Featuring all of the things that make Italy oh-so so popular alongside some of the most awe-inspiring ancient buildings in the world, Rome is a place that's both enchanting and romantic at every turn.
Holidays in Rome
Have you ever wanted to spend a day wandering through millennia-old streets, indulging in a little retail therapy in some of Europe's most stylish stores, before heading out for a taste of some exciting nightlife? In Rome, this kind of day is the norm, and the capital's brilliant character means it'll win over every kind of visitor.
History is certainly Rome's strong point. The city is around 3,000 years old – one of the oldest in the world – and was long the capital of the mythic Roman Empire. Because of this rich history, the city has an equally rich selection of ruins, historical buildings and more. Here, you can picnic inside ruins once occupied by emperors!
Art and culture are also the city's strong suit. There are lots of galleries, museums, theatres and so on throughout the city – perfect when accompanied with a flavourful meal and a bottle of wine at one of the city's enormous range of restaurants.
With changeable Mediterranean weather, Rome's climate is a mix of dry and wet, hot and cold. Autumn in the city sees temperatures in the mid-teens and high rainfall, in winter the rainfall lessens as the mercury drops below 10°C, while spring sees balmier temperatures and even less rain.
Summer is the most popular time to see Rome, though – during June, July and August, there's very little rain and lovely temperatures upward of 20°C.
Things to do on holiday in Rome
Landmarks, shops and cultural centres aplenty, the grand city of Rome will have you never wanting to hop on the plane back home.
Most people visit Rome for its incredible selection of historical landmarks, museums and ruins. They're easy to find (the whole city is, understandably, bursting with them), from the amazing grandeur of the Roman Forum, the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, and the epic Colosseum, to the less-visited but no less interesting tombs, villas and towers along the ancient road, the Appian Way.
Lovers of Renaissance-era sites will be in their element as well, particularly in the Old Rome section of the city. Here, you can wander around pretty, snaking streets into a range of squares, taking in beautiful churches, palaces and other buildings from the 15th century. This part of the city is also home to The Pantheon – a totally intact temple (now church) that was built in 27 BCE. Silently walking inside, you're sure to get shivers down your spine.
Love shopping till you drop? Visit Rome. Here, fashion houses, boutiques, vintage stores and craft sellers come together to create an unforgettable retail experience. Of all of Rome's districts, the hottest shopping is found in the hip streets of Monti, where there are loads of one-of-a-kind treasures to lap up, and the Via Cola di Rienzo also has a nice mix of snazzy and more budget shops to browse through.
Designer shopping can be found along Via Condotti (if you're looking for items by big names like Gucci and Prada) and for a more mall-like experience, Euroma2 and Castel Romano are also good choices for the fashion-obsessed. Make sure to check out the Porto Portese Flea Market too – every Sunday, visitors can find all sorts of bric-a-brac bargains from the many independent sellers there.
Museums and galleries
If you've had your fill of seeing big, empty, but nevertheless interesting structures, there are all sorts of cultural hotspots to hit up as well. Rome's best museums include the Palazzo Altemps, which features a wonderful selection of ancient sculptures, sarcophagi and other carvings; the Auditorium Parco della Musica, where visitors can see all kinds of musical, artistic and historical exhibitions; and the Museo Nazionale dell'Alto Medioevo, where you can spend hours looking at relics from the medieval age.
Art galleries include the huge Maxxi museum of art, and the Macro museum of contemporary art – both are sure to impress art fans.
If you have time, be sure to head to some of the city's many old churches. The Basilica of Our Lady, for example, features an amazing, golden ceiling and brilliantly bright mosaics throughout its medieval interior.
Italian food is widely regarded as one of the world's favourite cuisines, so you're sure to find a good meal while staying in the country's capital. The city is home to tens of thousands of eateries, stretching from quick lunch stops such as Lost Food Factory and Pane e Salame, to classic Italian staples such as the pasta of LABottega Pastificio con Cucina and O'vino.
If you want to really push the boat out, fine restaurants such as Pipero al Rex, Alla Pergola and Life are on hand to broaden and refine your culinary horizons, and the city offers lots of interesting dining experiences too – rooftop dining, cookery lessons with top chefs and more.
Taking a long stroll usually isn't an option in most capital cities, but Rome features lots of parks and sites that are built for a day wandering in the sun. The Appian Way is the most obvious, of course. Down this ancient road (dating from the 4th century BCE), you can see lots of ancient architecture among the fields and cypress trees that line the way, just be sure to bring a picnic!
There's also lots of catacombs (and their associated gardens) to explore, and lots of ancient villas open to the public, perfect for soaking in the history, sun and fresh air.