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Food and Accommodation in Rome

Hotels in Rome offer a lot of services from renaissance palaces to guest houses. The hotels in the centre are more expensive thanks to their position and the services often do not respond the price. It is better to book your accommodation in advance and stay where you can simply walk out your door into the heart of the city. The most vibrant area to stay is the half-mile stretch between Piazza Navona and Piazza Barberini. Some of the rooms are pricey but you can also find a lot of small guest houses nearby.

Being hungry is a problem for no traveller as the city is overrun with good places to eat. The busiest are is between Via del Corso and Piazza Navona. Most of them have outdoor seating and offer similar menus which include pasta, pizza, veal, chicken and a sew seafood dishes. The food is simple, fresh and delicious. If you are not sure where to go for eating, then choose according to what you would like to look at while enjoying the food. For instance, the Piazza della Rotonda contains several cafés which face the Pantheon and Piazza Navona is completely circled by restaurants which offer vies of its numerous fountains.

Remember that Rome is one of the cities where a restaurant´s house wine is usually excellent. It is also strongly recommended to learn at least a few phrases in Italian language although waiters usually speak English. Secondly, during summer Roman restaurants are open also after ten in the evening.

You should also have in mind that there is no one-scoop, two-scoop nonsense in real Italian gelaterias, just small, medium, Lartet and very large cones and tubs. Therefore do what Romans do – order the smallest and ask for two or three flavours. One of the best Roman gelato emporiums right now is Gelateria del Teatro where all ingredients are natural and the ciaccolato puro is dark chocolate heaven.

The history of Rome

There is almost nobody who never heard the legend about Romulus and Remus. They were born to Princess Rhea Silvia who did not want them to be killed by their uncle Amulio. Therefore they were laid in wicker basket which was put into the Tiber River where they were found by the wolf who raised them well. After Romulus killed Remus, Rome was founded by him in 753 BC by combining several settlements. The name was given to the city after its founder, so Rome means “Romulus city”. In 6th century AD Rome was commanded by Etruscan kings. Later they were forced to leave and Rome became a republic which meant it started to be governed by the senate, not the King. The real power was in the hands of a few rich people – patricians. Consequently, Rome grew steadily until it conquered the whole Middle East countries and North Africa, including Spain. During the times of expansion, the Roman Empire stretched over the length of 4 thousands kilometres from the Red Sea to Scotland. Rome was the most politically important, richest and largest city in the Western World. Within 284-286 the empire was split into east and west. Under the rule of Emperor Constantine in 306-337, Rome was united again on the ground of the legalization of Christianity. The last Emperor of Rome was Romulus Augustus.

In 1527 Rome was plundered by the German and Spanish military units of the Emperor Charles V and later in 1797 it was occupied by Napoleon until 1814 when the religious state was restored again. The following years include unsuccessful attempt to create the Roman republic again. However, Italia became united in 1861 and in 1870 Rome was joined. Early after World War I., Rome was a witness of Italian Fascism which was guided by Benito Mussolini. In World War II, due to its status of an open city, Rome escaped the tragic destiny of other cities, but it was occupied until 1944 by the Germans.

After those wars, the city grew momentously during the post-war reconstruction and modernisation. It became a fashionable city in 1950s and 1960s which were the years of “the sweet life”. Due to its rich history Rome is a unique city where over 16% of the world´s cultural treasures are located.

Sightseeing in Rome

The Colosseum (built 70 AD – 80 AD) is an elliptical amphitheatre which is at the same time the largest ever built in the Roman Empire.

With a seating capacity estimated at 50,000 to 70,000, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles. It was in use for around 500 years with the last recorded games being held there as late as the 6th century.

Today, the Colosseum is a ruin, but is the symbol of Rome worldwide and is a major tourist attraction that is a must to see.

Saint Peter’s Basilica is the largest church building in Christendom and is one of the holiest sites of Christianity in the Catholic tradition. It is located in Vatican City.Construction on the current basilica began in 1506 and was completed in 1626.

There are over 100 tombs located within this magnificent building, which include 91 popes. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.

Highlights inside the basilica include Michelangelo’s Pietŕ; and a 29 metres tall baldachin held by four immense pillars, designed by Bernini between 1624 and 1632.

You can walk up the massive dome (design started by Michelangelo, finished by Giacomo della Porta), for great views of the city.

Directly to the east of the church is the impressive St Peter’s Square (Piazza di San Pietro), built by Gianlorenzo Bernini between 1656 and 1667. The measurements of the square are 320m deep, its diameter is 240m and it is surrounded by 284 columns, set out in rows of four, and 88 pilasters. Papal blessings take place every Sunday at noon, except in summer.

The Trevi Fountain is the largest of the Baroque fountains of Rome.Work began in 1732, and was completed in 1762. The fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi, and finished by Giuseppe Pannini, following Salvi’s death in 1751. A traditional legend says that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.

The fountain can be seen in several films including a scene in the 1953 comedy “Roman Holiday” with Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, and Eddie Albert; “Three Coins in the Fountain” and a scene of drenching Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s “La dolce vita”.

The Pantheon was built by the Roman’s in 125 AD as a pagan temple. It is the best-preserved and most beautifully proportioned of Rome´s ancient monuments. The circular building has been in continuous use throughout its history. Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Christian church.

Explore the culture of Rome

Rome is also called the „Eternal city“ and belongs to one of the most romantic cities in the world. It has been the centre of power, culture and religion which is world-known for its palaces, millennium-old churches and basilicas, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains. It is one of the most visited, famous and beautiful capitals in Europe. At present it has growing nightlife and it has been a shopping heaven that is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world.

The best way to reach Rome is by train. The main station is close to the historic centre. However, there are several outlying stations as well. It is also possible to come by bus or plane and use the public transport as Rome has an extensive bus and metro system. In case you plan to take a taxi, check the Rome Taxi Tips to avoid being overcharged.

Rome is often associated with the smallest state; the Vatican which is is only 0.44 square kilometres large and has a population of nearly one thousand which is headed by the Pope. Its centre is the magnificent St. Peter´s Basilica where the Pope recites the Angelus prayers every Sunday. This basilica is a must for anybody coming to Rome. However, remember to dress properly as it is not allowed to wear short skirts, shorts or sleeveless dresses inside. The state also includes splendid Vatican Museums. You are recommended to book online before your visit as there might be long queues which might require a great deal of energy and patience. However, Vatican Museum complex is the largest art collections in the world. There are many paintings, books, frescoes, and Greek, Etruscan and Roman statues. One of the most famous sights is the Sistine Chapel which was named after Pope Sixtus IV. The twelve paintings on the left represent scenes from the life of Jesus Christ while the left side of the chapel shows scenes from the life of Moses. The most famous fresco is the Chapel of the Last Judgment which was the perfect work done by Michelangelo.

Tourists are recommended to buy Roma Pass which is a special tourist-cultural card which enables them to use benefits like various discounts or services and make it easier and cheaper to enjoy Rome. In case you need any information during your tour there are Tourist Information Points almost everywhere.