Travel is back, and it is time to take advantage and get your much-needed break. Lockdown in most parts of the world is thankfully over at least in part, and now you can get on a plane and get away from it all. Given the year you’ve had, it is something you have to do. Without question, the best place in the world for a luxury city break is Rome.
Rome is Europe’s most magnificent city. It is teeming with art, culture, and history and relics that can rival Athens. The Roman Colosseum is worth the journey alone. There is an amazing range of luxury accommodation for you to choose, and you will easily find a villa or hotel to your taste.
When you arrive, one of the best ways to see this great city is via a free walking tour of Rome as you will see the best parts of the city. Many of the better walking tours show you hidden gems too.
So, what to see?
The Colosseum also called the Flavian Amphitheatre was constructed between 70 to 72 CE. The decision to build this magnificent amphitheatre was a symbolic gesture by Vespasian. He ordered the previous ruler’s artificial lake drained, and the Colosseum constructed. The lake was situated in the grounds of Emperor Nero’s Golden House. Nero was tyrannical in his rein and the construction of a great amphitheatre that allowed thousands of everyday Romans to enjoy spectacular events would have been seen as a celebration that Nero’s reign was over.
The Colosseum could seat 50,000 people and featured a retractable awning to shield the crowd from the sun. Gladiator battles were often the games of choice.
If you only see one thing in Rome, it should be the Colosseum.
The Pantheon that you will see on your visit is the second Roman temple to be constructed at this site. The first, commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus burned down. Hadrian rebuilt it, and many historians believe this to have been around 126 AD. Emperor Hadrian did not inscribe the temple leaving Agrippa’s inscription instead.
The Pantheon is instantly recognisable by the vestibule that links to the porch to the rotunda. The dome is still the largest reinforced concrete dome in recorded history.
Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has served as a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the ‘St. Mary and the Martyrs’ but is more commonly known as ‘Santa Maria Rotonda’.
There are plenty of good walking tours that feature the Pantheon.
The Roman Forum:
Arguably one of the most important ruins in the world, The Roman Forum is where Ancient Romans attended to political matters, and it was the centre of public life. Many of the temples that were constructed to Titus and Vesta, Saturn, and the Arch of Severus can still be seen today.
When you enter the site, you will get a feel for how grandiose the Roman Forum must have been. This should be considered a must-see.
Today, artists and vendors can be found here, and it is often a place to meet for locals. The architecture is magnificent and notable Piazza Navona attractions include Saint Agnese in Agone church and the Fountain of Neptune.
A walk through Trastevere will show you how the city’s real inhabitants live and get a feel for how Ancient Romanes lived. The streets are narrowed and cobbled, and many bars, cafes and restaurants now inhabit the Roman architecture that surrounds you.
Locals often hang out of opposite windows talking to one another and washing too is often hanging on lines strung between the streets.
At night, Trastevere, which is close to the River Tiber, comes alive.
Ensure you soak up Trastevere as this is arguably the real Rome.
Fountains and Squares:
Rome has around 2000 beautiful fountains. Ancient Rome saw water as divine. Rome has always been blessed with water that flows from the mountains into the city. Thermal baths have always been found in Rome, and this influenced Ancient Romans to settle the site we call Rome today.
The city also possesses ornate squares which have been used for social gatherings, political meetings, and merely a place to take lunch. The squares invariably feature art and architecture in abundance and kind of show a history of the city through the statues and architecture that you will see.
As well as experiencing the spectacular and unusual squares and fountains, you will soak up the feel of this vibrant city as you take in your surroundings on the tour.
The Trevi fountain features in most tours together with other gems such as Naiads, Tritone, Farnese, Api, Spagna, and Navona.
Rome makes for a great luxury city break. Come to this great city and be inspired.