When you walk through the streets of Rome, Italy, you are literally stepping on the past. From the ancient Spanish Steps where Saint Peter walked to old ruins populated only by stray cats, history is alive and in front of you in the Eternal City. Not relegated to a far-off ghost town of ruins, the skeleton of Ancient Rome exists right alongside pizza cafes, fast-zipping scooters, and a modern culture proud of its heritage, from world-famous Italian cuisine to cutting-edge fashion to the very languages we speak.
Rome is huge, cut through by the meandering Tiber River and set atop seven hills. Unless you are spending several months or years there, you might want to give up the idea of “doing” Rome. Although most of the top attractions in the city are densely packed and within walking distance, you may find yourself fatigued and hailing a cab after half a day exploring the busy, bustling, buzzing city. Via Veneto is one of the main arteries of Rome, and a popular street for boutique shopping and gourmet restaurants. A well-located hostel, hotel or apartment is recommended in Rome; from a centrally-located home base you will be able to better explore the city’s many treasures without wasting time and money on transportation in and out of the city. For an in-depth look at architecture, particular ruins or nearby Vatican City, a hired guide can illuminate the stories behind the stones and may be well worth your euro.
Things to do in
There is no shortage of magnificent monuments and museums heralding the golden age of Roman culture in the city. The Coliseum is perhaps the most loved, as visitors stretch their brains trying to imagine grand gladiator fights with lions and epic naval battles, accomplished by filling up the giant structure with water and setting warships to sail. Nearby, the vast Roman Forum contains the oldest and most important ruins in the city; this area was the economic epicenter of the entire Roman Empire as well as the known Western World.
Nearby the neighborhood known as “Old Rome” boasts the Pantheon, a tribute to the rainbow of Roman gods, as well as the Jewish ghetto and Piazza Navona with it’s graceful Fountain of Neptune. You won’t want to miss the Trevi Fountain either; once the source of all the water for Rome, today visitors to the city toss a coin over their shoulders into the water in order to ensure a return trip to Rome.
Many visitors choose to visit Vatican City while they are in Rome; it not only the home of the pope but to the awe-inspiring, neck-aching amazement that is the Sistine Chapel. This papal city-state holds a seemingly infinite number of relics, priceless art and museums.
Whatever your Roman holiday plans entail, be sure to spend some time wandering and exploring the city, and savoring a rich glass of Italian red wine with a steaming calzone at a sidewalk table, relishing la dolce vita- and don’t forget gelato or tiramisu for dessert!
Hotels in Rome
Hotel Madison: near the rail station, pink-themed medium-small rooms, very basic
Hotel Augustea: excellent location w/unique rooms, traditional style, older building
Hotel Veneto: Venice-style décor, centrally located by Villa Borghese
Residenza Antica: by Spanish Steps, historic building, renovated and charming
Anglo Americano: modern, basic rooms, located by Trevi Fountain, comfortable
Hotel Quirinale: elegant, refurbished décor in traditional style, good location
Colonna Palace: Near Pantheon & Spanish Steps, Jacuzzi on roof, flowery rooms
Imperiale: on Via Veneto, dark wood décor, outdoor dining, traditional feel
Hotel Valadier: very large rooms, a bit plain, located on Via del Corso
De La Ville Intercontinental: 5* luxury, best location in town, at top of Spanish Steps
Short Term Apartment Rentals in Rome
Oh Rome - Oh-Rome has affordable apartments and high quality hotels available with all prices fully displayed.
Cheap Hotels in Rome - good for finding chic and cheap hotels in the heart of Rome