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Pocket Guide: Rome

The Eternal City

Make a list of must-sees in Rome and you'll wonder how to fit it all in. The short answer of course is that you can't; what you can do is fill your holiday with some of the most iconic historical sights in the world. Rome is like a discourse on Western Civilization with a history that spans the ages, and has countless artifacts to prove it. The Roman Empire was one of the most impressive the world has ever known, with many of its ideals and principles still reflected in modern institutions today.

From the Coliseum to the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel and Palatine Hill, Rome is home to some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. While the impulse to rush from sight to sight is understandable, don’t sell yourself—or the city—short. Some of your best discoveries in Rome will be those you happen upon by accident; ducking into an ancient church on a side street housing a masterpiece of sacred art, stumbling upon an expansive piazza in the early morning light, and sampling the best pizza that you’ve ever tasted in your life.

Rome is the Eternal City, so approach it as if you have all the time in the world to explore. There's no need to cram everything into one visit as you'll soon fall under the city's spell, and return again and again.

'La Dolce Vita'

If you're searching for the good life, all roads lead to Rome. The city is a dizzying combination of cosmopolitan capital and ancient wonderland. The home of Catholicism, it also plays host to nightclubs that stay open until dawn.

One of the most iconic images of the city comes from the filmmaker Federico Fellini, one of Rome's most adoring fans. In La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), Anita Ekberg frolics in the beautiful Trevi fountain after a long night's revelry. The scene is spontaneous, sexy, carefree, and a little crazy, reflecting Rome itself and the visceral impact it has on visitors. Try a romantic cruise down the Tiber River or watch the world go by from a Trastevere café and you too will believe life can't get any sweeter.

Big city charms

Rome is situated in the middle of Italy, the perfect position for the country’s capital. In some respects, however, it is set apart from the rest of the country and has a personality all of its own.

Rome is as much about frenetic traffic as chilling over cappuccino, appreciating art as appreciating gelato on a hot summer day. Hit the museums (the Vatican Museums are extraordinary, as are the Capitoline Museums and a litany of others), but then slow down and stroll through Villa Borghese, a large park well loved for picnics (and its museum the Borghese Gallery).

With its culture, art, food, and wine, a Roman holiday is like no other, distilling all that can be enjoyed in life.