Colosseum in Rome and morning sun, Italy
Colosseum
Rome

It doesn’t matter if this your first time or your 20th, Rome never gets old. While it might be one of the world’s greatest living museums, the city is more alive than ever. Ancient wonders, like the Colosseum and Pantheon, are as much a reason to visit as the lively neighbourhood bars, trattorias and cafés. So, grab a gelato and explore some of our favourite Roman holiday spots with our guide.

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Places to stay

Don’t let the ancient architecture fool you, Rome is home to some of the most luxurious, modern and unique accommodation in Europe. To be in the heart of historic Rome, near landmarks like the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain, stay in Centro Storico. Monti is a central yet charming neighbourhood where you’ll find Rome’s creative crowd grabbing a beer or hanging out in the area’s picturesque piazzas. The trendy area of Testaccio and its popular market, hold the secrets to many of the city’s culinary traditions, making it the perfect area for foodies. On the “other” side of the Tiber river, Trastevere is home to cool bars and even cooler accommodation like the VOI Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel which is a converted 16th-century convent.

Old world opulence can be found at the two grand hotels that opened back in the late 19th century, The Hotel Hassler and the St. Regis. If you’re after a cosy nook, Rome has plenty of Airbnb gems, especially in the university district of San Lorenzo. To escape from the city’s always-on energy, enjoy a slower pace and plenty of green space in Monteverde.  

Things to do

Start your day as the Romans do by heading to the nearest bar for a quick un café at the counter. Ride off your caffeine high by hiring a bike and hitting the Appian Way. One of the city’s ancient roads, connecting Rome to the Adriatic Port of Brindisi. This ride is a fun way to experience the region’s fascinating history, especially if you’ve got the family with you. To see the classics without the crowds Museo Nazionale Romano is a lesser-known museum with ancient art and architecture. For a simple slice that’s worth queuing for, grab lunch to-go from Pizzarium. If you’d prefer a more stationary way to sample the local specialties, the intimate Er Buchetto is a small porchetta shop where you can wash down a roast pork panino with a beer.

While Milan might be known as the fashion capital of Italy, Rome’s stylish streets, like Via del Pellegrino and the intersecting Via dei Banchi Vecchi, are also lined with classic boutiques. Surviving the test of time, 119 years to be exact, Giolitti is a must-visit for gelato lovers. With gelato in hand, stroll along the River Tiber until you reach Ponte Garibaldi which overlooks one of the world’s smallest inhabited islands, Isola Tiberina. Time for an aperitivo? Monti has plenty of wine bars to drink in, like Al Vino Al Vino. Having served up bowls of carby-goodness for four generations, Roscioli is a renowned family restaurant to sample two of Rome’s most famous pasta dishes, spaghetti alla carbonara (pasta swimming in a rich sauce of cheese, pancetta and raw egg) and cacio e pepe (fresh noodles with cheese and black pepper). 

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Food and drink

All-day eating and drinking are always on the itinerary in Rome. Caffeinate the Italian way with an espresso at Ciampini. Pick up ripe apricots or a tomatoey pizette from the bustling Mercato di Testaccio. Neve di Latte serves up delicious pistachio gelato. Snack on battered zucchini flowers, Fiori di Zucca, at Emma. For classic Roman dishes, support the family-run trattorias, like the charming Da Oio a Casa Mia, in Testaccio.

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Day trips

While in Rome, schedule some time to escape to the surrounding Lazio region. Explore the Renaissance villas and elaborate gardens of Tivoli. Once a refuge for medieval popes, Viterbo is one of the best-preserved towns in central Italy. For a taste of traditional life, the Mercato Contadino dei Castelli Romani, a farmers' market held in the hilltop town of Ariccia, is where beekeepers, cheese makers and other artisanal producers gather. 

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Getting around

Fom the airport: The Leonardo Express is the direct train that serves the route between Fiumicino Airport and the centre of the city at Termini Station. Taxis or ride share are also available. The metro train links the airport with the regions Roma Tiburtina, Fara Sabina, Poggio Mirteto and Orte. The Metro does not stop at Termini, however the Terravision shuttle bus connects them.

In and around the city: the best way to see central Rome is on foot, with most of the sites of interest grouped together. The Metro has three lines connecting several stations to visit the Vatican, Ancient Rome, San Giovanni and other top areas.

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