Rome calls to everyone. The third-most visited city in the EU, it intrigues from afar and enchants all visitors. From ancient history and the arts to cuisine and fashion, Rome is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world. Luckily it's just a quick, inexpensive plane ride away to this bustling Mediterranean capital, where countless indulgences for the intellect and senses await eager travellers.
What to Know before Visiting Rome
Before you consider all the exciting possibilities for city breaks in Rome, you'll want to take care of some nuts and bolts. For starters, with a UK passport, you won't need a visa to enter Rome. When planning your flight to Rome, you have two choices: Rome Fiumicino (FCO) and Rome Ciampino (CIA). Fiumicino is the area’s largest airport, located 30km from the city. Easyjet offers flights from London to Rome Fiumicino out of Gatwick for as low as £40 per roundtrip during the high season. Rome Ciampino Airport is gaining in popularity as an alternative to busier Fiumicino. Ryanair offers flights from Stansted to Fiumicino, which lies 15km from the city centre. If you're flying from Manchester to Rome, Ryanair services both airports. Once you’ve booked your flight and hotel in Rome, you’re ready to take on your new adventure. Just remember to have your Italian phrasebook on hand, swap your pounds for euros, and set your clock one hour ahead when you arrive. That's it – welcome to Rome!
When Is the Best Time to Visit Rome?
Rome offers visitors different experiences depending on the time of year. If you’d like to spend time visiting outdoor sites such as the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Spanish Steps, it’s best to visit Rome when the weather is good but it’s not overly crowded – keep in mind that the rush usually disperses by October and doesn't start up again until April. To visit attractions such as the Sistine Chapel, go in the off-season when you don’t have to wait in line, from November to March. During the off-season months, you can attend exciting festivals such as the Romaeuropa Festival in November and Carnevale in February. In the peak season, look forward to dance and music performances during Ferragosto in August or the Expo Tevere arts and crafts festival in July. Expect highs of 31 °C in August and lows of 6 °C in January.
What to Do in Rome
There's no shortage of activities to choose from during city breaks in Rome. Climb to the top of St Peter's Basilica, take cooking classes for an afternoon, entertain the kids for hours at the Gladiator School, see a free film at the Villa Borghese public park, visit the Porta Portese flea market for vintage clothes and antiques, or simply admire the city's architecture and discover hidden side streets. For a peek at life as a local, spend part of a day wandering around the charming and affordable Trastevere neighbourhood. Live music enthusiasts should visit Gregory’s Jazz Club, where you can enjoy small appetisers and cocktails in an intimate setting, or trendy Black Market, which caters to a younger crowd. Package holidays in Rome might be your best bet for making the most of your time and exploring a range of activities and experiences. Some packages even include your flight and hotel in Rome, potentially saving you money on your trip.
The Best Places to Visit in Rome
Any visit to the Italian capital requires, at the very minimum, a visit to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican. Even if you’re just spending a weekend in Rome, you won’t want to miss these attractions. Here's a traveller's tip: if you're visiting in the height of summer and don’t feel like waiting in lines for hours, worry not – one great thing about Rome is that you can get a small taste of many highlights from the outside. Museums are best visited in the winter, when queues are shorter. Don't miss Galeria Borghese for Caravaggio paintings and Baroque sculpture, the Capitoline Museums for archaeological finds, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
What To Eat In Rome
When in Rome…eat. Some of the best fare is found on the journey – the street food phenomenon has taken pizza and panini to a whole new level. Sink your teeth into a slice of pizza bianca (pizza with creamy alfredo sauce) at Campo de' Fiori, or try a roast pork cheek sandwich at Tricolore Panini Gourmet in the Monti district. While great options for aperitivo can be found all around the city, try Freni e Frizioni for vegetarian options, Romeo Chef & Baker for expertly crafted cocktails and takeaway options, and La Zanzara, which is near the Vatican. For a classy happy hour that won’t break your budget, head to 'Gusto Osteria and order a cheese plate comprising over 150 different varieties selected by a maître fromager. For a special treat, dine at elegant La Pergola, the city's only Michelin three-star restaurant and perfect for celebrating a birthday or anniversary during a weekend in Rome.
What Souvenirs Should You Take Home from Rome?
To remember your time in Rome and impress your friends back home, bring back a small sculpture made from local travertine marble, an assortment of spices from a street vendor, a bag of Italian coffee or a bottle of limoncello. Share your love for adventure by suggesting package holidays in Rome to friends for a birthday or anniversary gift. Rome is the city that keeps on giving – be sure to take some of that generosity back home with you.