Rome is an enchanting place that has been attracting tourists for its rich cultural heritage and brilliant historic monuments. In the ratings of Cond? Nast Traveler?s 2004 Reader?s Choice Awards, Rome grabbed the coveted second spot on the list of top ten European cities.
Some quick helpful facts about traveling to the city. You need to have a valid passport to enter Italy though you do not need a visa if the duration of the stay is less than 90 days. However, there is an exception to this rule for some specific countries. Since the summers are hot and dry, you should visit Rome between October and March. Book yourself at a hotel that is close to the historic district. The ideal place would be Hotel de Russie, situated between the Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps that are worth seeing.
Plan your itinerary well in advance, especially the places you definitely want to visit. The ideal mode of discovering Rome?s heritage is on foot, as it gives you the flexibility of covering the locations at your own speed. The other option to save cost is to use the Tram Bus system that links the entire city and also the nearby areas. And if you are looking at convenience, you can always opt for a private tour. Make sure you have taken a pair of comfortable shoes. Carry minimum weight while going around the city. The city has many eating joints around the tourist attractions so you can appease your hunger pangs any time you want.
The city is full of tourist attractions and it is a real tough task to decide which of them are a must see. Your local sightseeing plan for a given day could look like this. Start with the Coliseum that is a popular tourist attraction. Since the visiting hours change through the year, make sure that you confirm the timings beforehand. To make this awesome experience more realistic, they have an hourly conducted tour by guides in the guise of gladiators. The next important stop, the Roman Forum or Foro Romano, is just across the street. The Roman Forum, the heart of the Roman Empire, is standing tall even after 2000 years! You would be fascinated by the involutions of the Roman architecture. There is no entry fee here and you can also avail the facility of guided tours.
The next stop, The Pantheon or ?The Temple to all Gods?, was built around 125 AD and is one of the best-preserved buildings in Rome. Built by Emperor Hadrian, many famous personalities like Vittorio Emmanuel II and Umberto I (the kings of Italy) and the one and only Raphael are buried here. There is a nine meter opening in the concrete dome which the only source of light in this monument. It takes you back in time to the glorious days of the Roman Empire and you cannot stop imagining being a part of the Romans, as it existed then. You would get goose bumps dreaming of the kind of clothes they would have worn, their language, gestures etc. You can have this extraordinary experience through the year except Christmas when the Pantheon is closed.
By the end of the day, there is just one more place to see that cannot be missed. You can easily spend three hours visiting The Vatican and its collection of artifacts that chronicle the Catholic Church?s history. If you have time, you should let Michelangelo?s Pieta, which is housed in St Peter?s Basilica, amaze you. The Vatican museum has even more splendid antiques, including the Egyptian mummies. You should not miss Sistine Chapel that has The Bible painted on the ceiling by the legendary Michelangelo himself.
Well, whatever you chose to do, get to befriend your hotel concierge first since he can be the best source of updated information.