustle of Italian life. Home to shops of leading worldwide fashion designers, some nestled in near the Spanish Steps, and also the famous Colloseum, Trevi Fountain and more, there is often too much to see rather than too little. The streets of the capital city of Italy are very busy, but have many quaint restaurants and lovely Gelato (a real taste of Italy, extremely sweet and refreshing hand made ice cream) shops spread about, particularly if you venture into some of the outskirts, so you will get a real Italian experience.
Things to do
The Vatican City, home to the Pope of the Catholic Church, is nestled within Rome. A trip into this tiny land-locked sovereign state of its own is an interesting experience. Remember to take something to cover your shoulders with as a sign of respect, something important to note if you wish to wander in the Vatican. With small shops lining the outer streets of this area, it is a good excursion and easy to get to from central Rome. Make sure you visit the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo’s painted ceiling and St. Peter’s Basilica while you are there and maybe even send a post card to get the Vatican’s post mark.
Around Rome are many tourist traps, such as the Colloseum, the Trevi Fountain (legend has it that if you throw a coin in, you will return one day, and if you throw two coins, you will find your true love), the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. Getting around the city to see everything is easy with the Metro underground system and many buses.
Try and visit places such as the Villa Borghese gardens, near the Spanish steps, and the wonderful bridges that cross the river Tiber, to get away from the main crowds. Ask locals in back street restaurants, or in the hotel, in order to find some hidden gems the city has to offer. There are many museums filled with classic Italian art, for example, and it is easy to take day trips to less tourist filled, but equally nice areas of Italy, such as Assisi, Palestrina, and Frascati via train services or coach tours.
You will never run out of things to do in Rome, why not start off with an open top bus tour to get a feel for the Eternal City and its layout, and then plan your days from there?
Things to think about
It is important to realise that, because of the popularity of the City, it also has a high crime rate for pickpockets. Use a hotel safe for all of your valuables and never take out all of your money or passports when you go out: just carry what you need. Remember, with the sheer volume of people, you will rarely catch a mugger after they have struck.
Rome can also be a fairly expensive place to travel, so make sure you give yourself plenty of money if planning to take a trip there. Try booking accommodation around the Stazione Termini (the main train station in Rome) if you want something a bit cheaper but still nice, this will allow you to use the train to travel around, but without the expense of the main part of Rome.