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About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Rome is not only a historically significant and loved by tourists, but also a quintessential Italian city. There are few places in the world where you can hear a man sing serenades under the window of his beloved, with passers-by, neighbours, relatives and tourists encouraging the addressee to throw a rose to the charming suitor. When the girl finally gives in, the whole district cheers her on. This is Rome, not Italy, so don’t be surprised if something of the sort also happens under the windows of your hotel.

As you’re chowing down on saltimbocca alla Romana and spaghetti all'amatriciana (both traditional Roman dishes), raise a glass of home-made wine to love, travelling and the eternal city of Rome, which, despite the millions of tourists, still belongs to the locals. It’s a rare thing to behold in one of the most “touristy” cities in the world.

Rome used to belong to the proud Romans, whose heritage here is simply staggering. Now, the Colosseum is filled with yawning tourists from all over the world, yet in the past it served as an arena for bloody gladiator battles. Or consider the forum romanum, or Roman Forum, which used to be the centre of public life. In the times of Ancient Rome, those same cobbled streets were marched down by the emperors Julius Caesar and Augustus, and in place of the lonely column stood the massive Temple of Vesta.

Internal view of the Colosseum
Photo taken by Paolo Costa Baldi - wikimedia.org.  Internal view of the Colosseum

Every millimetre of the city (both over- and underground) is witness to great historic events. This is one of the reasons why the metro system of this megalopolis has been in development for so long. Digging underground lines constantly reveals new archaeological artefacts, halting work to a complete stop. On the other hand, there’s no need to worry about public transportation here – all of the tourist attractions can be reached by the main lines. Also, let’s not forget all the special tours and routes for city guests.

Rome can be visited any time of the year, although the summer heat can be hard to bear, and winter months may bring some rainy days. Luckily, you can always hide from the heat and rain in one of the many great museums of the city. Or just pick up a copy of the “Da Vinci Code” and storm the city churches, beginning with St. Peter’s Basilica and finishing up with the Pantheon.

Pantheon – temple in Rome
Photo taken by Keith Yahl - wikimedia.org.  Pantheon – temple in Rome

The only place that’s hard to reach in Rome is the Vatican Museum. You may have to stand in a queue for hours on end, however, luckily, tickets can be pre-ordered online. Even though the price may be a little higher, the opportunity to avoid the queue makes it entirely worth it.

But not everything is a commodity in Rome. Majestic squares, fantastic fountains (for example, the famous Trevi fountain, which simply begs for a selfie), severe-looking obelisks, elaborate statues, antique aqueducts and most mysterious temples are completely free of charge. Just remember that open clothes are a no-no in most holy places, so make sure you wear a longer skirt and a top that covers your shoulders.

„Piazza del Popolo” square
Photo taken by Berthold Werner - wikimedia.org.  „Piazza del Popolo” square

If you’re travelling with kids who care neither for art, nor for archaeology, make sure to visit the city zoo. A wonderful collection of exotic animals, decent aviary conditions and interactive tours will guarantee a good time for the whole family. And if you find yourself in Ostia, make sure to visit the nearby Marine Sea Park, which offers not only the popular water slides, but also swimming sessions with the angels of the sea – dolphins.

However you choose to spend your day, you simply have to visit the liveliest neighbourhood of Rome Trastevere in the evening. It’s full of classical and avant-garde shops, restaurants, taverns and bars, beloved by locals and the guests alike. Owing to the relaxing, bohemian atmosphere of Trastevere, after exchanging a few jokes many people find themselves spending the rest of their evening in the company of former strangers.

However, if someone offers you a rose or a bracelet right on the street, that’s not necessarily a testament to your irresistible beauty. More likely, this person simply wants some money or is trying to distract your attention as his associate goes through your pockets. So be vigilant, say “No, grazie!” and keep going.

The greatest thing is that no matter how many times you visit the Italian capital, there will always be something more to see. Rome is visited by almost 10 million guests every single year! There’s an old saying that all roads lead to Rome. Will you be able to resist?

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