- Cityscape Archaeological eye-candy
- City life Piazza people-watching
It’s true: Rome wasn’t built in a day – and almost every moment of its lengthy and splendid history is still visible in some form.
Parts of the city are perfectly mediaeval; Renaissance and Baroque buildings soar skyward, and breathtaking sculpture sits on every corner. With the Vatican in town, Easter and Christmas are highlights on Rome’s calendar, but pilgrims of an artistic persuasion flock to the tiny city state all year to adore Raphael and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes. Rome is also about the art of life – food, fashion and fun are enjoyed with religious zeal in this most sensual of capitals. Live la dolce vita as the locals do: colonise a café in the Campo de’ Fiori; linger longer over rustic pasta in a traditional trattoria; let your feet wander and your eyes roam.
Do go/Don’t go
In summer, the city gets sweaty; you may prefer spring or autumn, but winter is the quietest. Any time of year, one of the pleasures of a visit to the Eternal City is to simply dive off the busy tourist routes and explore its countless lesser-known treasures at random. Rome’s museums are often surprisingly uncrowded.
- Planes Rome is served by two airports: Fiumicino and Ciampino (www.adr.it). A cab from Fiumicino into the city will set you back €60 (it should be less on the way back from Rome though). From Ciampino, the 15km taxi ride to the city centre costs €30; a public bus departs for Anagnina metro station at least once an hour (30 minutes from central Rome) for a couple of euros.
- Trains Stazione Termini is the main station, providing express connections (www.trenitalia.it) to other Italian cities, including Florence. The Leonardo Express to Fiumicino airport departs every half an hour and takes 35 minutes and costs around €10.
- Automobiles Driving in Rome is not for the nervous, and unless you want to venture further, a car will be more of a pain than a pleasure. You can park in blue zones for €1 an hour; the daily rate for carparks is around €25. Cars with foreign plates are not allowed in the historical centre.
- Taxis You can hail them everywhere, and taxi ranks display numbers to call. Avoid the many unofficial and unlicensed taxis, especially for airport rides – if in doubt, ask your hotel to arrange transport.