The capital of Italy, Rome is also the largest and most populous city in the country. The best time to travel to Rome is in the spring in order to enjoy the warm weather. Since rain is possible any time of year it is always a good idea to keep and umbrella on hand. Summers are hot in Rome, usually above 95° F during midday. For this reason, many Romans close up their business during August and take vacations in cooler climates. Winters are mild with an average temperature around 55°F in December.
Rome is home to almost 3 million residents and over 2,500 years of history. Religion, especially Catholicism, is ever present in Rome with Vatican City, the independent city-state run by the Catholic Church, within its borders. Rome is the third-most visited tourist area in the European Union for a reason. In fact, the entire historic centre is a designated World Heritage site. Despite being steeped in history though, Rome has ever present reminders of its modernity; the imposing architectural monument of the Colosseum surrounded by a traffic jam of Vespas, for instance. Speaking of, the Coloseum it is definitely one of the sites that should be on your shortlist of places to visit in Rome. Its construction began in 72 A.D. and it was home to gladiatorial combat for decades. With the fall of the Roman Empire it fell into disrepair but it is still an incredible place to explore.
A visit to the Dome will garner you excellent photos of the Rome skyline. The long, tiring climb to the top is not recommended for those with claustrophobia or vertigo but those who can make it will find the views from the top breathtaking. A note to photographers, the best pictures are taken in the afternoon when the light is softer. Rome is also home to several fountains and monuments that architecture buffs will find fascinating. The Fontana dell’ Acqua Paola, is a monumental fountain built for Pope Paul V in 1612. Four of the six stone columns of the fountain were originally part of the facade of old St. Peter’s Basilica, another very popular tourist attraction. The Fontana delle Tartarughe has an interesting story behind it. It was commissioned by a Duke who gambled his fortune away and was about to lose his fiancée. The Duke had the fountain sculpted in one night by Taddeo Landini and the Duke’s father-in-law was so impressed he allowed him to marry his daughter.
Of course while in Rome you will have to try some authentic pizza and there are several pizzerias that will fulfill that need. Panattoni’s, located in Trastevere, is one of the liveliest pizzerias you could visit, specializing in paper-thin pizzas and excellent fried appetizers. On the other end of the spectrum the popular Pizza Re pizzeria chain offers authentic, doughy, Neapolitan-style pizzas and a lively ambiance.
Whether you are interested in the historical, the artistic, shopping or fine cuisine Rome offers something that sill suit your fancy.