Built on the banks of River Tiber, the fourth most populous city in the European Union -Rome is also the capital of Italy and the Lazio region. Rome is the largest city in Italy and spans across an area of nearly 1,285.3 sq kilometers (496.3 sq miles) and has a population of 2.8 million residents. Rome is the seat of the Italian government and attracts over 7 million international tourists each year. The historic legacy of the city, the beauty, and the cultural refinement make up the mystique of Rome. Once the capital of the world’s mightiest empire, is now home to some of the most beautiful architectural marvels. Globalization & World Cities Research (GaWC) rates Rome as a Beta+ city.
The history of Rome dates back more than 2500 years. Rome was the capital city of the powerful Roman Empire, which was a dominant force spreading over the Mediterranean for over seven centuries from 1st century BC to the 7th century AD. Rome is also regarded as the prime birthplace of the Western civilization. Since the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1st century BC, Rome has been the seat of Papacy (the rule of the Holy Pope) and in the 8th century AD, it was officially proclaimed as the capital of the Papal States. Later in 1871, Rome became the capital of The Italian Kingdom and in 1946 it was made the capital city of the Republic of Italy. Traditional stories handed down by ancient Romans explain the earliest history with reference to myth and folklore. The most familiar of these myths, and perhaps the most famous of all Roman myths, is the story of the twins called Romulus and Remus, who were saved and milked by a she-wolf. This story had to be reconciled with folklore, set earlier in time – that speaks of the Trojan refugee Aeneas escaping to Italy and founding the line of Romans through his son Lulus, a namesake of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. During the World Wars, Rome had faced a lot of destruction. Rome and Italy were saved from torment of war after the fall of Hitler. The city was rebuilt and by the middle of 1950s, Rome slowly grew into the fashionable metropolis that it is today.
|Facts about Rome|
|Area||496 sq miles|
|Average Summer Temperature||68°F|
|Average Winter Temperature||51°F|
|Dialing Code||Country 39 City 6|
|Major Airports||Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO); Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA)|
|Geographic Coordinates||41°90′N, 12°50′E|
|Time Zone||Central European Time|
Travel To Rome
The warm Mediterranean climate makes Rome a popular destination throughout the year. The summer months are indeed the best time to visit the city. Rome, however, has many spring secrets which promise to delight the tourists. The Giornate FAI, Settimana della Cultura, and Natale Di Roma are all events and festivities celebrated in Spring.
There are two airports that serve Rome – the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and the Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA). Local transport options include car rentals, bus, taxis, and scooter rentals. The Metro, however, is by far the quickest and easiest.
How to reach (transport) :
By Air : Rome is served by two airports, namely, Ciampino and Fiumicino. Fiumicino is the major airport here and is connected well with the center through an express train. However, the express train runs only during the morning hours. It takes about half an hour to reach Stazione Termini (main train station of Rome) from the airport.
Ciampino is comparatively a small airport, which runs only budget airlines and charter flights. You can take a COTRAL bus to reach the city’s main hub from this airport.
Within the city, you can avail several public transportation options including:
By Bus : The bus network in Rome is extensive and well connected to the prominent areas of the city. Buses leave to and fro from the Termini Central Station and tourists can make the most out of this public transportation option. Besides, the city is also served by electric and night buses.
By Metro : The Roman Metro has only two lines, i. e., line A (red) and line B (blue) that divert at the Termini Central Station. Metro facility is quite frequent in the city, as trains run at intervals of every seven to ten minutes.
When to visit :
Rome remains a marvelous place to visit throughout the day. However, the peak season when you can expect many tourists is from June to August. The weather remains hot to warm during these months and the chance of getting rains is pretty low. Summer in Rome makes an ideal time for sightseeing and this is a prime reason why people prefer planning their tour during this time.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions :
Romans are fun-loving people who celebrate the fairs and festivals with joy and mirth. Some of the major fairs and festivals witnessed in Rome are :
- Natale di Roma : Celebrated on 21st of April, Natale di Roma marks the birth of Rome. A number of festivities are arranged at the Campidoglio and the city hall is decorated with lights.
- Roma Incontra il Mondo : Celebrated in mid June or early August, musicians across the globe come here and play their tune on a lakeside stage of the Villa Ada Park.
- Festa de Noantri : Celebrated chiefly in Trastevere, residents of this region honor their humble origins with great fervor on this day. Usually celebrated in July, the day starts with a huge procession arranged to honor Madonna del Carmine. Besides, street performances and art events follow for about two weeks post the festival.
- Maratona della Citta di Roma : This annual marathon is organized in the month of March and lures big-name runners.
