It’s the quintessential European summer holiday we’ve all been dreaming of. Walking along cobbled streets while eating melted gelato may have been a COVID-induced fantasy for the past two and a half years, but today it’s time to put these dreams into action..
Rome has long been held as a mandatory stop when booking a Euro trip, and for good reason. The Renaissance architecture, the rich flavours of a pizza al taglio and a glass of Aperol spritz as the sun sets, it’s hard to keep away. It then comes as no surprise that according to World Data, Rome recorded 10.3 million tourists in 2019, placing the city in the top 100 most popular destinations worldwide.
If you’re itching to touch down in the city and make that post-pandemic splurge, we’ve put together a list of where to eat, sleep and what to see in Italy’s capital.
Where to Stay
NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali
Awarded as a Top 10 Hotel in Rome by the Condé Nast Readers Choice Awards, the NH Collection places you in the middle of all that Rome has to offer. The Fori Imperiali hotel was only recently built and is bathed in modern luxuries, boasting a lounge bar, rooftop terrace with bar and concierge service.
Exuding charm and romance, this hotel is positioned on the border of the historic Imperial Forums site. Guests can enjoy sunset drinks with views of ancient Roman ruins.
Prices for this hotel start at A$526 per night.
Set behind an unassuming façade, Hotel Maalot is a peaceful retreat to escape the bustle of the city after a long day. The hotel’s eclectic interiors feature modern artwork, vintage decor and green drapery, illuminated by ornate chandeliers and skylights. The hotel was designed by the eminent RPM Studio design and its creative interiors and architecture make for a truly luxurious stay.
Boasting a five-star rating, this hotel is moments from all of the must-sees on the Rome bucket list, including the Trevi Fountain and Via Condotti shopping district. Relax in lavish interiors with round-the-clock white-glove service and authentic Italian hospitality.
Prices for this hotel start at A$838 per night.
Where to Eat
La Pergola has established itself as an unparalleled Italian dining experience, boasting a three-star Michelin rating. Acclaimed chef Heinz Beck leads the kitchen at La Pergola, promising a memorable experience for the palette, with options ranging from amberjack tartare with buttermilk sauce to tortellini stuffed with artichoke and truffle.
Wine lovers will be well looked after by the award-winning sommelier Marco Reitano. The drinks list showcases some of the finest vintages to be found, currently including a 1922 Chateau Lafite Rothschild and a 1945 Pétrus.
First opening its doors in 1967, Colline Emiliane solidified its legacy as some of the finest regional Italian cuisines in Rome. Each morning, the dough is rolled and pasta is handcrafted using selected raw materials.
With such an extensive menu on offer, multiple courses are a must. Why not begin with meat dumplings in a broth and continue on to homemade ravioli stuffed with ricotta, spinach and butter sage. To finish off the night with something sweet, lemon meringue pie is on offer or alternatively a classical chocolate cake.
Acquaroof Terrazza Molinari
Take a rest from sightseeing and sip on a cocktail as you soak in panoramic city skyline views from the rooftop at the Terrazza Molinari, positioned inside the First Roma Arte hotel. The interior is decorated with contemporary artwork and high-end decor. Meanwhile, the menu is a selection of Mediterranean produce and perfectly paired drinks.
What to Do
Vespa Sidecar Tour
Grab your helmets and get ready to have your movie moment as you watch the Fontana Di Trevi, St Peter’s Square and the Pantheon slip by. This Vespa tour will show you 12 of Rome’s most iconic sights from the comfort of a sidecar.
Expert drivers will have you in safe hands and an audio tour will keep you informed about all of the monuments you pass by. Included in the tour is a breakfast with a cappuccino and a cornetto, for a truly Italian treat.
This tour is priced at A$277 per person.
Via Condotti Shopping District
Known as Rome’s most fashionable shopping district, Via Condotti is home to all of the big names in the luxury fashion game. Choose from Prada, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, or a slew of independent boutiques, all of which are set on streets dating back to ancient Rome.
The historic district is set moments from the Spanish steps so you can start your shopping after a day of sightseeing.
Private Colosseum Tour
The grandeur of the Rome Colosseum is one that needs to be seen to be believed. The site itself is the largest ancient amphitheatre in the world and was originally constructed under the emperor Vespasian, built by teams of Roman builders, engineers, artists, painters and decorators.
This private Colosseum tour will take you on a guided tour, touching on the 3,000-year history of the monument. You will walk through the Colosseum itself, the Arena Floor, Roman Forum, Imperial Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Venezia and Navona.
This private tour is priced at A$295.
Early Access to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
Beat the heaving tourist crowds and enter the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel an hour and a half before it opens to the public.
Home to the Pope, a cache of iconic art and architecture, the Vatican City is the pinnacle of Italy’s rich history and culture. Stepping inside the labyrinth that is the Sistine Chapel is often a feat in itself, where queues can reach up to four hours during peak tourist season.
This tour will grant you early access so you can find yourself brushing elbows and craning necks to soak in the work of Michaelangelo, whose art stretches across the Sistine Chapel Ceiling since its commission in 1508.
This tour is priced at A$93.55 per person.
This article originally appeared on Fancy and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com