One lifetime isn't enough to take in the splendors of Rome. You could spend years admiring its hallowed churches, jaw-dropping museums and ancient monuments. But experiencing the "Eternal City" is about more than sightseeing. It's sipping macchiatos in sunlit piazzas, munching heavenly pizza and joining the stylish locals for evening aperitifs.
It's easy to get pleasantly lost amid the narrow cobbled lanes of the Centro Storico (historic center). Once you get your bearings, find your way to the 2000-year-old Pantheon, the ornate fountains of the Piazza Navona and the Campo de' Fiori, a daytime market that transforms into an open-air drinking spot by night.
Across the Tiber River lies the Vatican in all its glory. Go early to see the grand Sistine Chapel, then take in Michelangelo's moving Pietà inside St Peter's Basilica and admire the artistry from St Peter's Square. Peel back the centuries in Ancient Rome, exploring the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Then end the day in Trastevere, home to Rome's trendiest wine bars, lounges and cafes.
From the Coliseum to the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel and Palatine Hill, Rome is home to some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. While the impulse to rush from sight to sight is understandable, don’t sell yourself—or the city—short. Some of your best discoveries in Rome will be those you happen upon by accident; ducking into an ancient church on a side street housing a masterpiece of sacred art, stumbling upon an expansive piazza in the early morning light, and sampling the best pizza that you’ve ever tasted in your life.
Rome is the Eternal City, so approach it as if you have all the time in the world to explore. There's no need to cram everything into one visit as you'll soon fall under the city's spell, and return again and again.
'La Dolce Vita'
If you're searching for the good life, all roads lead to Rome. The city is a dizzying combination of cosmopolitan capital and ancient wonderland. The home of Catholicism, it also plays host to nightclubs that stay open until dawn.
One of the most iconic images of the city comes from the filmmaker Federico Fellini, one of Rome's most adoring fans. In La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), Anita Ekberg frolics in the beautiful Trevi fountain after a long night's revelry. The scene is spontaneous, sexy, carefree, and a little crazy, reflecting Rome itself and the visceral impact it has on visitors. Try a romantic cruise down the Tiber River or watch the world go by from a Trastevere café and you too will believe life can't get any sweeter.
Big city charms
Rome is situated in the middle of Italy, the perfect position for the country’s capital. In some respects, however, it is set apart from the rest of the country and has a personality all of its own.
Rome is as much about frenetic traffic as chilling over cappuccino, appreciating art as appreciating gelato on a hot summer day. Hit the museums (the Vatican Museums are extraordinary, as are the Capitoline Museums and a litany of others), but then slow down and stroll through Villa Borghese, a large park well loved for picnics (and its museum the Borghese Gallery).
With its culture, art, food, and wine, a Roman holiday is like no other, distilling all that can be enjoyed in life. Hide