Destination Spotlight: Rome

Steeped in history with a vast selection of awe-inspiring ancient ruins and breath-taking buildings, Rome is a magnificent cosmopolitan city that is famed for its fabulous sights such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.

If you are looking for history, exceptional art and architecture, then Rome surely must top your travel bucket list?

When it comes to incredible fountains, no one does it better than Rome. These beautiful ornate creations are prevalent throughout the city. From Bernini's Tritone fountain in Piazza Barberini to the Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. How could we not mention the most spectacular fountain of all? The Trevi Fountain which dates to 19 B.C.

 

Where to stay in Rome

Think luxury and having strong green credentials are mutually exclusive? Think again! The eco-friendly Hotel Raphael prides itself on its eco-luxe philosophy. It is a certified bio-hotel, which focuses on using organic and eco-friendly products, organic vegetarian fare and sustainable energy. 

Enjoy a delicious vegan meal atop their rooftop bar where you can enjoy the most sensational views from the Church of Santa Maria della Pace to the imposing St Peter’s Basilica.

The H'All Tailor Suite hotel in the upscaled neighbourhood of Borghese is small but perfectly formed. Its 14 luxurious rooms walls are adorned art and have a minimalist and stylish feel. Expect brass lighting fixtures, modern spot lights and a treated parquet floor.  Guests can also dine at the All'Oro restaurant which has recently been awarded a Michelin star.

For history lovers, you can’t go wrong with Palazzo Dama – a beautiful 18th-century villa near Piazza del Popolo. If you are looking for a glamourous hotel that is totally instagramable, then you are in luck as this ooze’s glamour. The décor is pure decadence - think glittering chandeliers, marble-tiled bathrooms and lustrous gold edging. Totally instagrammable!

Have a chat with your Personal Travel Expert to find the best hotel in Rome for you.

What to do in Rome

It’s simply impossible to not visit the Colosseum when visiting Rome. This impressive amphitheatre which was built between 72 A.D and 840 A.D is perhaps the most recognised and striking image of this beautiful city. To try and avoid the bustling crowds, aim to time your visit either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

For even more history, take a guided tour through the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill or look at the Basilica which is one of the largest churches ever built. It is the epitome of Italian Renaissance. Visitors can expect to see neoclassical sculptures, papal tombs and of course, its incredible dome.

Michelangelo famously started the design which was then completed by Giacomo Della Porta.

For exceptional views of the city, visitors can climb to the top of the Vittoriano which is in the Piazza Venezia. Whilst it is not the most beautiful (or indeed the most popular building with the locals) the exceptional 360-degree views more than makes up for it.

Where to eat in Rome

From budget-friendly to blow out fine dining, Rome is renowned for its excellent reputation for attracting foodies.

Antico Arco is one of the places that everyone seems to gravitate towards in Rome. Its excellent reputation has resulted in the restaurant receiving a listing in the Michelin guide. Choose from the likes of Risotto with Castelmagno cheese and nebbiolo sauce or the succulent duck breast, wild carrots with ginger and prunes chutney and from the à la carte menu or why not opt for the seven-course tasting menu with paired wines?

Pizza lovers rejoice! Rome is home to one of the best takeaway pizzas in the country. Pizzarium is situated a stone’s throw away from the Vatican Museums and the maestro of the dough Gabriel Bonci has been awarded the illustrious title of the ‘Michelangelo’ of pizza. You can’t eat in, so grab your order to go and take a walk towards the Vatican.

La Pergola was awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide 2019 and has German chef Heinz Beck at the helm. This stylish restaurant is in the Rome Calvalieri hotel. The dining room boasts city views of the Vatican and beyond. The menu style fuses classic with contemporary and diners can choose from Turbot with asparagus and codium, Pigeon with peanut-crusted black salsify and port-scented snow and Deep-fried zucchini flower with caviar on shellfish and saffron consommé.

Where to shop in Rome

Head over to Via del Corso which runs from Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo, where you will find recognisable high street brands. If you are a fan of designer and luxury brands, Via Condotti is the ideal place for you. From Chanel to Gucci, you can literally shop until you drop.

If you are looking for something a bit more unique, take a walk over to Via Urbana and Via Del Boschetto where you can get your hands-on vintage finds and one-off items. Both are situated in the quaint Monti neighbourhood which is a charming area full of cobblestone streets, one-off boutiques and great little cafes and bistros.

Are you a foodie? Eataly is a fantastic food store and eatery where you can expect to go into sensory overload. There are three floors dedicated entirely to the best quality Italian food. You can even take a cookery workshop too! Eataly's concept is all about living the Italian way: eating excellent food combined with wine, culture and history.

Rome like a local

When in Rome, do as the Romans do in the Eternal City. If you are looking for a gift for yourself or for a loved one, pay a visit to Paciotti Salumeria where you can pick up the most delicious selection of olive oils, cured meats, cheeses, balsamic vinegars and more.

As you would expect, coffee is a serious business in Rome and there are some super places to get your caffeine fix.  Tram Depot – a cute café that serves its beverages from a vintage tram carriage which is ideal for the ‘gram. However, for a true old-school Italian experience, Sciascia is a charming and friendly place to re-caffeinate.

If you are like us and love a cheeky cocktail, then you should consider a visit to The Jerry Thomas project. Locals declare that this is where you will find the best cocktails in the city. It’s incredibly exclusive and you need to know the password to enter. (Top tip – make friends with the coolest looking people in the area as they are sure to know the password)

Get ready to discover Rome. Contact your Personal Travel Expert today.

Andrew McPhillips
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