Romealways has the power to
Rome the Eternal City - so called because the Roman
people thought that no matter what happened to the
world, no matter how many other empires might rise and
fall, Rome would go on forever. Rome is the accumulation
of the products of knowledge, art and war for innumerable
generations. Augustus Caesar is reputed to have said on his
deathbed: "I found Rome brick and I leave it marble."
"Rome was not built in a day" in one form or other is a
very old saying dating back to the twelfth century, referring
to the fact that Rome was of slow but steady growth, that
many centuries were required to make it the chief city of
the world, and that great things are not achieved without
much patience and effort.
The best place to stay is in the centre of Rome close to the
train terminus which puts you within walking distance of
the key sights. By walking you can usually count on good
weather and avoid the unreliable transportation! You will
unearth some unexpected sights and memories - perhaps
the warm aroma of a bakery and the handmade leather of
a local craftsman. Or the tucked-away piazza that seems
stuck in the 16th century, with grandma hanging the
clothes out the window and six-year-olds chasing each
other across the cobblestones. Even if it doesn't ever really
change, Rome always has the power to surprise.
Soak up the city and quaint shops by zigzagging from piazza
to piazza. Via Condotti packs most of the best-known Italian
designers into a 100 metre stretch of stores. For a less wellknown,
but no less elegant shopping experience visit Via
del Governo Vecchio on the other side of town, where you
can buy everything from fur to bathing suits. For a good
two-hour stroll, start at the bustling Piazza Navona, then
head south through Campo dei Fiori, where you'll find cafés
and daily food and flower markets, to the beguiling Piazza
Farnese, with its pair of fountains and Renaissance palace.
From there, continue toward Ponte Sisto. The ponte or
bridge offers a great perspective on the beauty of Rome,
with the Gianicolo hill rising to the west and St. Peter's
Basilica to the north. Cross the River Tiber to arrive in the
utterly charming Trastevere neighborhood, where laundry
swings overhead and flowers burst from window boxes.
The history of Rome makes this city a legendary one
- particularly the Roman Empire's hub for political
and cultural life, and in the 4th Century, the realm
of Christianity. The historic centre contains 25,000
environmental and archaeological points of interest.
Legend suggests that Romulus and Remus founded Rome
in 753 B.C. - depicted by the mythical image of the two
brothers suckled by the she-wolf; which has become the
iconic symbol for this world class capital city. A visit to the
Coliseum is well worth it as are the ruins of the Roman
Forum - which were the old heart of the Roman Empire.
The magnificent Pantheon is the only complete in-tact
structure which has survived from the Roman Empire-
originally a temple dedicated to all the gods dating from
27 BC. It survived the ravages of marauders and time
after it was converted to a church in the 7th century AD.
The Circus Maximus is an amazing sight to behold having
seated 250,000 spectators for chariot races around 31 BC.
Check out the curious shape of the Piazza Navona with its
magnificent Four River Fountain from 1651; the piazza was
built on the exact footprint of the ruins of the Stadium of
Domitian from 86 AD for athletic games, gladiators and wild
Stop by the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin in to ensure
that you will return one day on your way to the Pantheon.
For many people The Vatican and the Pope are key when
visiting Rome particularly the thrill of seeing the Pope
in person. Sunday at noon is the Angelus prayer when
the Pope speaks from his window overlooking St. Peter's
Square. Wednesday morning is the weekly general
audience, which is either in the Square or inside the Pope
Paul VI auditorium. Tickets are required for the latter and it
is best to bring binoculars.
The 138 Spanish Steps built in 1723-1725 are just one of
those must see places being the perfect place to sit, people
watch and enjoy the views of the Eternal City. They are a
popular place for artists, painters and poets and have the
tradition of being the place to meet. At the bottom corner
is the house where English poet John Keats lived and died
in 1821. It is now a museum full of memorabilia and is
dedicated to his memory.
With sights such as these and so much more you will be
spoilt for choice during your days in Rome - making a visit
to Rome worthy of a holiday in its own right or setting you
up perfectly for a cruise.
Top 10 things to do in Rome:
1 Take a guided underground tour of the Coliseum
2 Visit the Roman Forum
3 Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain
4 Go inside the Pantheon
5 Take a selfie on the Spanish Steps
6 Explore the Piazza Navona
7 Step back in time at the Circus Maximus
8 Visit the best museum in Rome -
the Galleria Borghese
9 Catch a glimpse of the Pope at the Vatican
10 Have fresh Pizza on the go