Rome wasn’t built in a day, and seeing the best sites in the Italian capital need more time to be savored that a mere 24 hours. Like a great Italian red wine, Rome gets better and better with each year that passes and each visit.
According to Italy24, Rome was the top Italian city for tourists in 2015. Just under 25 million travelers visited Rome and experienced the greatness of the Eternal City and 2017 is expected to surpass those numbers.
Rome is the perfect summer vacation destination, here are five reasons to say, “ciao”.
History is Everywhere
Rome is history on top of history. From the Colosseum to the Pantheon, Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain, Rome has enough to see that you will be busy from the moment you land at Fiumicino Airport.
The Colosseum is typically seen as the tourist site above all to visit. It’s gigantic size is imposing to say the least, but its location is perfect for you to visit some of the other great attractions. Palatine Hill and the House of Livia are near the Colosseum, so you can see plenty of sites in one place during the morning.
Tip: Beware of the pickpockets at the cafes and outdoor restaurants near the tourist sites like the Colosseum. Boys and girls sit around the cafes and wait for unsuspecting tourists to sit down. When they do, the pickpockets quickly dash away with wallets, purses, phones and anything else they can get their hands on.
Real Italian Food
The food in Italy is out of this world. Even buying cheap bottles of red wine from a local supermarket and pizza from a local takeaway is better than many Italian chain restaurants that dot American cities.
Italy isn’t just about pizza, however. Spaghetti alla carbonara is a Rome staple that can be found at restaurants all over the city. If you fancy yourself as a foodie, then Italy is the place to go. Gorgeous coffee, authentic pizza and perfect pastas are all waiting for you in Rome.
The Vatican has been its own city-state since 1929. The home of the Catholic church, the Vatican is a unique place that attracts millions of visitors each year.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the main attraction in the Vatican. The religious building houses some of the most famous Michelangelo artworks including the Pieta. Of course, Vatican City is also the home of the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s beautiful frescoes.
For such a small city-state, Vatican City is not to be missed.
Take a Break, Drink an Espresso
Italian coffee is rich, thick and full of flavor. An Italian espresso is the exact opposite of what you get from Starbucks. It is small, strong and made to be drank quickly rather than sipped from a large paper cup.
One of the best things to do in Rome is to simply sit at a sidewalk café, no matter what time of the day it is, and sip the rich black concoction. If you want something to cool off with on a hot summer day be sure to order a caffe freddo (cold espresso with sugar) or a crema di caffe (Rome’s version of a frappuccino).
Take an Island Trip to Ponza
Ponza Island lies roughly 21 miles off the Italian coast. Many Italian travel experts proclaim Ponza as Italy’s hidden gem when it comes to tourism. The island isn’t just for foreign tourists, but many Romans escape the city for day trips to the sandy shores and seafood restaurants of the island.
Visitors can tour the gorgeous island via boat and travel around the shore. But if you are feeling really adventurous, you can cycle or drive the island to find a quiet spot of sand to relax upon.
If you go during the low season, you will have plenty of Ponza Island space to explore. No matter when you go, however, you will find a gorgeous mainland Italy escape.