Your visit to Rome must include a visit to the historic Colosseum - a monumental structure that has fallen into ruins and yet retains its imposing stature and iconic significance. Construction of the Colosseum was completed in the year 80 AD by the Founder of the Flavian Dynasty, Emperor Vespasian. A huge amphitheatre that was a pride for all the Roman rulers for public meetings, games, sports and gladiator fights. Even today as you walk into the Colosseum, you can imagine the energy of the powerful Roman Empire. The Trevi Fountain is the second most visited site in Rome. It was built by Nicola Salvi on orders of Pope Clement XII at the Trevi Square. Work on the fountain was completed in 1762. It is a common belief that tossing coins into the fountain brings good luck. Your next stop has to be the Pantheon – originally a temple for all pagan Gods, this temple was converted to a church in 609 AD. The Pantheon contains the tomb of the famous Italian artist Rafael and many other Italian kings and emperors. The marble floorings and the geometric pattern of the wall designs essentially highlight the early Roman artistry. Pantheon is a must see for anyone who visits Rome. For those who have admired the largest stadiums in the world, be it in Mexico, China, or Germany, welcome to the Circus Maximus. With a seating capacity of over 2,50,000 this the holy mecca of all chariot races during the Roman times. Built in the 6th century BC, this place has witnessed a lot of the history of the Roman Empire. The claims of ancient Rome to have had stadia which were double the size of even the largest stadiums of today are not quite unfounded. The largest church in the world, the St. Peter’s Basilica was built by Emperor Constantine in the 364 AD. The church was originally built on the burial ground of the Chief Apostle, St. Peter, after his death in 64 AD. Today it is the seat of Christianity, the office of the Holy Pope and the most visited church of the world. A visit to the Vatican Museums cannot be missed on a tour to Rome. These museums contain a detailed history of Christianity. Here you are likely to find information about many anecdotes that are straight out of the history books. These museums were built in the 18th century AD.
Next, head to the Piazza Venezia. This town square is located at the heart of the city. From here it is just a short walk to some of most famous sites of Rome, like the Campidoglio, the Forum Romanum and the Pantheon. You have to take a short trip to smallest country in the world. This is the Vatican City State; this is home to the highest office of Christianity. None of the residents are permanent here; it is only when they hold offices that they are allowed to settle here. This is under the rule of the Pope’s Office and is guarded by the famous Swiss Army Guards.
Beyond Sightseeing in Rome
There are loads of pubs and bars in Rome and they are spread across all parts of the city. The best way to enjoy the culture, vibe, and spirit of the city is by being outdoors. As the weather is mild for most part of the year, every square turns often into a big outdoor party. Join the locals and take an evening “passeggiata” a leisurely stroll through the streets. Take a walk at Campo De Fiori right before midnight; the life in Rome is still vibrant. Rome has its own charm, if you want to visit nightclubs, take a walk to the Piazza Navona and Via della Pace – this place has many wine and coffee bars and are frequented by tourists. If you want a louder place to be where the music and interaction hits higher decibels, visit Campo de Fiori. It is a place where revelers gather to party harder. Remember you night life sojourn is never over without a visit to Testaccio Ostiense. This area houses a number of bars, discos and risto-bars. The choice is plentiful. Romans love Irish pubs, so you will find a number of Irish pubs in every corner of the city. When it comes to fashion, Rome is the place to be. For the serious shopper, Rome is almost heaven. Via dei Condotti houses the biggest designer labels in the world. Most of the famous European designers have their stores on this street. Do not miss out Via Del Corso, this street has the Ferrari flagship store and Swarovski retail outlets, a must-visit for some retail therapy in Rome. For the gourmet, Piazza Vittoria is the place to be. This street has fresh food stalls and other cuisines from all over the world run by people from different ethnic origins. For the art shoppers, Piazza Navona is the city hotspot. With a host arts and antique stores, this is serious art collector’s hangout. Rome has much more to see than what these few lines have to offer. Make your next getaway a visit to Rome.
Eating Out In Rome
Like the rest of Italy eating out in Rome is almost a religion. Take your time, appreciate the food, and tip well when in Rome. People appreciate etiquette. Here are some of the best restaurants in Rome –
Piazzale Aurelio 7, Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 581 5274
|Primo Al Pigneto|
Via del Pigneto 46, Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 701 3827
Via Giovanni di Castel Bolognese 63 Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 581 2792
|Ristorante il Pagliaccio|
Via dei Banchi Vecchi 129a, Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 6880 9595
|Fortunato al Pantheon
Via del Pantheon 55, Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 679 2788
Via Appia Antica 125-127 Rome
Tel: 00 39 06 513 6743
Gelatos may well be the national passion, second only to soccer. Do try one of the many gelato parlors in Rome.
Accommodation in Rome
|St Regis Grand Rome
Via Vittorio E Orlando 3, Rome 00185
Tel: 00 39 06 47 091
Via Ludovisi 49, Rome 00187
Tel: 00 39 06 478 121
|Hotel Teatro Pace
Via del Teatro Pace 33, Roma 00186
Tel: 00 39 06 68 79 075
|Hotel Villa Rosa
Via Giovanni Prati 1 Rome 00152
Tel: 39 06 58 10 243
Via Boezio 31, Rome 00192
Tel: 00 39 06 68 74 030
Piazza del Monte di Pietà 30, Rome 00186
Tel: 00 39 06 68 33 909
Last Updated : 27 November 2013