Get a cheap flight to Rome and:
- feast on local delights like battered zucchini flowers and salt cod fillets
- throw a penny into the famous Trevi Fountain
- wander aimlessly along the pretty streets of Trastevere neighbourhood
The Eternal City, the Capital of the World, the seat of empire, home to the Pope and a culture constantly on the edge, there is no place like Rome. Since the reunification of Italy in 1870, Rome has served as both the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region in central Italy. Between the Apennine Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, Rome is nestled with the iconic seven hills around the Tiber River. With an Urban population of 3.4 million people Rome remains Italy’s largest city. It is also home to the tiny city-state of the Vatican, lying on the West bank of the Tiber River and established as an independent state in 1929. It of course includes St. Peter’s Square, with only a white line etched on the road to show the boundary. airBaltic flights to Rome land at Leonardo da Vinci or Fiumicino Airport, Rome’s main airport located in the nearby Commune of Fiumicino, south-west of the city.
Mi piace Roma! (I like Rome!) Latin was the original language in Rome and over the centuries it combined with other regional dialects to form today’s Italian. Generally, the population speaks a dialect called Romanesco, which has its own slang and is usually understood with little difficulty by other Italians. English is widespread and generally understood, especially in the touristy areas, so travellers should have little trouble getting around the city. Learning a little Italian and using it will make for a more fulfilling city-break. The perfect phrase for Rome and its wonders is Non basta una vita! (One life is not enough!)
See and Do
One of the quintessential sights of the city, the 150 foot tall Colosseum once held 55,000 spectators for a range of entertainment, not least among them the barbaric gladiatorial matches. Nearby, one can admire the triumphant Arch of Constantine. Stretching out between Capitaline Hill and Palatine Hill is the Forum, the central meeting point for matters of religion and society during the Roman times. Today it is an open air museum showcasing the many ruins of temples, basilicas, arches and a statue of Julius Caesar, who contributed much to the rearrangement of the forum before he was assassinated. Visit Old Rome with the Piazza del Rotonda, this considered the centre of Rome where the 1800 year old Pantheon is located with its opening in the ceiling. Within the Vatican, treat yourself to the grandeur of St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church and home to many great works of art including Michelangelo’s Pieta. (Be careful with the dress code, as Italians may not let tourists in who have bare shoulders or short skirts.) Beyond the Basilica admire the austerity of the Swiss guards before entering the Vatican Museums for what may be considered the world’s best collection of art (Hermitage aside), including the famous and popular attraction of the Sistine Chapel, among others.
Rome has plenty of museums to intrigue. A good place to begin is at the Villa Borghese, with statues, museums including Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna for international masters, fountains and plenty of strolling land. Rent a bicycle or a pedal cart to explore it a little more at your leisure. If you have time, stop by the Bioparco, Rome’s zoo, located in the centre of the park, or cross over to the Pincio lookout for a fabulous view of the Vatican and a good portion of the city. Among some of the other notable museums, of particular excellence is the Galleria d'Arte Antica, housed in the Barberini Palace in the modern centre of the city with its delightful collection of Baroque and Renaissance art.
Or just head out from the hotel through the city on foot, stopping through one of the many piazzas along the way. Rome seems alive at every turn, with small side streets unveiling such treasures as Bernini’s Triton Fountain in Piazza Barberini. Make the rounds to the enormous Piazza del Popolo in the North Center (old border to the north) or Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. This last one has many restaurants and outside cafes perfect for a good meal and a little people watching.
So, don't hesitate. Get your cheap flights to Rome online today!