The ‘Eternal City’ does not only get its nickname from its timeless beauty and melting pot of eras and architectural styles that grace its hills. Everything about this city defies time. To become fully-acquainted with Rome would take more than a lifetime, let alone one visit, but it only takes a single moment for this city to get under your skin.
Imperial Rome and its Forums can be seen in the Coliseum and the Pantheon, living alongside Baroque beauties, such as Navona Square, Campo de Fiori and famous fountains, such as the Trevi Fountain. The vibrant city depicted in films such as ‘La Dolce Vita’, in which it served as a backdrop to the antics of Anita Akberg and Mastroianni, and where Audrey Hepburn rode around on a Vespa, lives harmoniously with the more decadent Rome, home to the Vatican and numerous buildings and ruins, whose worn, brown façades have managed to survive numerous invasions of ivy. Both the Catholic Church and the Seventh Art are present in this city. After a visit to one of the many churches (some of which house treasures such as Caravaggio paintings and Michelangelo’s ‘Moses’), including Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, take a break with a trip round the Tiber, ending up at Trastevere.
During the summer, the banks of the Tiber are filled with terraces, where you can sample local delicacies and listen to live music. A walk along the river will bring you to what used to be a working-class neighbourhood, which is now the exclusive, touristic district of Trastevere (‘behind the Tiber’). This is where you will find the majority of central Rome’s nightlife and the Cinema Bookshop, an enticing bookshop and café, where talks by writers, scriptwriters and film directors are frequently given.
Another must-see route to immerse yourself further into the ‘Eternal City’, is from the Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna Square to Pincian Hill. Climb the famous steps on the square that lead to the Trinita dei Monti Church. Once there, continue to the left and in a few short steps you will be at the Pincio lookout, on Popolo Square, which offers the most spectacular views of the city. The lookout is part of the Villa Borghese Gardens, an enormous park which is home to the Villa Borghese Museum (an old villa which has been converted into an exclusive museum, housing works by Rafael, Bernini, and Canova) and the House of Cinema, another villa converted into a film archive, where you can enjoy the best that cinema has to offer.
If you want to lose yourself in nature and take a two-hour walk, head to the Via Appia Antica, an endless, two thousand year-old Roman road, located in the countryside outside the city. Lined with trees, villas and ruins, this peaceful oasis is sure to make you lose track of time.
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