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ROME, A FULFILLING ITALIAN EXPERIENCE
Capital city of Italy, Rome is known all around the globe for an infinity of things. Its eminent position in Italian cuisine is only one of many aspects. While it is home to the Italian parliament, it was a capital for nearly a millennium, during the Roman empire. As such, it is the cradle of our Western civilization.
Rome, city of history, city of food, city of love… There are so many reasons to treat yourself to a stay there. Don’t think about it too much, because a long time could go by before you’re done listing all the reasons you have to go to Rome. Hop on a plane, and get your visit started.
CITTÀ DELL’AMORE, CITY OF LOVE
You’ve probably already heard of Rome as a romantic place to experience as a couple, and if you haven’t, here’s your chance to get filled in on the extraordinary potential of the city in that matter. No matter where you are from, you and your loved one will enjoy it one way or another. Here are a few tips for a first-class experience.
Pamper yourself with a luxury hotel. When taking your vacation with your partner, take advantage of being in Rome as you won’t be there every other week. The city boasts an incredibly broad selection of accommodation offers, so go ahead and experience the Romans’ sense of hospitality. Not just a lousy wi-fi network and a minibar with month-old beer, Italy can offer you its version of luxury. Many hotels in the city feature authentic retro looks from the past centuries, all the way back to the Italian Renaissance. This is the case of the incredible Albergo del Senato. Located in Rome’s city center, this place has pleased hundreds and hundreds of visitors before. You and your significant other will likely leave with a huge smile on your face.
Speaking of the city center, it offers, in addition to many museum and countless cultural sites, great opportunities for romantic walks. You lovebirds go ahead and admire this iconic city, shaped by millennia of history. In all these years, squares have been the most important urban feature of the city, where all people converge. The many squares in Rome are a testimonial of their own importance. Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Campo dei Fiori… Your time is probably more limited than your opportunities.
As for neighborhoods worth a look in terms of romantic walks, in addition to the Aventine overlooking the entire city, try the small and cozy Trastevere. Its streets are an endless labyrinth that you will love exploring. An extra tip, if you visit Rome in summer and are not used to the heat, take advantage of showers or rainy days to see this place from another angle. After a storm, the air has just been freshened by the rain, and the street lights are pleasantly reflected onto the cobblestones. The utmost romanticism for you and your lover.
The Trastevere and other neighborhoods are home to many restaurants offering the finest Italian cuisine. Enjoy a candlelit dinner with your other half. After that, why not experience the Italian expertise for ice cream? While savoring a cone of delicious “gelati", throw a coin into the Fontana di Trevi and make a wish! Then visit one of many boutiques offering local crafts and maybe give each other a special souvenir from your romantic trip...
ANTIQUITY ENTHUSIASTS, GET YOUR WALKING SHOES READY
Antiquity… What a fascinating period of history. This time, which is at the origin of our modern civilization, still feels somewhat different. If you have read books about this interesting time, here’s your chance to see iconic places with your own eyes for four or five days. Walk on the footsteps of Caesar, Cicero and Nero!
Let’s start from the beginning. Let’s start with a small walk up the Capitol, which has nothing to do with Washington D.C. On top of this small hill in the center of Rome, the Capitoline Museum, where you will see unique artefacts from the Roman empire. One highlight you shouldn’t miss: the statue representing the wolf which, according to the legend, raised Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome in 753 BC.
Just a few hours spent walking through the city center will confront you with countless monuments which were carefully saved, long after the fall of the Roman empire. Of course, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, where the population would converge for commercial operations, among other things. Right nearby, the Circus Maximus, where Romans would watch circus shows. If you have time, stop by Trajan’s market, the Baths of Caracalla and the Castel Sant’Angelo, which was built for emperor Hadrian.
This should fill your days considerably. With such a program, you will probably get home to your hotel exhausted every evening. But for some people, five visits like that a day just isn’t enough.
For the bravest excursion-takers, try and walk along the Via Appia, which was a main road to access Rome. Yes, it is a long way on foot, but at the time, they had no other option! Also, a fairly short train ride will take you to Ostia Antica, where you will find the remains of Rome’s port, and see how they used to manage it at the time.
Fun fact: the construction of Rome’s subway began 60 years ago, in 1955. In all this time, only two lines have been completed and a third one has just been opened. Don’t blame it on Italian construction workers! Every few hundred feet, construction works are interrupted because a new archeological treasure is unearthed. This means that there still are many things to discover in the city.
To rest from these very tiresome days, nothing better than treating yourself to the best Italian comfort. The best thing is, you don’t need too much money to achieve that. For example, try the Pantheon Relais, which is ridiculously cheap for a hotel of its standing. For the same price, you could be wasting time in public transportation every day to reach the city center. So instead, book smart and choose a 5-star location in the center of Rome.
A CENTER OF ART, FOOD AND RELIGION
By now you probably are aware of Rome’s weight as a capital in Italy. To make the most of it, enjoy its nearly limitless offer in terms of culture. In addition to the many museums of the city, dealing with times and movements from the Antiquity to contemporary times, there is a giant park housing dozens of cultural hotspots: the Villa Borghese. This uniquely pleasant park, built right inside the city, will take you around the world of culture. No hotels, only various cultural activities and centers.
Though Rome is well-known for being the epicenter of the Antiquity, it also played an important part in the history of the Italian Republic. If you visit the Palazio Vittorio Emmanuele, you can discover more about the Italian monarchy by visiting a sumptuous monument built in the 19th century, right next to Trajan’s market. In the neighboring streets, you can also pick up a slice of pizza in one of the many cheap stands offering “pizza al taglio", pizza by the slice, which inspired New York’s way of selling pizza.
Speaking of food, you probably know that Italy is known around the entire world for its amazing food culture. In your hometown, maybe you are used to going to a restaurant, having a dish of pasta and that’s it. But in Italy, meals are a bit different, and very plentiful: you will need some space to finish it all. Here is the way it goes: first, you have “antipasti", appetizers. Then, a “first dish", usually pasta or risotto, and then, a piece of meat or fish called “second dish", with a side of pasta of course. Then, if you have some space left, you can enjoy tiramisu, panna cotta or other Italian delizia. Try a classic Roman enoteca for some great Italian wine to accompany this feast.
Finally, if you are a Roman Catholic, you shouldn’t miss Vatican City, and the pope blessing the city on Sunday mornings. Even if you aren’t religious, the St. Peter’s basilica still is worth a look, as well as the Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo.
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