The glory of ancient Rome is reflected in the city’s nickname: The Eternal City. And while the Roman Empire is long gone, the magic of this venerable capital remains.
Rome has been called a “living museum,” and with nearly 3,000 years of history permeating its winding, bustling streets, you’ll quickly see why. There’s simply no way to see everything Rome has to offer on a short stay here, but do start in the Historic Center (Centro Storico).
The Colosseum is a must-see, where tour guides will explain how Roman engineers 2,000 years ago managed to build this massive structure, where 50,000 rabid fans bayed for the blood of gladiators. Nearby is Trajan’s Market, a complex of former stores, administrative offices, and winding alleyways dating back to 110 AD. You’ll also want to see the Forum, once the center of Roman civic life.
Channel your inner Italian and take plenty of breaks as you make your way through the city. There are plenty of coffee shops where you can try some rich, strong Italian coffee in tiny little cups, jet fuel (an excellent description of how strong it is) for the body and mind. And don’t forget to have some gelato with it; there is a stand on just about every corner. Hey, with all the walking, you’re allowed a few extra calories!
Next, head up to the famed Trevi Fountain. Toss a coin in for luck and to ensure that you’ll return to Rome someday. You’ll be glad you had that extra espresso as it’s time to head up the world-renowned Spanish Steps. This is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city, once you see it, you’ll understand why. The views alone of the Piazza di Spagna below from the church of Trinità dei Monti above are worth braving the crowds.
Start your visit to Vatican City with St. Peter’s Basilica, where St. Peter the apostle is buried. Plan ahead and request permission from the Excavations Office to visit the Tomb of Saint Peter and the Necropolis under the Vatican Basilica. They only allow approximately 250 visitors a day. It’s an incredible tour and one you should book as soon as you know your travel dates.
You can see Michelangelo’s famed sculpture “Pieta” or climb to the top of the basilica tower. You would need months or even years to explore the Vatican Museum’s 70,000 pieces fully, it’s worth a try!
For a fascinating day trip outside the bustle of the city, head to the volcano-blasted town of Pompeii on the coast, or if you want to get away from it all, try a Tuscany day trip with a wine-tasting overlooking the gorgeous countryside.
Best time to visit
If you want to avoid crowds and the most brutal heat and humidity of summer, you might shoot for May or September for a visit, or even the low season from October through April. Try to avoid visiting in August when the weather is stifling hot and many Romans leave for a month-long vacation.
We will be happy to help you plan your Roman Holiday, just give us a call.