City Guide, Rome
The 'Eternal City', is the capital and largest city of Italy and of the Lazio
(Latium) region. It's the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce
Vita (sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Rome, as a
millennium-long centre of power, culture and religion, having been the centre of
one of the globe's greatest civilizations ever, has exerted a huge influence over
the world in its c. 2,500 years of existence.
Rome is one of the most visited cities in the world, with an average of 7-10
million tourists a year. The Coliseum (4 million tourists) and the Vatican Museums
(4.2 million tourists) are the 39th and 37th (respectively) most visited places
in the world, according to a recent study. Other main sights in the city include
the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, St Peter's Basilica, the Roman
Forum, Castel Sant'Angelo, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Spanish Steps,
Villa Borghese park, Piazza del Popolo, the Trastevere and the Janiculum. In
2005 the city registered 19.5 million of global visitors, up of 22.1% from 2001
and also, in 2006 Rome has been visited by 6.03 million of international tourists,
reaching the 8th place in the ranking of the world's 150 most visited cities.
Culture & Entertainment
It is encouraging to experience the typical journey in Rome: the Vatican and
the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum (The hugest structure of its type in the ancient
Rome, the elliptical-shaped Colosseum, took about ten years to build. The centre
of ancient )and the Roman Forum (The central area around which the ancient Rome
developed. Administrative and corporate heart of Rome) ,the Trevi Fountain, the
Spanish Steps and the Pantheon, just to name a few of Rome’s attraction. Nobody
would want to miss those for anything in the world. But once in Rome, don’t
forget to open your eyes and senses, as well, even to the smallest details that
will capture the essence and the soul of this city.
Food and drink
Rome is famous for its beautiful cuisine; the Italian food and drink will definitely
be an added pleasure of your holiday. Breakfast in Italy normally involves a cup
of rich Italian coffee or a cappuccino and a croissant. For lunch look out for sandwich
bars or the local store (alimentari) where you can get delicious toasted ciabatta
sandwiches which are called ‘pannini’. A full sit down Italian dinner
will consist of an appetizer (anti-pasto), a pasta/shop (primo), meat/fish (secondo)
which is normally accompanied by a salad and sometimes vegetables (contorno). Alternatively
you can grab a pizza in one of the countries many pizzerias – a cheap and tasty
option every time as Italy is the home of pizza. Finally beware as Italian food
can be quiet spicy and very often dishes are tomato based.
The most popular drink in Italy is wine and it is drunk with nearly every meal.
It can be purchased in restaurants in quarter, half and litre bottles; the cheaper
option is to buy it from supermarkets. Most spirits and beers are served in Italy
– be sure to check out local Italian beers such as Peroni and Dreher and Italian
brandies like Stock.
Shopping in Rome is fantastic, no matter if you are searching for haute couture,
antiques, or a bargain. Some of the biggest names in Italian fashion - Fendi, Valentino,
Bulgari - hail from Rome and you will find their flagship stores, as well as boutiques
by Prada, Armani, Versace, Ferragamo, Cavalli, Gucci, and many others, along the
grid of street.
There are several good outdoor markets, flea markets, and places to buy antiques
in Rome. Porta Portese, which operates on Sundays from 7am until 1pm, is the most
important flea market in Rome and is one of the largest flea markets in Europe.