History at every turn
No city this side of Greece has the sheer antiquity of Rome. And although you can find relics of the past across Italy, Rome tops them all. The immensity of the Colosseum is a great place to start when it comes to contemplating how far this city has come. This monumental testament to gladiatorial combat housed 50,000 fans in its heyday, and even in those ancient times they were clearly built to last, as its arches stand strong thousands of years later.
There’s tons more to see on your holidays to Rome though, from the Roman Forum and the Pantheon through to the Vatican Museums. In fact, museums of every kind adorn the streets of this fascinating city, and it’s all thanks to its grand narrative.
The capital of style
Rome joins the likes of Milan, London and New York as a fashion capital, with Versace, Chanel and Prada among the major fashion names operating huge and luxurious stores here. Brioni, Bulgari and Valentino are jewellery giants with headquarters in Rome too.
If you’re shopping along the more generalised or affordable end of the spectrum though, there’s not a speck of this city where your retail therapy urges will be left wanting. The most diverse shopping experiences are often had along the Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps, where fashion boutiques rub shoulders with family stores and all manner of other outlets. Both bargain-hunters and style savants flock to this district, as it has the highest concentration of shops in all of Rome.
Rome is the realm of incredible meals
Classic dishes like spaghetti carbonara may have put the city on the map, as if it wasn’t already, but Rome’s always making new waves in the culinary world. Keep it simple with creamy peppered cacio e pepe, stay true to local flavours with artichokes, or splash out on high-end dining at some of the most defining restaurants in the world.
It’s not all fine dining in Rome, of course. If anything, even the most exclusive places to eat are opening their doors to becoming more accessible. For example, Supplizio is a casual light bites and street food inspired venue which was formerly a luxury restaurant. Its evolution was a conscious choice by superstar Italian masterchef Arcangelo Dandini.
The Italian pace of life is a laid-back one, even in the buzz of Rome and its dizzying traffic. That said, once the sun goes down the city becomes playground of enticing bars, cosy little speakeasy holes in secret walls, and glitzy cocktail lounges.
You can lose yourself for nights at a time among the dusky brilliance of Rome’s nightlife scene, but be sure to make time for the Testaccio district. It’s got all the vibrancy without the glut of mainstream tourism, which hasn’t quite cottoned on to its lively nights out yet. That puts you at an advantage, whether you’re dancing the night away in clubs like Akab, or listening to local musicians perform live at Radio Londra.