Located on the western coast of Italy in the region of Lazio, Rome was once the capital of the Roman Empire and today is one of the largest capital cities in Europe.
If you have ever seen the film ‘Roman Holiday’ with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn you will know that Rome is one of the biggest stars of this iconic film! With February just around the corner, it’s the ideal place to escape to with that special someone or just get lost in the city by yourself.
Here’s the ActivityBreaks.com pocket guide to short breaks in Rome!
Sightseeing in Rome is both exciting and exhausting, walking around is the best way to familiarise yourself with the city. Seeing the city on foot allows you to really soak up the atmosphere, and you will avoid missing out on any of the thousands of architectural gems dotted around the city. There is just so much to take in, everything from basilicas, piazzi, churches, museums all the way to the Vatican City, seeing all of the sights in Rome could take a lifetime – so be wise, make a list of your own top ten places to visit while you’re there.
When to go
With numerous festivals beginning during Holy Week, the peak tourist season runs from Easter through to October. During the winter the weather is relatively mild, add the much smaller crowds and it makes the season a great time to visit Rome.
How to get there
It is home to two major airports. The nearest to Rome city centre is Ciampino Airport - A small airport dealing mainly with budget airlines and charter flights. It is connected to Line A metro station Anagnina (about 30 mins by metro from Termini) by Cotral buses. Buses leave every 30minutes.
The second airport is Fiumicino Airport - Rome's main airport - which is well-connected to the centre during the day by a direct train and slower trains. The direct train between Fiumicino and Termini costs €8 and takes approximately 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at vending machines, ticket offices and other vendors at both Termini and Fiumicino.
Are you taking a cruise that lands in Civitavecchia?
The port of Civitavecchia is only 50 miles north of Rome so Save yourself money and arrange your own Rome day tour. You can easily get from Civitavecchia to Rome and back again by train, just give yourself plenty of time to get back to the boat!! There is a train station in Civitavecchia city where trains run hourly. It could take from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the port from Rome depending on the train you are catching. For more info on trains from the port to Rome visit www.trenitalia.com
Rome has many culinary traditions and popular restaurants get booked up, so do your research! Food bloggers living in the city are great for giving tips on the best places to eat! So think about what you like eating, or perhaps certain local dishes you want to sample while you are there and get on the internet to read where you should go. RachelEats is a good place to start for restaurant recommendations and local recipes!
When sun goes down -
The people come out and as the saying goes “when in Rome…do as the Romans do”!
Get ready to promenade- it’s very common for Italians to take a walk and have an aperitivo before dinner, usually between 7-9pm. Italians prefer to eat later in the evening so the time before dinner is your chance to take a walk, find a bar and have a Spritz, or a glass of wine and few nibbles before your proper meal. The aperitivo is usually served with small snacks like cheeses or crisps (potato chips to our American friends) and many bars) bars will offer a charge for aperitivo with these small snacks and a good aperitivo is usually around 8-10 euros depending on what they are providing food wise.
There is nightlife to cater every taste in Rome from bars and clubs to more, if you like live music head to Fonclea in the Prati neighbourhood near the Vatican City, it’s become well known for having live performances every night. Delve in and find your own Rome or may your own suggestions on our Facebook page!
Tour Rome and Tuscany with ActivityBreaks this Spring and Summer or watch a rugby match at the Stadio Olympico with our Six nations ticket and hotel packages.
Top Ten Suggestions for places to visit in Rome:
1 - The Vatican City: The seat of the Roman Catholic Church: Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica are all a must-see. Our tip- wear appropriate clothing, As a sign of respect most visitors wear long-sleeve shirts and wear trousers making sure your knees are covered. Otherwise, you will have to pay for a cloak to enter, so don’t get caught out! Show some respect in all religious buildings in Rome – put away that selfie stick! Take a picture but be respectful.
2 - Castel Sant'Angelo: The unique monument houses the National Museum where, besides the stuccoes, frescoes, and furniture of the papal apartments, one can also admire an important collection of ancient arms.
3 - Piazza Navona: The church, designed by the great architect Francesco Borromini, is an excellent example of the Roman Baroque architecture.
4 - Pantheon: The Pantheon is an impressive example of the exquisite architectural technique of ancient Rome. It consists of a huge cylindrical body of equal height and width, covered by a great hemispherical dome.
5 - Piazza di Spagna: This was once the main entrance to Rome, A meeting place for both Romans and tourists. At the top of the Spanish Steps is the Church of Trinità dei Monti. A great spot for people watching! Just a tip – keep your toes and the rest of your body out of the fountains and don’t splash in the public waters – or you will find yourself in hot water!
6 - The Colosseum: Could hold more than 70,000 spectators who could watch the fights between gladiators, the hunting of animals and, at the very beginning, the naumachias: naval battles that took place in the arena that was flooded.
7 - The Roman Forum: The Roman Forum, the most important archaeological area in Rome, extends from the Capitol Hill to the Palatine.
8 - The Capitol and the Vittoriano: Since its origins. the Capitol hill has been the seat of the city's government and the adequate place for solemn public celebrations.
9 - The Borghese Gallery: Located amidst the greenery of the favourite public park of the Romans, the Borghese Gallery is an authentic artistic treasure chest.
10 - Ostia Antica: The archaeological site of Ostia Antica offers a unique opportunity to complete the image of the ancient city by exploring the aspect of daily life, otherwise difficult to identify among the great public monuments of capital.