Rome, ancient and magnificent center of the old universe, seven-hilled capital city and seat of government of one of the planet's largest and most successful repuplics. Rome itself, also known as the 'Eternal City', has existed for more than 2,000 years and offers its visitors a wealth of Western history alongside that famously popular modern "Italian" way of life, second to none anywhere else in the world. Majestically well-preserved buildings and architecture, wide, sweeping piazze (public squares), ancient fountains, ornate statues, bustling restaurants, tiny back alleys, and more melt together into a brilliant combination that proves the aesthetic beauty of this cosmopolitan world city. Rome is also famous for playing host to large quanitities of UNESCO world heritage sites and the seat of Catholic Christianity: the Vatican City
Where to Stay in the Eternal City: Finding apartments for rent or vacation rentals and more
Figuring out where exactly on your long or short stay in Rome depends on many factors. Budget, personal interests, proximity to historical sites, vacation activity planning, etc. Using Wimdu to find a vacation rental or apartment in Rome should prove to be quite useful due to the high quantity of high-quality listings available. The best plan of action for a Rome first-timer would be to find a small bed and breakfast right in the old city near the Pantheon or Colosseum, or enjoy one of the many great apartment rentals in the area between Via Giulia and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. An alternative area for accommodation in Rome would be around Barberini station, just on the outskirts of the old city center, or the Cipro neighborhood right next to Vatican City. Or, if you are more interested in bars and fabulous nightlife options, then you can't go wrong by staying in a rental in the popular Trastevere district just south of the old city. For more luxurious apartments or flats for rent, the famous Via Veneto north of Barberini is the perfect area.
Did You Know? About Rome
- Modern Rome sees nearly 10 million tourists per year, with the two main attractions being the Colosseum and the Vatican.
- The Trevi Fountain in Rome's Trevi region gets up to 3,000 Euros worth of coins being tossed into it daily; these coins are then collected by the city to help fund supermarkets for the city's needy population.
- The symbol of Rome is of a female wolf giving milk to its two mythical founders, Romulus and Remus.
- While the ancient Romans were a very hygienic peoples, they didn't have modern amenities such as hand soap, so the go-to method for cleaning was to cover the body in special oils and use a special tool called a "strigil" to scrape the oil off their skin.
- When the ancient Romans used to drink wine, it was really so they could drink water! Water cleanliness was a big problem back then and the best way to kill bacteria in your drinking water was to mix some wine into it!
- Rome has over 3 million inhabitants and is sister city to over 30 other places in the world, including New York, Sydney, Mumbai, London, and Seoul.
Ideas for Sightseeing and Experiencing the Glory of Rome
We've all seen La Dolce Vita and understand the pure romance that is life in Rome. The Eternal City is named as such because it was thought that Rome would never disappear over thousands of years and new, conquering empires. Interestingly enough, Rome was not subject to much destruction during the world wars, and this is what has allowed it to carry over so much of the charm and allure of its reputation into more modern times. Famous sights that are must-sees in Rome include the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, the Pantheon, the Quirinal Palace, the Forum Romanum, and the Trevi Fountain. If you want to get a great deal on visiting the Colosseum and other of the famous sights, get a Roma Pass. This deal costs €34 and entitles you to free entry into two historical sites of your choice, as well as discounted entry to lots of others. Start walking in any cardinal direction and you're bound to scrape your nose against some cultural sight or stunning architecture that is probably older than your own country by hundreds, even thousands of years. However, of all the regular sights, the Colosseum is regarded by many as the most famous and impressive. Despite sitting in the middle of a busy traffic roundabout and being surrounded by fancy new shops and apartments, take one step into the Colosseum and you can practically hear the ancient Roman crowds cheering on the gladiators fighting for their lives below.
Roman Religion: The Vatican and the Pantheon
When the hustle and bustle of Rome's 24 hour lifestyle becomes too much to bear, a spiritual retreat into Vatican City can easily make for a full day's worth of activity. The Vatican Museum is a must-see for every visitor to Rome, not least as you must enter the museum in order to see the world-famous Sistine Chapel with frescoes from Michelangelo. There are also plenty of rooms, tapestries, and maps painted by Raphael. There is an amazing Egyptian collection and the Pinacoteca, with paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Veronese.
An interesting early-Roman monument to visit is the Temple of Pantheon, which is dedicated to the gods of Ancient Rome. It is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in the city and holds the tomb of the artist Raphael. It is an architectural wonder due to its hemispherical dome being the same height as the building! There are many beautiful fountains all over Rome, with the most famous definitely being the Trevi Fountain, a gathering place for tourists to hang out and throw in coins into the fountain for good luck. Slightly more off the beaten track lies the lovely Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), which was designed by Bernini and lies situated on the Piazza Navona. Take a stroll in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck to the Piazza di Spagna, which lies at the foot of the Spanish Steps which formed an important backdrop for the film Roman Holiday and features yet another fascinating fountain. To enjoy the best view of the city head up to the Vittoriano located on the Piazza Venezia.
Where to Eat and Drink in Rome
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, as the famous saying goes. Well, the Romans like to eat and drink, and there is plenty of choice for both delights to be had in this city. Of course there is a great selection of the obvious choices of pizza and pasta, but there are many traditionally Roman delicacies to be savored that you might not have heard of. Try some Fiori di zucca, zucchini flowers prepared in a deep fried batter, or perhaps you would like a more meaty Scaloppine alla romana, veal sautéed with fresh baby artichokes. For you sweet tooths, there is the well-known tiramisu, and plenty of ice cream flavors to be enjoyed. If you see Italians lining up outside a gelateria, you can be sure that the frozen delights on offer there will be spectacular! Be careful about prices though, there have been occasions of ice creams being offered at €16 per scoop in areas overrun with tourists! Nevertheless, the less touristy areas and back streets yield up a large number of authentic restaurants, bakeries and other eateries. While there might be a large choice of wines on the menu, the Italian house wine is usually good. There is always the option to buy ingredients from one of the many food markets or delis and take them back to cook up in your apartment or bed and breakfast, one of the benefits of choosing a self-catering rental with Wimdu over a hotel!
Wine and coffee are probably the most common drinks in Italy, and can be found plentifully and in good quality, even the house versions, as most establishments would be ashamed to serve poor wine. When it comes to coffee, there are various types but what we consider an espresso is actually the most common, either in single or double form. It is also considered highly uncouth to order a cappuccino after 11 o´clock in the morning, as this is something strictly enjoyed in the morning with your croissant (cornetto).
How to Get Around Rome
Fiumicino Airport is Rome’s main airport and lies 19 miles to the west outside of the city. The best way to get to your rental or the city center or your rental is to get the airport train. This reaches the centre in 30 minutes. Rome has an easily understandable transport system and the easiest means of getting around is probably the extensive and well maintained tram, as the metro doesn´t really go to any of the historical sights.