What to do in Rome on a short break
The Italian capital – known as the Eternal City since the age of the Romans – is arguably the world’s most culturally rich city. Hosting some of the most famous and visited sites and museums, it takes some planning to make sure you’ll be able to fully experience Rome on a short break.
The Vatican Museums are the first one to visit and those deserving more time. On top of beautiful artworks on display – from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Correggio and Veronese – there are two absolute masterpieces: the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. Being the world’s fourth most visited museum, it’s advisable to buy tickets online. There are more spectacular collections to see in Rome: Galleria Borghese, the Capitoline Museums, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica (Palazzo Barberini) and the Zaha Hadid-designed contemporary gallery MAXXI.
The number of historic sites to see is hard to believe. First, the iconic Colosseum – the largest amphitheatre ever built (it could hold up to 80,000 spectators). Then, right next to it, the Roman Forum: what used to be the centre of the day-to-day life in the city. The Pantheon – a former temple turned church – will mesmerise you with its majestic structure. While you are in the old town make sure you check out the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo and the Quirinal Palace. Across the Tiber, Castel Sant’Angelo (the mausoleum of emperor Hadrian) and St Peter’s Basilica are the must-visit sites. There’s so much more to see, from the Domus Aurea to the Baths of Caracalla and the Catacombs of Rome – a further reason to return to Rome.
La Dolce Vita
The Italian capital shouldn’t only be visited, it should be lived. The food and drinks scene is vibrant, ranging from trattorias serving the classic local dishes (pastas: carbonara, cacio e pepe and amatriciana; mains: saltimbocca, coda alla vaccinara, carciofi alla giuda, abbacchio a scottadito) to modern fine-dining restaurants. But life isn’t all about food, the concerts in Rome are fantastic, particularly the operas and the classical. Finally, the parks are the perfect places to relax: Villa Borghese, an English-style naturalistic landscape garden, Villa Doria Pamphili, the largest of all parks, and the Janiculum where you’ll enjoy one of the best views of the Eternal City.
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