With any doubts, Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the World; every year millions of tourists come from all around the globe to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman historical art and architecture.
Rome is the capital of Italy and region of Lazio. Located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, with 2.9 million residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country’s largest and most populated comune.
If you feel stressed by long shifts at work and need to escape a little from the ordinary, but your vacation is limited to a week-end time, here are some suggestions on how to make the best out of a short visit in enchanting Rome.
The best months to visit are April, May, and late September through October, when mid-seasons begin. The days are still temperate, the nights are lightly cool, airfares get cheaper and the heat and crowds are mostly gone, making this the optimal time to visit. Traveling too late or too early in the year can be risky because the opening hours for many attractions are shorter, and some are completely closed.
The faster and most economic way to get around the city is mostly by foot and by bus. Buses run 24 hrs, tickets start from a €1,00 fare for a 100minute ride within buses or metro, to a €4,00 daily ticket. The subway system although is not very convenient, plus you will miss too much riding underground, taxis are expensive and not really that faster than buses. To rent a scooter, or even better, a Vespa is a very typical Italian style for moving around the city.
Here are a few highlights about Rome’s historical architecture that absolutely must be seen:
The Saint Peter’s Basilica, is the Centre of the Roman Catholic faith. The sheer volume of sculpture, paintings, marble, carved wood, precious metals and glass is overwhelming. Admire the sumptuously decorated basilica beneath Michelangelo’s vast dome, the Pinacoteca painting gallery with Raphael’s Transfiguration and Caravaggio’s Deposition and the Raphael Rooms.
The Pantheon, is the only ancient Roman temple to have survived the centuries, the first to be built for the common people, as in ancient times temples were forbidden places, only for vestals and priests. The magnificent concrete domed roof with the oculus makes you feel incredulous that it is the largest unreinforced concrete structure in the World.
Prepare for a little queue to visit The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Built of concrete and stone it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering. As soon as you get near-by you will be stunned by the magnificence of the structure that is now seen as a ruin, but back in the times this was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles (to take a guided tour is recommended).
Enjoy a rest and some fresh air seating near The Trevi Fountain, the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous in the world. The fountain at the junction of three roads marks the terminal point of the modern Acqua Vergine, one of the aqueducts that supplied water to ancient Rome. As in the ancient tradition is still in use to purposely throw a coin in the fountain using the right hand over the left shoulder.
One of the most majestic urban monuments of Roman Baroque style Piazza di Spagna is one of the most famous images in the world. In the Renaissance period, the square was the most popular tourist attraction in the city, full of elegant hotels, inns and residences. At the foot of the stairs, is the famous Barcaccia Fountain, a fresh-water fountain, so named because it is in the shape of a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its bows. The steps are not a place for eating, being forbidden by Roman urban regulations, but they are still usually crowded with people.
So early wake-ups and be equipped with camera, hat, tennis shoes and water stock to enjoy at the best a brief and intense tour in this fascinating city.