Stepping back to the start of western civilisation is quite the theme in Rome. The heart and soul of Italian food as well as the centrepiece of European history, Rome is the third most visited city in the European Union and the most visited in Italy.
The city centre which is UNESCO world heritage listed as a result of encompassing some of the planet's most famous monuments and museums and once hosted the 1960 Olympics. In the tradition of doing what the Romans do, or once did, whilst in their town, one is almost entirely obliged to see the Colosseum before any further a do. Built during the last days of the Roman Empire the giant stadium was engineered to host 50,000 people and still stands tall despite major earthquakes and the many stone robbings it has endured over it's life span.
To fully understand the power of the religion during its height you need go no further than Vatican City. This sovereign enclave in the middle of Rome is home to the Vatican museums which are considered the best in the world and sit along side the must see Sistine Chapel. Here you will find yourself surrounded by masterpieces of the renaissance era such as Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of St. Jerome in the Wilderness and the Prima Porta Augustus statue.
Rome is home to many incredible and famous water fountains with some of them dating back at least 2000 years. One not to be missed is Trevi fountain, this intensely historic work of art has stood 26 metres high since 1732 and in the name of charity around 3000 euro worth of coins are thrown into it's aquatic blue shallows every day.
Also built in the 1700's was the Spanish Steps, known to attract gathering crowds of Rome's most beautiful residents these stunning stairs lead up the timeless Trinità dei Monti church.
Romans do not make their pizza, pasta and gelati without love or pride. Food presented and tasting like it's intended for the Pope himself is certainly the norm in these parts. Romanic street stalls bring a certain charm of their own and do sell good value delectables, those found around Piazza Navona and Il Campo are particularly good. For a discerning atmosphere and high end cuisine you may want to veer toward the luxurious options of Fortunato on Pantheon, known for it's white truffles, or to Roma Sparita in Trastevere which is famed for it's cacio e pepe pasta.
Accommodation in Rome is in abundance and ranges from budget hostels in the Stazione part of town, upward to the Trastevere surrounds are which are vibrant and filled with mid-range options while some of towns smartest hotels are found by the Vatican given its proximity to all the major sights.
Monday, 9 July 2012
When in Rome
Source = Lionel Paul Grant