Discover Italy’s iconic capital on holidays to Rome – a time capsule of centuries old history and a chic city break of fashion, frivolity and fabulous food
Holidays to Rome are as impeccably composed as the thousands of desirable addresses you’ll stumble upon in a city that celebrates history, art, fashion and food in style. The French gifted Rome the stately open-air Spanish Steps, Emperor Vespasian commissioned the world’s most breathtaking amphitheatre in back in AD 72 and the Vatican, now a country in itself, began life in the 4th century as a basilica built over St Peter’s grave. Expect Old Masters housed in private galleries, centuries old history inside fresco-filled churches and stories of bloody gladiator battles and lavish temples dedicated to Olympian Gods. These well-preserved ruins provide a jaw-dropping backdrop to a thoroughly swish city – la dolce vita lived out in Renaissance piazzas, gilded bars and Via Condotti’s high-end fashion.
Rome holidays are as photogenic as your wildest dreams and it does well to walk the ancient sites of the Pantheon and Palatine Hill but also stop and linger a while. There’s the suited and booted sipping espresso in 18th-Century cafes, vespers zipping past ornate piazzas and the glam squad navigating cobblestoned streets in heels with ease as passeggiata unfolds. Roam pretty streets with cut-to-order pizza slices, savour Instagram-worthy gelato, take aperitivo hour in Piazza Navona and dine rooftop, Michelin starred, with fairytale Colosseum views.
Tell us you want to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and we’ll agree you must, but also recommend a late night return as the stone glows gold in the moonlight. If you’re inspired by movie scenes set in Rome we’ll put you in the heart of Villa Borghese, Piazza del Popolo and the Mouth of Truth in the portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church. Or ask us about the Colesseum and we’ll share secrets of the Third Tier underground tunnels and also suggest walking at dusk behind Palazzo dei Senatori to see the ancient Forum ruins illuminated after dark.
Whether you want high tech luxury or a 19th-Century hotel with Roman ruins in its garden, our Personal Travel Experts are only a call away to craft your very own Roman Holiday.
Best time to visit Rome
• It is always a good time to visit the historical cities of Italy. During spring and summer you can dine al fresco in charming piazzas and stroll leisurely around the many gardens
• In autumn and winter you can stay cosy and warm in romantic hotels
• All year round you can explore Italy’s vast cultural heritage, visiting world-famous galleries, museums and historic monuments.
• In Rome in particular there is a warm and temperate climate with cool winters and warm - and sometimes hot - summers
• In August many locals take their summer holidays leading to some restaurants and other attractions closing or open for fewer hours
• Easter week is very busy in Rome with many people visiting the city's churches and museums.
Rome holiday highlights
For the Renaissance and Medieval centre of Rome and numerous piazzas and historic streets lined with trendy and traditional cafés and restaurants visit the neighbourhoods of Campo de Fion and Pantheon of Old Rome. Settle down for drinks at Piazza di Spagna, take a pew on the Spanish Steps for a classic photo opportunity and peruse the art-filled walls of Palazzo Colonna.
Dedicate a day to the world’s last papal state in Vatican City, guarded by the unique and colourful Swiss Papal. It’s highly recommended to pre-book tickets as this attraction gets extremely busy.
Discover masterpieces at the Vatican Museum; fling a coin into the Trevi Fountain to guarantee a return to Rome; marvel at Hadrian’s impressive 2nd-Century Pantheon; survey the majesty of the Colosseum or wander through the ruins of the Empire’s former seat of power, the Roman Forum. For those who like to shop or sit and watch the world go should find a charming spot on Via Veneto or spend an afternoon in the bohemian Monti area.
The port city of Civitavecchia, which is located approximately 50 miles to the north west of Rome, is the setting off point for many Mediterranean cruises. There are plenty of opportunities to combine a stay in Italy with a cruise, beginning your holiday with a few nights in Rome.
Where is Rome
Italy’s capital city is in the central western part of the country in the Lazio region, along the Tiber River.
Rome is a great city to explore by foot, as long as you have a good pair of shoes. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to have walked miles before even realising it. The historic centre itself is compact and easy to navigate. The city also has user friendly and affordable public transport options including the metro and buses. The metro has three lines that run diagonally through the city and stop at most of the major attractions.
Handmade leather shoes and bags, fine jewellery, bespoke suits, haute couture, high street brands… Rome packs a lot of fashion into its compact city. You’ll find high-end boutiques on Via Condotti, which runs into the equally glamorous Piazza di Spagna, and high street stores including H&M and Zara on Via del Corso. Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most famous squares, is home to an array of art galleries and antiques stores. Monti is great for one-of-a-kind boutiques and independent designers and Via dei Coronari, one of the prettiest streets in Rome, is the perfect place for fine jewellery and artisan perfume.
Food & drink
18th-Century coffee shops, candy coloured gelaterias, cafes spilling out onto pretty sidewalks and stylish trattorias lined up in gorgeous cobbled piazzas… dining in Rome is a well-loved and relaxed affair. Expect fresh seafood, fine cuts of beef and Roman classics such as spaghetti all’amatriciana and alla gricia. You’ll find lots of little deli-restaurants, stylish cocktail bars, street food vendors and intimate venues for romance and fine wine. Head to the neighbourhoods of Testaccio and Trastevere for a taste of real Roman cooking, Centro Storico for upscale dining and Monti for stylish wine bars and gourmet cafes. Don’t miss the sweetest of treats at Rome’s oldest chocolate shop, Confetteria Moriondo e Garigolio, where you’ll find the most spectacular bon bons and fruit jellies.