A few tips for your Rome city break

Whether it is your first or fifth visit to the Eternal City, there is always something new to discover. With an almost overwhelming amount of art, history and culture to explore, the best advice is to plan a selection of must-see stops interspersed with some gentle wandering.


First time? Acquaint yourself with Rome’s greatness, from the curves of the Colosseum to the sculptures of the Vatican. But much more romantic (and far less crowded) are the old, cobbled central suburbs.

Monti, Rome's Quiet Treasure

Ancient-meets-hipster Rione Monti steals hearts with its buildings of ochre-washed walls, peeling paint, sprouting weeds and balconies. Adjust to the groovy vibes with an aperitivo at La Base (www.labaseristorante.it), then stroll around the vintage stores and boutiques.


North of Monti, just 10 minutes on foot you’ll find Villa Doria Pamphilj housing what could be described as the world’s greatest private art collection, with works by Caravaggio, Titian and Raffaello.


12 euro per adult
8 euro for youngs betwen 6 and 26
It includes the audio guide subject to availability
10.00 / 19.00 (last admission 18.00)

Villa Doria Pamphilj

Case Romane

Grab a taxi for the 15 minute ride to the Monte Celio (The Caelian Hill) where affluent Roman patrons had their lavish villas with orchards and vineyards. The area is still shady and green.


An elegant gateway off the little piazza opposite the Basilica of Saints John and Paul opens onto Villa Celimontana, one of Rome’s nicest parks.


Below the Basilica there is entrance to the Case Romane, an example of earlier Roman villas with extremely well conserved frescoed rooms.


8 euro per adult
6 euro 12 to 18
Free for under 12
10.00 / 13.00 – 15.00 / 18.00 Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

Case Romane del Celio

Villa Borghese

Take a stroll along Rome’s grandest park, the Villa Borghese. Housed in an elegant mansion, the Borghese Gallery hosts the world’s most beautiful art collection since 1607, most of the paintings and sculpture have never been moved since.


The collection has Caravaggios, Titians and Raphaels but the Bernini sculptures are standout: the Aeneas and Anchises, the Rape of Proserpina, the David, and the Apollo and Daphne.


From Tuesday to Sunday
09.00 / 19.00 No entry after 17.00
Adult €13 + €2 for the obligatory reservation
18 to 25 €6 + €2

the Rape of Proserpina, Borghese Gallery
The Rape of Proserpina - Gian Lorenzo Bernini [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Keats-Shelley House

Continue to the bottom edge of the park and you’ll find the Spanish Steps with its 24 hour tourist crowd. The steps were once home to English poet John Keats too.


The Keats-Shelley House provides an intriguing insight into their Roman lives, not to mention being a bit different to the many Roman and Christian landmarks you will visit.




Monday to Saturday 10.00/13.00 and 14.00/18.00;
Sunday: Closed
Adults €5.00;
Under 18s and 65s or over €4.00

Best view point

If you are in search of Rome’s best view point, the Orange Gardens are a pulse-quickner. Next to the Orange Gardens, the key hole in the gate of the Priorate of the Knights of Malta offers a magnificent furtive peep straight onto St. Peter’s itself.


The majestic dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica stands in the centre, serenely framed by the Priory’s cypress bushes. The garden also has a number of eponymous orange trees and well-kept lawns that make a perfect picnic spot.

the key hole in the gate of the Priorate of the Knights of Malta

A tale of love and tragedy

For a romantic finale, take a taxi or bus to the scented, cypress shaded avenue of the Appian Way. Halfway along lies the ancient, macabre Christian and Jewish catacombs.


Above ground, all is now peaceful, yet along this poetical lane the rebel slave army of Spartacus was crucified. The crosses stretched 80km or more – thus ending one of the most passionate stories in history.


You can rent bikes at the Appia Antica Caffe.

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