Rome is probably the most interesting and vibrant city in the world. It is a city where the rich past is still very much alive and visible in everyday life. Awesome sights such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon and the Vatican with the newly restored Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo really take your breath away and you really need at least 3 nights in Rome to explore and appreciateall the city has to offer. The romans are justly proud of their cuisine and no trip to Rome would be complete unless you experience an authentic Italian meal at a pavement trattoria followed by tiramisu and cappuccino... heaven! It is no wonder then that Rome is referred to as the 'External City'. One way to ensure that you do return to Rome very soon is to throw three coins over your left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain ....... see you there soon!
There are many attractions that can be visited on your short break / city breaks to Rome these include The Trevi, that is one of the most popular fountains in Rome where many people meet up with loved ones or sit down for a rest. The Vatican is another major tourist attraction, which is one of the most attractive buildings in the world, with many Catholics visiting each year. The Piazza Novana was built on the ruins of an ancient stadium and has superb fountains and baroque palaces.
Rome is one of the few city break destinations where you can visit for much more than a few days and still have plenty to discover. Take the Vatican for example. This can be a whole days exploring. The Trevi Fountain is a lovely little Square, the Spanish steps a beautiful area (with shopping right behind you!), The Roman Forum and the amazing Colloseoum show just how old this city is. The piazza Navona can sometimes be missed. Don’t.
The main tourist season starts at Easter and runs until October; peak periods are in spring and autumn. Numerous outdoor festivals and concerts and the fact that Romans desert the city for the beaches and mountains, which means very light traffic and a less-crowded city centre, makes summer almost worth the heat. If you do visit in summer, try to hit the sights early, take a long lunch and a nap, and then head out again around 6pm to take advantage of the cooler evening. Winters are usually mild with few tourists and some fun events around Christmas time. During Holy Week (Easter) Catholics from around the world make pilgrimages to Rome's various basilicas and to hear the Pope give his address at the Vatican. On Good Friday there's a procession of the Cross from the Colosseum to Capitoline Hill. Testaccio is the place to be in summer, when one of Rome's best-preserved areas becomes a stomping ground for the young and hip. A festival of nightclubbery and general coolness goes down every evening from 10pm. Other summer festivals include Jazz at the Villa Celimontana and tropical music at the Foro Italico.
The main airport is Leonardo da Vinci, also known as Fiumicino. The other airport is Ciampino, where most domestic, and some international, flights arrive. You can get a flight from just about anywhere in the world to Rome. The main road connecting Rome to the north and south of Italy is the Autostrada del Sole, which connects with the ring road circling the city. Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) airport is 26km (16mi) southwest of the city. One of the most convenient ways to get into town is by the Stazione Termini direct train, which usually runs hourly from the airport. You can also get a train from the airport to Trastevere, Ostiense and Tiburtina. A night bus runs to Stazione Tiburtina.
If you're driving, an autostrada runs from the airport to the city via EUR - it's a 45-minute drive. The Capitoline Hill, now the seat of the city's municipal authorities, was the centre of government of ancient Rome, and is the geographical centre of the modern city. It is especially beautiful at night, when it is usually deserted. The piazza were designed by Michelangelo in 1538. It is bordered by three buildings (also by Michelangelo): the Palazzo Nuovo and the Palazzo dei Conservatori, which together house the Capitoline Museums, and the Palazzo Senatorio at the rear. Rome's pubblic Transport system is comparatively cheap, comprenhensive and as efficient as the busy streets allow. Priests, nuns, tourists, pilgrims, business-men and pickpockets all pile aboard, transforming the buses and trams into mobile saunas during the summer. Short distances are better covered on foot, because heavy traffic often blocks the roads. Getting off at the right stop can be difficult, but other passengers will usually help if you ask for directions. Always keep a tight hold on your valuables.
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