Must-sees in sizzling Rome
Rome is hot – in so many ways. Firstly, there’s the fact that this beast of a city positively sizzles with heat in the summer (Tip: always book somewhere with air-con – a ceiling fan will not suffice). Then there are all those incredible iconic sights that score top marks on every traveller’s ‘must-see’ list. And who could ignore the culture that pumps ferociously through the veins of this city? We’re talking about the fashion, the style, the attitude that makes Rome, well… Rome.
No one comes to Rome without an itinerary – whether it’s one that’s been researched for hours on end beforehand, or one that’s been loosely planned on the plane. Rome is all about its landmarks – and let’s face it, these are some pretty serious landmarks. But where to start? The Colosseum, the Pantheon, and St Peter’s Basilica are all worthy of your attention – as too are the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi Fountain, and the Museo e Galleria Borghese.
If you’re visiting in high season, you’re either a) mad, or b) you’ve never actually experienced the reality of temperatures tipping the 30°C-mark in a city which ensures the heat is as humid and sticky as it gets. Avoid sitting on leather chairs at all costs, and consider sightseeing first thing in the day and last thing at night. You’ll avoid crowds, sweaty situations, and you’ll see Rome in an altogether different light – the Colosseum lit up at night in a magical orange glow is a thing of beauty. Plus, the vibe in the evening is an altogether different affair. And OK, so while you may not be able to step inside these glorious places, you can still appreciate their magnificence from the outside. It’s a laissez-faire attitude to sightseeing, but for Rome in high-summer it works incredibly well.
- Eat ice cream – as much as possible. Try them all – who knows when you’ll be back?!
- Enjoy a cold beer from a – wait for it – all-hours vending machine (bottle openers are usually attached to the wall)
- Get your caffeine hit first thing with a cappuccino.
If you’re in Rome for a brief burst there’s simply no time to waste – if you want to see and do as much as possible you need to stay in the centre. But it won’t come cheap. If you’re on a budget your best bet is picking out a place near the main railway station – Stazione Termini. OK, so it’s not the most beautiful of neighbourhoods, but if budget and good connections into the centre are your priority, then this makes a wise move. If cash isn’t a problem, try the Trastevere district for stunning scenery and a lively vibe in the summer.
It’s easy to get lost in Rome, but getting there is a whole lot simpler. Planes fly into either Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport or Ciampino. While Ciampino is the closer of the two, it’s also the more difficult to get to and from so take this into consideration when you’re planning your trip. Pretty much all trains, meanwhile, arrive at Stazione Termini, which will deliver you slap bang into the busy city streets. Hop on the metro or hunt down your budget accommodation. Lastly, if you’ve journeyed by long-distance coach you’ll most likely arrive at Piazzale Tiburtina.
Travel to Italy with Eurolines from just £66 one way, or take a cheap flight to Rome (Fiumicino) with Jet2.com, with departures from Belfast, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. If a central location appeals – and you’ve got the budget – why not stay at the gracious and stylish Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora? You can enjoy refined luxury in the very heart of the Italian capital – right next door to the Villa Borghese gardens and the 2,000-year-old Roman walls – as well as enchanting views over the Eternal City from the famous Flora RoofTop Terrace.