The former capital of the world might have lost some of its influence, but not its charm and ancient beauty. Rome attracts travelers with its incredibly beautiful and stunning architecture, old buildings and churches, as well as many beautiful piazzas, where people go to meet with friends or simply watch the world go by.

Italy - Rome - St. Peter's Basilica and Ponte Sant Angelo reflected in the Tiber river

Italy’s capital, also nick-named ‘The Eternal City’ seduces visitors with an array of attractions, the most well-known being the Colosseum. The construction of the world’s biggest Roman amphitheatre, which was originally used for gladiator contests, dates back to 70-80 AD. It was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and boasts numerous architectural marvels, such as the Temple of Saturn, the Temple of Antonius and Faustina, as well as the marble triumphal arch, the Arch of Titus. Another example of the stunning early Roman architecture is the Pantheon. Its construction begun in 27 AD and it consists of a circular building beneath a huge concrete dome. Rome is also home to a high number of beautiful churches. The most interesting one is perhaps San Clemente. It was constructed on top of the ruins of a 4th century church, which had been built on the ruins of a house dating back to the 2nd century. Other churches worth visiting are the Santa Maria Antigua, which is the oldest church of the Forum Romanum, as well as the Santa Maria Maggiore, which boasts a beautiful bell tower.

The city of Rome is also home to the Vatican, which is the Papal City State and in proportion to its tiny size, one of the richest countries in the world. This is mainly due to its incredible wealth of art treasures, including works by Michelangelo and Raphael. The best place to view these works of art is in the marvellous Vatican Museum, which is certainly one of the most exquisite art galleries in the world. Don’t miss the famous Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s beautiful frescos.

Italy - Rome - Colosseum at dusk

Other interesting sights include the district on Palatine hill, the centermost of Rome’s seven hills, which boasts an unusual mixture of architectural styles. From Renaissance mansions covered in ivy, to impressive palaces and beautiful gardens, it is one of the most ancient parts of the city. Enjoy visiting the Flavian Palace, the House of Tiberius, the Temple of Cybele, as well as the incredible views of Circus Maximus, the ancient site of the chariot racing and the Forum Romanum. You can find some famous art galleries, a big park, a zoo and the National Museum at the Villa Borghese, which also a great place for taking a break from all the sightseeing and walking. Don’t miss the Villa Doria Pamphili on Gianicolo Hill and the Castel Sant’ Angelo (Angel’s Castle), located right by the beautifully ornate Ponte Sant’ Angelo.

Rome is a great place for shopping. There are many markets and shopping strips, such as the Via del Corso and the Via dei Condotti, situated close to the Spanish Stairs. Go to the Trastevere district, where you can find good restaurants, bars and live music until late at night. The area around Monte Testaccio is great for partying and is home to a great number of clubs.

The best time to visit is during spring and autumn, when the days are mainly sunny and temperatures are mild. Most rain occurs from November through January, snow fall is very rare. If you’re looking for cheap flights during the summer, keep in mind that this is the main vacation time in most European countries and temperatures often lie between 35°C and 40°C.

© Salsa-Trips, Rico Jochen Anderer