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The worlds love for Italy never fades. Italy has been attracting tourists ever since the early days of tourism and visiter numbers don’t show any sign of decreasing. Rome is absolutely no exception with its martial monuments attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Rome has been the spotlight of Italy for almost 3000 years as the famous city of the Roman empire and its reputation certainly is justified. With its noisy and colourful markets, its romantic street corners and of course its architecture and artist genius. Rome, is a city that certainly knows how to impress.
The historical centre of Rome is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it certainly deserves its tittle.
Rome is a sprawling city but the main sights and must see attractions are concentrated in the area between Stazione Termini and the Vatican on the other side of the Tiber river.
Rome is a fantastic walking city, walk around and take in the Roman buzz and romantic atmosphere.
3 Must Dos
The 50,000 seat arena is simply breathtaking and unsurprisingly one of Italy’s most visited sites.
This thrilling Roman site was originally known as the Flavian Amphitheater. The Colosseum was started in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian and finished in AD 80 by his son, Titus. The Colosseum was clad in travertine and 240 masts held in place an enormous canvas awning. In side 50,000 seats surround the sand arena. The great Colosseum was built on top of a maze of underground chambers where caged animals were kept.
The myth that fights between gladiators often ended in death is untrue, the sponsor was required to pay the owner of a killed Gladiator 100 times the Gladiators value. Pricey.
The Vatican City is all that is left of the Papal state and covering just 0.44km its a cultural must. For more than 1000 years the Vatican included Rome and most of central Italy but after Italian unification in 1861 the Pope was forced to give up most of his territory. Vatical City is an independent state, it has its own currency, newspapers, radio, postal service and even its own army of Swiss Guards. The Vatican City is quite fascinating.
St Peter’s Basilica
Rome is a city of churches but if your going to visit one make sure to visit St Peter’s Basilica. The biggest, richest and most spectacular Church in the whole of Italy. All pilgrims to Rome are expected to visit St Peter’s. The church is built over the spot where St Peter is said to have been buried. Michelangelo designed the magnificent dome that soars 120m above the altar. If the stunning architecture is not enough to get the juices flowing St Peter’s Basilica is also home to two of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces, Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta’ and Bernini’s 29m high baldachin over the high alter
One of the most atmospheric things to do in Rome is to sit outside of one of the restaurants and enjoy the fantastic Italian food and drink. Some of the best and most authentic places to eat can be found in the more residential areas as a posed to the tourist areas. The best tip for finding a great place to eat is note where the Italians are eating and drinking.
3 Must Eats
Image by Tom Purves
Simple, but of course an Italian staple. Cacio e pepe (with pecorino cheese, black pepper and olive oil) and all’amatriciana (with tomato, pancetta and chilli) are the Italians first choice.
Forget the diet when in Rome, the ice cream is to die for. look for a gelateria with a big ‘G’ out side it, this means that it has a guild association and will probably be a good quality ice cream. You have to pay for the ice cream and then get into que to collect it. If the server says, ‘Panna?’, they are asking if you want whipped cream on top. Remember the rule if the Italians are eating it then its probably authentic gold. If the ice cream is bright colours its probably not great quality, look for the more natural colours for better quality ice cream.
Cornetto and Cappuccino
One of the many sweet pastries and a rich italian coffee, sat on a street corner, watching the crazy traffic go by, is an absolute must if you want to get an authentic Roman experience. Thank goodness Starbucks is not in Rome, Italian coffee is much better and cheaper, Starbucks would face some really fierce competition.
If you ask for a ‘latte’ in Italy you will get a glass of milk. If you want a coffee you need to ask for a ‘caffe latte’. ‘Caffe’, Espresso’ or ‘Normale’ is simply a shot of expresso. If you are feeling really in need of extra energy then ask for a ‘Espresso doppio’ for a double shot of expresso. If you prefer a weaker coffee then an Americano is an expresso diluted with hot water, the Italians don’t care much for this drink. And finally the cappuccino, Italians consider it very ‘un-classy’ and quite childish to order a cappuccino after 11am and would certainly never order one after dinner.
Accommodation in Rome
There are lots of hotels, hostels and other places to stay in Rome. However, finding somewhere to stay is not always an easy task. Consider using Oh Rome’s great Rome hotel and apartment finder.