Why you should visit Rome
A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s capital is one of the world’s most romantic and charismatic cities.
The result of 3000 years of ad hoc urban development, Rome's cityscape is an exhilarating sight.
Ancient icons such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon recall the city’s golden age as the capital of the world, while monumental basilicas tell of its history as seat of the Catholic Church.
St Peter’s Basilica towers over the Vatican, testifying to the ambition of Rome’s Renaissance popes and its game-changing architects. Elsewhere, ornate piazzas and fountains add a baroque flourish.
Few cities can rival Rome's artistic heritage. The city has starred in the great upheavals of Western art, drawing top artists and inspiring them to push the boundaries of creative achievement.
The result is a city awash with treasures. Ancient statues adorn world-class museums; Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance frescoes dazzle in art-rich churches; baroque facades flank medieval piazzas.
Stroll through the centre and without even trying you’ll come across masterpieces of European art – sculptures by Michelangelo, paintings by Caravaggio, frescoes by Raphael and fountains by Bernini.
Rome is also about the dolce vita lifestyle. Idling around picturesque streets, whiling away hours at streetside cafes, and people-watching on piazzas are all central to the Roman experience.
Living the Life
The tempo rises in the evening when fashionable drinkers descend on the city’s bars and cafes for a sociable aperitivo (drink with snacks). Later, head off to hip cocktail bars and late-night clubs.
Eating out is one of Rome's great pleasures and the combination of romantic alfresco settings and superlative food is a guarantee of good times.
For contemporary fine dining and five-star wine there are any number of refined restaurants, but for a truly Roman meal head to a boisterous pizzeria or convivial neighbourhood trattoria.
That's where the locals go for thin, crispy pizzas, humble pasta dishes, and cool white wines from the nearby Castelli Romani hills. Finish off with gelato followed by a shot of world-beating coffee?
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