Indulge In Rome’s Great Five Highlights

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Fontana della Barcaccia and the Sallustian Obelisk

Italy ended a two-year state of emergency that had been in place since January 31, 2020 on April 1.

It also removed all Covid-19 entry restrictions on June 1. This means that proof of immunization is no longer required for admittance. This also quashes the previous quarantine requirement for non-vaccinated arrivals.

Discovers the moments you’ll be glad you visited the Italian capital.

At least once, everyone should go to the Eternal City. The Italian city is a gorgeous, hypnotic site, where you might easily spend a week taking in the sights and experiencing the Roman way of life.

Here are five memorable encounters:

VESPA RIDES

Explore the city on a Vespa like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck did in the 1953 film of the same name. It’s a joy whizzing around the streets of Rome, passing sights like the Colosseum and the Vittoriano, whether you drive yourself or hold on to a guide leading the way (a vast white marble monument honoring Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy).

Zip around both banks of the Tiber River and climb to high observation points for spectacular photos. The tranquil Gianicolo hill, dubbed “the eighth hill of Rome” since it’s just beyond the ancient city’s limits and its seven famed hills, features a vast, tree-fringed terrace where you can pull over for one of the best panoramas of Rome’s dome-spiked skyline. 

Book your Vespa tours with dearomatours.com

ROMAN RAMBLES

Away from the saddle, you’ll enjoy wandering through the Colosseum and other remnants of the Roman Forum – the heart of ancient Rome — or descending the Spanish Steps and looking out over the Centro Storico (historic center).

This region of Rome is a delight to roam around, especially with a gelato in hand, thanks to its maze of winding medieval lanes, straight shop-lined thoroughfares, and wide squares. 

The Trevi Fountain, possibly the most beautiful of all the city’s fountains, is worth a look, even if it is typically crowded with tourists.

Don’t go swimming like Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita unless you want to face a €450 ($660) fine. You can, however, bask in the radiance of another iconic neighborhood landmark: the Pantheon.

The world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome atop this former Roman temple and Catholic church focuses beams of light on to dazzled tourists when the sun is out.

ROMAN FLAVORS 

While there are a number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Rome, there are also hundreds of more reasonably priced venues that offer a true taste of Roman cuisine and culture.

Try cacio e pepe tartufato (pecorino and black-pepper pasta with truffle) or rigatoni alla carbonara at an old-school trattoria or osteria, or try inventive variations on Roman comfort food in one of the city’s numerous contemporary, minimalist restaurants.

Alternatively, enjoy a classic thin-crust Roman pizza al fresco or grab a few pieces to go from one of the numerous hole-in-the-wall pizzerias. At lunchtime, you can do what many working Romans do and go to a deli for a freshly prepared salad and spaghetti to take away.

PICNICS AND PARKS

Fancy a picnic instead? Find regionally sourced meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables in one of the markets that bustle around Roman riones (neighborhoods) most mornings, such as the glass-roofed market in Testaccio or the open-air stalls at Campo de’ Fiori south of Piazza Navona.

Then walk or take a bike from the city’s bike-sharing program to Villa Borghese, which features groomed lawns and gardens around a lake, tree-lined walks, and elegant residences, including one that currently houses an art gallery and museum. Terrazza del Pincio, a terrace with fountains and breathtaking views of Piazza del Popolo and the Vatican City, is a must-see.

VATICAN CITY

There are numerous gorgeous churches in Rome, but the largest and most majestic of them all is located in the Vatican, a separate city-state within the city. From the spacious square in front, see St Peter’s Basilica’s exquisite front and jaw-dropping dome, then shift your attention to the lavish marble and gold-rich interior.

The Vatican Museums, which are best avoided during the crowded public openings but a delight during private after-hours visits with firms like Italy With Us, include even more spectacular artifacts, including art from the ancient and Renaissance periods (italywithus.com).

As you walk through the Vatican palaces’ pristine corridors, you’ll hear the sound of your own footfall.

Best of all is the Sistine Chapel, and being able to peruse Michelangelo’s masterful ceiling and wall frescoes in relative silence.


For more information on visiting Rome and Italy, see turismoroma.it and italia.it

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