Rome is a historical powerhouse where there are a heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and inspiring cities. Rome has the most authentic Italian cuisine to offer as well as the best hotels to stay. Here are a few recommendations if you are planning a trip to Rome soon:
This 14-suite bolthole, a short sashay from the Spanish Steps, is one of the city’s most stylish luxe options, lent panache by Michele Bonan’s tasteful contemporary-retro design scheme. It is suave and very private: think of it as a high-class residence rather than a hotel. When they say suites, they mean suites: even the entry-level ‘superiors’ are spacious. The discreet service, courtesy of a dedicated ‘lifestyle team’, is unparalleled – as is the cachet of the guests-only rooftop bar.
Mario de’ Fiori 37
Mario de’ Fiori 37 is extraordinarily well placed in the very centre of Piazza di Spagna’s buzzing shopping area, making it ideal for those looking to fill up their suitcases with Gucci, Prada, and other Italian favourites. It oozes effortless Italian style: there are nine rooms and suites, each supersized with luxury details like large, Frette linen-laden and canopied beds, televisions, and hidden bathrooms (which are remarkable for the lovely Bisazza tiles and layout efficiency). The interior garden is a hanging ‘greenery’ of plants that was once an inner courtyard walkway connecting the two palazzi.
Campo de’ Fiori
There’s a playful, romantic ambience to this place that makes it perfect for couples who want to be in the heart of old Rome. It’s just around the corner from the market square (and nightlife hub) that gives the hotel its name. It’s just around the corner from the piazza of the same name – one of Rome’s most picturesque, and the site of a colourful morning produce market. Elements of Venice and Paris, as well as the Eternal City, are thrown into the hotel’s warm, extrovert design mix, which uses marble, antiques, terracotta tiles, chandeliers, velvet and silk brocades and Mediterranean hues on the sponged walls to create an intimate, romantic refuge from the bustle outside.
You have to experience the Roman culture as well and visit the must sees:
Founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century and enlarged by successive pontiffs, the Vatican Museums boast one of the world’s greatest art collections. Exhibits, which are displayed along about 7km of halls and corridors, range from Egyptian mummies and Etruscan bronzes to ancient busts, old masters and modern paintings. Highlights include the spectacular collection of classical statuary in the Museo Pio-Clementino, a suite of rooms frescoed by Raphael, and the Michelangelo-painted Sistine Chapel.
St Peter’s Basilica
In this city of outstanding churches, none can hold a candle to St Peter’s (Basilica di San Pietro), Italy’s largest, richest and most spectacular basilica. Built atop an earlier 4th-century church, it was consecrated in 1626 after 120 years’ construction. Its lavish interior contains many spectacular works of art, including three of Italy’s most celebrated masterpieces: Michelangelo’s Pietà, his soaring dome, and Bernini’s 29m-high baldachin over the papal altar.
Rome’s great gladiatorial arena is the most thrilling of the city’s ancient sights. Inaugurated in AD 80, the 50,000-seat Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was clad in travertine and covered by a huge canvas awning held aloft by 240 masts. Inside, tiered seating encircled the arena, itself built over an underground complex (the hypogeum) where animals were caged and stage sets prepared. Games involved gladiators fighting wild animals or each other.