In ancient times, all roads led to Rome. And now, the dreams of many intrepid explorers follow the same path. More than 2,800 years of existence have blessed the Eternal City with a kind of magic that seduces you from the first moment you arrive and invites you to return. Therefore, you do not need to join the crowds with the ritual of throwing a coin over your back at the Fontana di Trevi. It is enough to have walked along its streets and avenues anchored in the heart of history as from your hotel in Rome, this explosion of sensations will be within your reach.
Founded at the end of the 7th century BC through the unification of seven hills which oral tradition attributes to Romulus and Remus, the famous twins fed by a she-wolf, Rome took up the challenge of carving Mediterranean civilization, even overcoming the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the year 476 AD.
As the capital of the ancient world, of Christianity and the arts; as well as a muse to geniuses such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or John Keats, this city combines authenticity and legend in equal parts. It is therefore not surprising that the city which was home to a million people in the imperial era attracts many more nowadays; all eager to discover its fascinating past and to find out first-hand why UNESCO included it in the list of World Heritage Sites in 1980.
An excellent starting point to begin your visit in Rome is its most photographed monument: the Colosseum. This amphitheatre built in the 1st century BC with a capacity for 55,000 spectators is the city‘s symbol par excellence and one of the most famous sites in the whole of Italy. Next to the Colosseum, is the Arch of Constantine, built in honour of Trajan and restored by Constantine I the Great to commemorate his victory over Maxentius in 315 AD.
Following the Via dei Fori Imperiali, you can admire the ruins of the old Forum and the Palatine. This site includes buildings such as the Temple of Saturn, Vespasian or Castor and Pollux, as well as the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Column of Phocas. Reaching the Piazza Venezia, where the 15th century Palazzo Venezia and the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (1895-1925) await, the picturesque Jewish ghetto begins.
After wandering through this neighbourhood, you must go to the Piazza Campidoglio, where the Capitoline Museums can be found; the Theatre of Marcellus, the Temple of Vesta, the Temple of the Virile Fortune and the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a 12th century church with a Romanesque bell tower and the famous marble mask known as the Bocca della Verità. From there, it is worth visiting the neighbouring Circus Maximus, which could gather up to 300,000 people, and following Viale Aventino, you can end the tour next to the Protestant cemetery and the Pyramid of Cestius, a tomb inspired by Pharaonic architecture.
You can also take the Via delle Terme and access the thermal baths of Caracalla (3rd century BC), where opera concerts are scheduled in June and July.
Something that makes Rome unique is the fact that it is the only city in the world that accommodates a country in its interior. Specifically, the smallest in the world: the Vatican City. It is accessible by bus, which leaves you at Risorgimento square, or by metro, getting off at the Ottaviano stop. Converted into an independent state in 1929, it houses the magnificent Vatican Museums, including Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, the most important Catholic Church in the world, where the Pope presides several liturgies throughout the year.
At the end of this unforgettable visit, the nearby Castel Sant'Angelo is well worth visiting. The same could be said of the Pantheon of Agrippa (118-125), and Piazza Navona, home to the beautiful Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, a work of Bernini.
Visit Villa Borghese too, a public park with magnificent views over Rome, which also houses the Villa Giulia palace-museum, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna and the Galleria Borghese, which brings together works by renowned artists from different eras, such as Canova, Raphael, Tiziano, Guercino, Veronese or Giorgione.
Looking for a present to surprise your family after your getaway? If you want to go shopping in Rome, we recommend you take a stroll along Via del Corso, one of its main commercial arteries. This street ends in the iconic Piazza Spagna. Its imposing staircase, designed in 1720 and formed by 135 steps, leads to the church of Trinità dei Monti.
However, if you want to feel the essence of day to day life in the city take a wander along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a street leading to Campo dei Fiori. Part of the most traditional Rome, this enclave exudes a special charm thanks to its cafes and its colourful fruit stalls.
Another ideal place to enjoy an authentic Italian espresso is the Café Greco, located at number 86 Via Condotti. To enjoy an exquisite pizza or a plate of all'amatriciana pasta —one of Lazzio’s most authentic recipes, choose one of the trattorie in the Trastevere district. In the terraces in the surroundings of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the oldest church in the city originally built between the 3rd and 4th centuries, you will enjoy a unique evening.
And if you want to discover Rome as if you were one of its inhabitants, do not forget to rent a scooter and feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953).
Do not hesitate to surrender to the magnetism of the Fontana di Trevi, projected by Salvi in the 18th century and immortalized by Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960). You may want to toss a coin into its waters, but even if you do not, we are sure that you will want to repeat your trip to Rome. Try it out for yourselves!
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