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Rome Travel Guide

About Rome

Rome is like a moveable feast of endless courses. No matter how much you gorge yourself on its splendours, you rarely feel you’ve made it past the antipasti. From the remains of its imperial glory days to the Renaissance and baroque riches of its historic centre, the Eternal City is a living masterpiece.

Founded upon seven hills, ancient Rome was divided into neighbourhoods with distinct personalities that have survived to this day. On the west bank of the Tiber River, Trastevere is home to countless pizzerias and restaurants. Across the water, the Basilica of Santa Sabina and the church of Sant’Alessio can be found in Aventine, one of the celebrated seven hills. A short walk away is Testaccio, where literary buffs will find the tombs of English poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

With its awe-inspiring architecture and art collection, the Vatican City is also an essential stop. Declared an independent state in 1929, it’s home to St Peter’s Basilica (said to be the largest church in Christendom), the Vatican Museum and the shining star of the Italian Renaissance - the Sistine Chapel.

Beyond the seat of Catholicism, there are the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, and Piazza Venezia, which can all be found in the historical city centre. With so many jewels of ancient Rome found on almost every corner, visitors are transported back to bygone days of chariots and gladiators.

But there’s also modern Rome where nearly 3 million inhabitants are hardly stuck in the past. You’ll find them packing out trendy bars, and enjoying Roman gastronomy in the many restaurants; Camp de’ Fiori is a notable nightlife hotspot for both tourists and locals.

During the day, catch the morning market in the same area, with vendors selling locally made limoncello, pasta and ripe produce at their stalls, or shop along the famed Via Condotti and pick out glamorous fare at Prada or Valentino.

All in all, it’s impossible to run out of things to see, smell and taste in Rome. So if you’ve ever wondered what ‘la dolce vita’ means, get ready for a thorough schooling.

Key facts

Population:
2,869,461
Latitude:
41.893331
Longitude:
12.500907

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Featured Hotels

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The Fifteen Keys Hotel

This chic hotel in the Monti district in Central Rome has stylish, light-filled rooms that are just perfect to unwind in after a long day of sightseeing - if you need even more help to relax, just order an in-room massage. A breakfast buffet is available daily, and served in the courtyard garden in summer. Other facilities include a gorgeous bar and complimentary bike rentals.

Hotel de Monti

Hotel de Monti is situated on the third floor (no lift) of a 16th-century building in the bohemian Monti district, a ten-minute walk from Roma Termini station and a 15-minute walk from the Colosseum. The seven bedrooms are modest, but include air-conditioning, sound-proofing and en suite bathrooms, and a complimentary breakfast with excellent coffee is served in the room. Staff are extremely welcoming and helpful.

Hotel D’Inghilterra

In a prime spot by the Spanish Steps, this sedate and sophisticated hotel is where the poet John Keats stayed when he visited Rome in the 19th century. There are roaring fires in the public lounges where guests can relax with a book and a pot of tea.

Hotel d’Este

Sitting on the peak of the Esquilino hill, Hotel d'Este is a characterful, old-fashioned place with 31 charming bedrooms. Housed in a timeworn palazzo, rooms have high ceilings, period detailing and classic furnishings such as brass beds and mahogany-coloured dressers and wardrobes. Breakfast is served on a roof terrace.

The Beehive

Established by Californian couple Steve and Linda, The Beehive is deservedly one of the most popular, budget stays in Rome. Run with great personality and warmth, the house features dorms or private rooms with original artworks on the walls, a vegan and vegetarian café, a book exchange and a yoga studio.

Hotel Locarno

Close to Piazza del Popolo, the classy yet moderately priced Locarno dates back to 1925. It's full of atmospheric art deco details, from its rattling cage lift to the wood-polished bar. Each room is uniquely decorated with discreet antiques and coordinated Liberty-style wallpaper and fabrics. A real find.