City Guide to Rome
A city formed from seven hills, Rome is divided into districts typically named after the key attractions contained within them. Whilst each district is quite distinct in its own right, what unites the city is the relaxed and friendly nature of Rome’s 2.8m residents. The Italian people are famously passionate and this extends to their welcoming of guests – so don’t be surprised if a local insists on showing you a little restaurant they know of, or updating you on the latest exploits of the city’s two beloved football teams, AS Roma and SS Lazio.
Rome is a city that is steeped in glorious culture and history. Beginning with Baroque masterpieces such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, it is also possible to step back further into time to explore Rome’s place in the history of the Roman Empire. Of course, Rome’s long history means that it remains a live archaeological site – and don’t be too surprised if you chance across a dig taking place in the middle of the city – but many of the vestiges of Rome’s power are just waiting to be explored, not least the Roman Forum and breath taking Coliseum.
Rome is also home to the landlocked city state of the Vatican City. Visitors to Rome are free to explore the Vatican, which as well as being the heart of the Catholic Church, is home to many great works of its own – not least the Renaissance masterpieces of the Sistine Chapel and Palazzo Senatorio.
Travelling around Rome is quick and simple thanks to the city’s well organised bus services, but the narrow cobbled roads can just as easily – and arguably more pleasantly – be traversed on foot.
It is advisable to find a map of the city, particularly if you plan to visit some of the older districts where addresses can become a little confusing, but many a happy hour can be spent simply allowing yourself to become lost in the city. After all, you’ll never find yourself far from a little square where you can enjoy an espresso or gelato as the sun goes down.
One of the great attractions of Italy is the food, and Roman cuisine is arguably one of the finest examples of the style. Perhaps the most famous Roman dish is spaghetti carbonara, but Roman food is much more than simply pasta – like all Italian food it focuses on simply good quality seasonal ingredients. And the wine’s not bad either. Cin cin!