Rome Travel Tips and Insider's GuidesExplore Rome: Read our expert advice and book travel to Rome.
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- Insider's Rome Guide (4 articles)
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Ancient history, temple ruins, and tumbled ruins of public spaces date as far back as AD 72. Myriad fountains with sculptures of nymphs and sea creatures, arches and columns, and gods and goddesses date to the 16th century and earlier. Museums, churches, and Vatican City, home of Pope Benedict XVI, all beckon. Food and vegetable markets, street side cafes and coffee houses, along with winding streets, small and large piazzas, gardens and frenetic traffic encompass visitors. The city of Rome is all this and much more for the first time visitor or for those traveling often to this unforgettable place.
Explore the historic area between the Tiber (Tevere) River and Via del Corso and find a maze of medieval streets and Renaissance squares along with elegant shops, boutiques, pizzerias, and ice cream shops (gelateria). To the south of the Corso visit the Roman Forum’s ruins among cypress trees and wildflowers and on Palatine Hill, above, picnic and walk among more jumbled ruins, homes of early aristocrats and emperors. In the heart of Rome visit Vatican City; this encompasses some 100 acres around the Basilica of St. Peter. Join the multitudes in the enormous piazza on Sunday afternoons when the Pope offers a blessing from the windows of his rooms.
If Rome seems a bit overwhelming consider several pleasant options when you arrive: Check with your hotel for guided motor tours, guided walking tours, or guided boat trips on the Tiber River. Then choose your favorite destinations, seek ideas from your tour guides, and make plans to explore on your own, early in the day. Not to miss: the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), the Colosseum (Colosseo), the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps (Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti), and the Villa Borghese Gardens (Villa Borghese) a cool oasis of lawns, umbrella pines, lakes, and fountains. And a nearby side trip: the Old Appian Way (Via Appia Antica), the cobbled way built in the fourth century and lined with pines, tombs and monuments.