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We’ve all heard the expression “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, but how many people actually get to live it? You do! Good thing that doing as the Romans do these days involves fewer fights to the death and more food, art and fashion.
Booking one of our awesome places to stay in Rome (and they’re all pretty awesome) is the first step to discovering the “Eternal City”. Once that’s done, throw out a quick prayer to Mercury—the Roman god of travel—and get started planning the rest of your itinerary.
With more than 2500 years of history easily accessible from our hotels in Rome, the sheer magnitude of the city’s attractions can be humbling. Start your trip at the 2000-year-old Pantheon. It’s the world’s largest unsupported concrete dome, which baffles architects to this day.
Skip forward in time with a visit to the 18th-century Trevi Fountain, an intricate baroque sculpture of Neptune, god of the sea. As local legend goes, if you throw a coin into the waters over your shoulder, you’re sure to return to Rome; if you drink from the smaller Fountain of Lovers with your beloved, you’ll be together forever—so you’d better be sure!
You’ll always be able to return to the present day when you book accommodation near Olympic Stadium, the ultra-modern sports complex and home of two Serie A football clubs. Catch a Lazio or Roma game with 40,000 other footy fanatics, then chow down on carbonara (pasta with eggs, cheese and bacon) or suppli (fried rice balls).
Speaking of food, everybody knows the best food in Rome involves pasta, butter and did we mention pasta? That’s another thing about “When in Rome”—you can forget about sticking to your diet. You’re on holiday! There is literally no bad place for food in this city, but make the trip south to the Testaccio neighbourhood for traditional atmosphere and plenty of butter. The nonnas in this area aren’t buying the latest health food crazes, that’s for sure.
Flights to Rome will land at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO), about 25km from downtown. The Leonardo Express Train runs every 30 minutes to Roma Termini, the main railway station, and from there you can catch a subway or bus to any destination. Some major attractions, like the Vatican and Colosseum, are on the subway lines; however, you’ll probably need to grab a bus map as well.
Pro Tip: Many people in Rome do speak English, but be sure you have simple phrasebook so you can approach them politely. Plus, who can complain about learning a little Italian? Veni, vidi, vici!
During the Yuletide season, the masses flock to St. Peter’s Square for papal prayer, so you may have to put aside the festive spirit of Christmas and let out your competitive side when booking Rome hotels around this time.
The months of September through November offer crisp, cool air and plenty of good times. November alone is host to the Roma Jazz Fest, the Europa Performing Arts Festival and the Rome International Film Festival. That last one may be relatively new on the cinema fest scene, but it’s no slacker—directors Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson have been spotted in attendance, so get your schmoozing lines ready.
Whatever you’re into, Rome holidays live up to the hype. The ancient Romans had more than 150 official days off, and today’s locals definitely keep the party spirit going.
It can be hard to admit, but eventually, you might be so over the museums and darkened wine bars—at least for a day. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone. Luckily for you, accommodation in Rome will be near tons of outdoor attractions, which you can suggest to your fellow travellers without sounding like a total bogan.
Rome’s version of Central Park, Villa Borghese, is sure to be tops on any list thanks to its huge range of things to do. If you’re feeling sportsy (yes, that’s a word), you can paddle or pedal—the park has both bike and rowboat rentals. There are tons of interesting historical buildings and quaint picnic spots. And for that one friend who insists on going to the museums, there’s Galleria Borghese, one of the best in the city.
Of course, if you’re gonna be outside, you should be getting some amazing views, right? Make the climb up Palatine Hill and you won’t be disappointed. Looking down upon the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus and Colosseum, you’ll feel like Emperor Nero surveying his domain—or maybe Hadrian, if tyranny isn’t your thing.
Rome wasn’t built in a day—but if you only have a day to see it, you’re gonna need some help. The Rome in 1 Day tour was created just for travellers like you (you know, the kind that don’t really plan so well). Did someone say VIP access to the Vatican Museums? We did! Skip the plebs in line and be first of the day into the Sistine Chapel and Stanze di Raffaello.
You’ve heard of the Mafia and the razor gangs, but it’s time to learn about the OG crime family: The 12th-century Frangipani clan turned the Colosseum into their very own fortress. But way before that, this huge amphitheatre played host to sporting events, gladiator battles and even naval re-enactments, when it was filled with water. Yes, the ancient Romans certainly didn’t do anything halfway.
Modern Rome is just as interesting as its ancient past—we swear! The vibrant Campo de Fiori is a good bet for absorbing some local vibes on the rowdier side; for a quiet night, Piazza Navona is chockablock with cafes. Just don’t even think about getting decaf.
Much like the ancient Romans, Wotif doesn’t do anything halfway either. We’ve got the best selection of Rome accommodation on the internet. Book today and you’ll soon find this Italian city isn’t the only thing that’s “Eternal”; your memories and stories will last a lifetime.
Hotels in Rome start at NZ$70 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.