For some people it’s the beaches, for some the food, others are curious about a different culture and some about the history of a place. Many like to travel for a combination of all of these. If you are one of the latter, you will appreciate our top reasons to visit Rome.
Rome is one of those travel destinations that you will hardly forget. Once back home, it will suffice to sip an espresso or watch a movie set in the eternal city to make you want to go again. Rome is unique, and in this article, you will read what makes it an unforgettable experience and a must-see destination.
Art and culture
If not the richest, Italy has one of the richest cultural heritages in the world. Rome boasts a huge collection of artwork and Romans hold on to it with pride. Museums, galleries, old villas and palaces, Rome will give you a hint of how was the life of its old noble families also through their artwork-rich residences, some turned into museums, most still private.
An ancient and important imperial past is always among the reasons to visit Rome. Set in countless movies and TV shows, ancient Rome is the birthplace of one of the most important ancient civilizations. Heart of the biggest empire of their time, Rome has been home to emperors, poets, warriors, and the birthplace of war strategies, marketing techniques (Panem et circenses!) and advanced urban planning.
The role Rome has played in history has been so crucial that UNESCO included its city centre in the World Heritage List.
Roman architecture is like no other architecture. Imposing yet elegant, majestic yet sophisticated. A style that has been influenced by the different periods of history, starting right from imperial times, carrying on during the Renaissance and Baroque ages.
Alongside palaces and noble residences, Roman urban development and planning are constantly studied and referred to, and its famous aqueducts still in use.
Food and wine
Eating, too, in Rome is quite affordable. Many restaurants offer an unlimited buffet for lunch, usually on weekdays. In Orto restaurant, for example, a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet costs 9€, while near Campo de’ Fiori you can try different delicacies in small bites at the street-food eatery Supplizio (Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143). At the vegetarian Margutta RistorArte (Via Margutta 118) you have a brunch on weekdays with soup, one buffet plate, bread, water, and cake or fruit salad for 15€ per person.
Always more restaurants are also serving the pre-dinner aperitivo in the form of an unlimited buffet. Usually, it starts around 6.30 pm until 8 pm and prices range around 10€ per person, one drink included. If you are used to an early dinner, this is perfect for you.
Among the most delicious reasons to visit Rome, we can’t possibly forget the gelato, or Italian-style ice cream. Even though falling in the above food category, gelato deserves its own space. Different flavours, shapes, and ways to enjoy the sweet creams, you can find great gelato in many places in Rome. Try Gelato San Crispino near the Trevi Fountain or Fatamorgana in several neighborhoods in Rome, La Romana in Piazza Cola di Rienzo and Via Ostiense, where they pour some liquid chocolate in your cone before the ice cream scoops or GROM in their many shops across the city and where flavors change every season.
You are never too far from a beautiful mural in Rome. Whether it is the historic center or the lesser known district, street art projects are taking over the eternal city. From Quadraro neighbourhood to Ostiense to Tor Marancia, street art is quickly imposing itself as one of the trendiest reasons to visit Rome. Among the newest projects, Pop Stairs was a pleasant surprise. Here street artist Diavù painted a portrait of famous actresses such as Ingrid Bergman and Michèle Mercier on different stairs around Rome.
Let’s face it, Italians know a thing or two about clothes and fashion. The “Made in Italy” signature is held with pride and trust. In Rome, head to Via del Corso or Via Nazionale for some trendy and affordable shopping, or Via dei Condotti facing Piazza di Spagna if you feel like forking out good cash. Here you can spoil yourself with some exclusive brands such as Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci or Bulgari among others.
Lesser-known streets, lesser-known brands. Sometimes small alleys hide some true fashion pearls that will leave you as happy as bigger brands.
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Capital of Christianity
Although Rome has always been the home to emperors and their pagan gods, when Christianity arrived, the followers of the new religion refused to worship them. After years of persecution, in 313 Constantine, the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, issued the Edict of Milan ordering tolerance towards the new faith, while in the 4th century Rome became the kingdom of Christianity.
Today religion and faith are certainly among the most important reasons to visit Rome and the Vatican is one of the most important places to see in the eternal city. Here are Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, his beautiful sculpture La Pietà at the entrance of Saint Peter Basilica, and the Cupola (Dome), while the Colonnato (Colonnade) is the work of architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. If you are into history, go down below the Basilica and visit the ancient necropolis where the remains of Saint Peter are kept.
Rome is blessed with mild weather. This is why all seasons, with their own highlights, are good to travel to the Italian capital. Wintertime, you can enjoy the Christmas festive atmosphere with lights, markets, and events for New Year’s Eve. April 21st is Rome’s birthday, turning 2770 this year, yet looking always young.
During summer, Rome is quite hot but still packed with tourists. If you can choose, pick another season to avoid soaking in the crowd. Autumn is a lovely time to visit Rome, with its romantic light, falling leaves and not-so-hot weather anymore.
Compared to some other European cities, Rome is not that expensive. Accommodation options vary in price and type. You will find both luxury hotels for 1.500€ per night and B&B or guesthouses for around 50€. Depending on the season and obviously the neighbourhood, prices will be very different.
Transport-wise, taxis are pretty costly, while public transport is not expensive. A single ticket lasting 100 minutes costs €1.50 and it’s valid for a metro ride, a train ride and as many bus rides as you can fit before the minutes expire.