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Europe

The Eternal City

Considered the center of the world for centuries, it’s the birthplace of Caesar, home to the Catholic Church, full of ruins, history, and some delicious food!

Known as the Eternal City, Rome has attracted visitors for over 2,000 years.

Considered the center of the world for centuries, it’s the birthplace of Caesar, home to the Catholic Church, full of ruins, history, and some delicious food!

Rome is one of a kind. No other city – not even Athens, Istanbul, London or New York – has as many world-class sites as Rome. Walking down Via del Fori Imperiali towards the Colosseum will impress even the most spoiled and shopping-crazed teenager.

Opened in 80 AD, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever built, and it’s a can’t-miss attraction (you won’t be able to miss it because it’s huge).

The massive stone amphitheater was built under Emperor Vespasian in A.D. 70-72 and completed by his son Titus 10 years later. As in the movie “Gladiator”, it has hosted violent and brutal displays of gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights, all just for the delight of crowds. Inauguration lasted one hundred days, and approximately 9,000 animals and 2,000 gladiators were killed during the event. At its peak this place hosted 87,000 spectators.

Today, it is Rome’s most visited sight, which never fails to leave visitors awe-struck.

This ancient and awe-inspiring piece of architecture leaves visitors speechless while transporting them back to a time of Roman gladiators and crowds of cheering spectators. To get a taste of what it must have been like to join the crowd and watch gladiators fight to the death inside the amphitheater, or simply to enjoy the atmosphere surrounding a famous monument, a visit to the Colosseum is an absolute must.

Rome is like no place else on earth. You’ll walk down the street and see modern buildings next to ruins dating back thousands of years.

Visiting Rome is like stepping back in time and it’s a wonderful experience that will show you the history of the modern world while giving you some of the best food you’ve ever had in your life (I particularly love Trastevere for food).

If you’re seeking a more local vibe without having to travel far outside the center of Rome I suggest staying in the Trastevere neighborhood. This hip bohemian enclave is filled with old-world charm, excellent restaurants, cool bars, and a spirited nightlife atmosphere.

Trastevere is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Rome with its narrow cobblestone streets, colorful buildings dripping with ivy, and balconies enlivened with geraniums.

As you venture further into the delightful mess of odd-shaped medieval buildings it’s hard not to picture yourself living the idyllic lifestyle of the Dolce Vita in Trastevere. Whether it’s the smell of pizza dough cooking or the bitter-sweet scent of a freshly poured Aperol Spritz; Trastevere has something to stimulate everyone’s senses.

Trastevere is quiet and relaxed, and has far less traffic than other parts of chaotic Rome. It feels more like a small town than a capital city. Yet, it has a convenient location with the historic centre, Vatican, and Colosseum all within a 30-minute walk.

Rome is a large city with plenty of things to do and see — especially if you’re a history buff. Luckily, a lot of the main sites are fairly close to each other, so you can see a lot in a small amount of time.

The neighborhoods of Centro Storico (the historical center of Rome) and Ancient Rome are the heart of the city and where you’ll find the bulk of Rome’s most iconic sights. This area is also tourist central — so you’ll have to deal with the crowds, tacky street performers, souvenir shops, and outrageously expensive restaurants and gelato. That said, it’s still one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Rome’s biggest attraction is the ancient complex of the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. All these sights are in the same area and entrance is covered by a single ticket. Tickets cost €12 and we recommend booking online (+€2) so you can skip the long ticket line.

Possibly one of the most important architectural sites in the world, the Roman Forum was ancient Rome’s main square and is now home to multiple ancient ruins.

The Vatican is the world center of Catholicism, and it packs in a mind-blowing amount of sights, relics, and museums. It also packs in a mind-blowing amount of tourists, so expect long lines.

The Vatican City has a strict dress code so shorts (above the knee), short skirts, hats, and bare shoulders are all banned inside many of the sights.

Possibly the most famous fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain attracts huge crowds at pretty much all hours of the day. People throw in over 3,000 euros worth of coins each day, but don’t try to steal them — it’s a crime (the money goes to charity).

The Pantheon was built in 126 AD to honor the pagan gods. Today, it’s the most well preserved and influential building of ancient Rome — and it contains the largest brick dome in the history of architecture.

From burlesque clubs to cocktail hotspots, nightlife in Rome is so varied and oh-so-very fun.

Since most Romans don’t have dinner until after 9pm, nightlife in Rome starts pretty late. Don’t be fooled if bars are empty at 7pm—have a little patience and they will soon start to fill up. All through the week, you’ll find locals hanging out in low-key wine bars or restaurants, while Friday-Sunday is the best time to hit the pubs, rooftop bars and clubs. Coming home at 6am is normal for party-goers here. They’ll park their scooters outside a 24-bakery and eat a cornetto (not the ice cream), straight from the oven, before heading to bed. Viva l’Italia!

At the very least, I recommend spending 3 days in Rome, but that will feel rushed. You may want to spend 4 or 5 days — but even after spending a week in Rome, you’ll barely have scratched the surface.

Possibly more than anywhere else in the world, Rome is a true mix of old and new. It’s a city that proudly flaunts its ancient history while continuing to evolve. It’s a living and breathing city — which means it’s crowded, dirty, noisy, full of kamikaze scooter drivers, and is a little rough around the edges. It’s also beautiful and its narrow side streets and ancient ruins are certainly romantic and magical — so despite its shortfalls, Rome continues to be many people’s favorite city in the world.

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