CITY BREAKS TO ROME 2021/22

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ABOUT CITY BREAKS TO ROME

Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes, and it can barely be seen in a week. But even short city breaks to Rome will give you enough time to see its highlights, from ancient ruins and medieval churches to Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains.

There are superb shopping districts to explore, unmissable Michelangelo masterpieces to admire and a thousand photos to take.

  • Suitable for Families 75% 75%
  • Suitable for Couples 88% 88%
  • Suitable for Groups 85% 85%

Local Language

The official language of Italy is Italian.

Currency

The official currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR).

Average Flight Time

Average flight time to Rome from the UK is around 2.5 hours.

Local Time

Rome is 1-hour ahead of the UK (CEST).

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City breaks to Rome

One of the most quintessential things when it comes to city breaks to Rome is the food and drink – an essential element of la dolce vita. Sip espresso in a corner cafe and lunch on delicious pizza and pasta. Leave space for an afternoon gelato and spend your evenings savouring al-fresco dinners in Rome’s finest neighbourhood trattorias.

Almost every street has something beautiful to see – one of the joys of a trip to Rome is simply wandering around, and you’ll want to slow down to take it all in. Take time to mooch about boho Trastevere, cross the Tiber River into the warren-like Centro Storico to people watch in a piazza and to laze in the lush Villa Borghese gardens. And then, of course, there are the big-name, must-see mega-attractions, from the Sistine Chapel to the Trevi Fountain.

A little further afield are hillside towns and beach resorts – ideal for a leisurely day trip if you have the time. Though a stay in Rome typically means a city break, it’s remarkably easy to throw a trip to the coast into the mix, with good public transport links and roads making it accessible in under an hour by car.

After exploring the sights in and around the city, you’ll want to retreat to a great hotel, and Rome has all manner of places to stay: think trendy boutiques and decades-old classics, impressive palazzos near the Colosseum and fun-filled cheap hostels.

The best time to go to Rome

City breaks to Rome are popular year-round but visit at certain times and you can avoid the crowds. Mid-January to March is brilliant time if you don’t mind risking some rainy days. Flight and hotel prices drop, making cheap city breaks to Rome easier to snap up. Attractions are much quieter and restaurant tables, easier to come by.

Spring (aside from the weeks around Easter) and autumn are good times to travel, too, as the weather is can reach a pleasant 22C, and there aren’t so many other tourists around.

July and August are generally hot and sticky – averaging between 24C and 26C (but can push 32C) – and peak season for tourism. Many locals take summer off to go on holiday, escaping the city. If you do have to travel at this time (and into early September), aim for mid-week, as weekends draw the biggest crowds.

Things to do in Rome

It’s impossible to see all of Rome in one trip, but there are some sights you’ll probably want to make a beeline to. Given that you’re likely to walk past the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain at some stage, we’ve chosen five other jewels in Rome’s crown to see.

Colosseum

The world-famous Colosseum amphitheatre welcomed more than 50,000 baying, bloodthirsty spectators in 80AD. The arena was a gory place to be with its line-up of executions, violent battle re-enactments and gladiators fighting each other or wild animals to the death.

Centuries later, the daily queues to enter this ancient sight can be just as terrifying, so buy your tickets in advance to skip the line. Also book ahead to see the top three floors on a guided ‘Belvedere’ tour.

The Vatican

Vatican City, the independent city-state home of the Pope, has two major highlights: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes and St Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church. See Michelangelo’s Pietà and Bernini’s grand bronze canopy over the altar, then climb the 551 steps to St Peter’s cupola (the dome) for magnificent city views.

Beat the crowds by visiting out of season and pre-booking online. Arrive first thing in the morning or late afternoon with shoulders, midriffs and upper thighs covered up.

Galleria Borghese

This is one of the world’s great art galleries, curated by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the early 17th century. He commissioned Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne sculpture, bought Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love and procured Caravaggio’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit – all still in the collection. To visit, book timed-entry tickets and arrive promptly.

Beyond the 17th-century villa, the stunning Villa Borghese gardens – are the perfect spot to reflect on all you’ve seen.

MAXXI

In such a classical, history-heavy city, you may find a dose of modernity refreshing. The National Museum of 21st-Century Art (MAXXI), designed by the late multi-award-winning British–Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid, is especially eye catching due to its concrete-and-steel exterior.

Inside, permanent collections exhibit works by William Kentridge, Anish Kapoor and Kiki Smith, among others. There’s also an architecture museum in the same building exploring such greats as Aldo Rossi and Carlo Scarpa.

Monti

Take a break from major tourist attractions with a wander through cool, charming Monti – one of Rome’s oldest residential areas. Once the red-light district, this gentrified neighbourhood is now something of a hipster hangout. Along the cobbled streets are vintage shops, bakeries, wine bars and independent restaurants.

Monti is now a locals’ favourite, so it’s the perfect antidote to the most touristy parts of Rome – but still right in the heart of the city.

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