The Italian capital has had many different lives, making it one of the most varied cities in the world. At once historic, beautiful, artistic and modern – where ancient architecture and contemporary chic prevail, side by side.
Rome has weathered change – embraced it – and adapted itself to a new form. Now a fashionable city, Rome sits securely in the modern world, with a sophisticated, swaggering populace who have perfected the Italian art of idleness as a way of life. Up and coming areas dominate the bar scene, much like any capital city. Visit San Lorenzo or Monti to make the most of central Rome, you should expect plenty of well-heeled students and creatives drinking craft beer and cocktails. Yet Rome is a wonderfully ancient city, and when walking its streets you cannot help but stumble across history. From the spectacular architecture of the ancient Empire to the magnificence of Vatican City – the Catholic Church’s bastion of faith – this timeless city will bring you back again and again. With our frequent flights to Rome there’s nothing stopping you.
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Wander the streets of the Centro Storico to the Pantheon. As you step into the beam of light look up and marvel at the Rotunda – a coffered concrete dome with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Romans perfected the use of freestanding domes and arches – which helped take their architecture to the next level.
Take a leisurely stroll towards the River Tiber, following no particular route – you'll discover so much more. Walk over the Rome Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge to admire its travertine marble façade and overseeing angels. The bridge was completed in 134 AD, by Roman Emperor Hadrian, to link the city centre to his newly-constructed mausoleum.
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, known as Castel Sant'Angelo, is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano. Initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family, it’s now a fascinating museum. Avoid visiting on a Monday as it's closed.
The Basilica di San Pietro, in Vaticano, is one of the largest churches in the world and is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. No time to visit? Just hop up to a nearby rooftop bar and you can admire the enormous cupola al fresco. Alternatively, hit up a hotel: the Gran Melia Rome is one of my favourite places to stop for refreshments.
Head back to the Piazza Navona – Rome's most iconic public square. Marvel at the lavish Baroque architecture, find the three fountains, but most importantly enjoy a spot of people watching over a glass of vino. Etabli Caffe is one of my favourites, located on Vicolo delle Vacche, just off Pizza Navona. It is a chic, yet retro style bar with a great wine list and serves delicious tapas or a light evening dinner.
En savoir plus sur les différents quartiers de Rome
Discover where to stay and what to do on your vacation in Rome.
Stay in the heart of Rome, amongst the hustle and bustle of two of the city’s most popular attractions – the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, which are unmissable. Don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain to ensure your return to Rome. This busy area will not disappoint, with its upscale shopping along Via del Corso and luxury accommodation that enjoys an exclusive address on the famous Via Vittorio Veneto – like the impressive Westin Excelsior. Explore by foot and stumble across hidden treasures like the Piazza Colonna with its towering column, and don’t miss the boutiques and trattorias nestled within the tightly packed lanes.
Famed for its location rather than its beauty, Rome’s main transport hub Termini acts as a gateway into the city. The station provide easy access to some of Rome’s biggest draws, such as the stunning National Museum and Baths of Diocletian, just around the corner. Follow Via Cavour to the historic ruins of the Roman Forum and Colosseum, or take a stroll down Via Nazionale and Repubblica to peruse the shops as you head into the centre. The area also offers some unbeatable budget options, with the Palladium Palace just minutes away from the station.
The two wonders of Ancient Rome can be found together – alongside the Temples of Caesar and Julia – the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum are spectacular. Buy your tickets in advance – and purchase an audio guide to get the most out of your visit. Alternatively, visit the Circus Maximus, where chariot races took place at breakneck speed. This is a beautiful green district of the city, perfect for seeking shade in the summer months. Stay at Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo to get the most out of the area – and look out over the Colosseum itself from the rooftop pool.
On the west bank of the River Tiber, you’ll discover a slower pace than the Centro Storico, with broad boulevards and a charming atmosphere. In the Prati district there are some fantastic trattoria and bars, especially along Via Tacito. But the real draw is the world’s smallest sovereign state, Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church. See Michelangelo’s ceiling masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel, climb the dome of St Peter’s Basilica for the best views in Rome. Don’t miss the stunning Castel Angelo and its beautiful bridge as you return to central Rome. Stay at Hotel Indigo Rome, just across the river. It’s set in a pastel-hued townhouse surrounded by the area’s medieval streets.
The laidback lifestyle of Trastevere will enchant you with its foodie scene and local feel. A picturesque neighbourhood with a great atmosphere, you’ll find the beautiful Piazza Santa Maria here, with its 12th century church and ornamental fountain – a sight to see after dark. Take a stroll down the narrow labyrinthine streets, where washing is hung to billow between the decrepit and well-loved apartments. Alfresco dining is the thing to do in Trastevere – with many fantastic establishments serving Roman cuisine well into the night. Check out the wonderful Grand Hotel Gianicolo for stylish boutique accomodation in the area.
Formerly the red-light district, Monti is a fashionable neighbourhood in the heart of Rome’s historic centre strangely unaffected by tourists. Sit and drink perfect cappuccinos at a café on the many piazzas, perfecting the art of dolce far niente (doing sweet nothing) watching life go by. Monti is also the perfect place for your evening aperitivo. Vintage shopping and hipster bars have popped up all over the vicinity, making clear that this is the Roman equivalent to Shoreditch or Brooklyn. You can also get a decent curry on Via dei Serpenti, which is home to many different worldwide cuisines, a rarity in Rome. Stay at the Rome Times Hotel and you’ll be in a good position to explore the area at your leisure.
Hidden away behind the Termini train station and next to the university, San Lorenzo is a hip place to be. One of the most bohemian and alternative districts in Rome, there are cool bars and cheap trattorias with students discussing everything from local politics to ancient literature. San Lorenzo is the perfect place to go to escape the grandeur and history of the centre; the street art and affordable artisanal shops will not disappoint. Stay at NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento, which is set in a grand building, and handily located at Rome’s main station.
A working class district, Testaccio is often overlooked by tourists. But if you’re on the hunt for the ‘real’ Rome, this offbeat area is the place to go. Check out the famous Testaccio food market, where local farmers hawk their wares – try buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, suppli (rice balls) and amazing gelato. You will find superb local osterie, places serving simple, rustic food and wine, with patrons chatting well into the night. Afterwards, head to the area’s famous nightclubs, and join the party-goers bar-hopping until the small hours. Stay at H10 Roma Citta, a modern hotel in the area with a rooftop pool.
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Top 10 things to do in Rome
When in Rome… don’t miss its best sights. Discover the ten best things to do in Rome, from the Pantheon to St Peter's Basilica.