So this post is our light-hearted view of Rome in Italy.It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on this spectacular Eternal City in Lazio.
Let’s start with the Truths about RomeRome is the enchanting capital city of Italy, located in the Lazio region and nestled along the River Tiber banks.
The LocationThe Three C's
The breath-taking city of Rome is overflowing with so much ancient history that every tiny piazza or snaking alleyway will keep those inquisitive internal flames smouldering.
Rome was founded around 753BC, and its first king was King Romulus, who reigned from 753BC to 716BC.
The elegant and striking style of Baroque was born in Rome in the early 17th-century. Beautiful examples of Baroque architecture can be seen throughout the city, particularly the Trevi Fountain.
Prior to Rome becoming Italy’s capital city in 1871, this honour was briefly held by Florence.
Italy was ruled under the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini from the ‘March on Rome’ on 31st October 1922 until his arrest on 25th July 1943.
Vatican City, the city within a city, became independent from Italy in 1929 and is the smallest country in the world. In 1984 Vatican City became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Historic Centre of Rome was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1980.
Rome is home to the renowned film studio Cinecittà Studios. It can boast of being the largest film studio in Europe. It was founded in 1937 and has been used for so many well-known productions, such as Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday, The English Patient and Gangs of New York.
Where's Rome in the world?
Rome Up Close
Rome is the perfect location for a mini-break. When I was growing up, Rome had always been at the top of my wish list. It was the first European city outside of the UK that Gary and I visited.
Rome is relatively flat, which makes it easily negotiated on foot. In my opinion, strolling around is always the ideal way to discover a city - especially one like Rome that has so many hidden piazzas and ancient lanes to unearth.
It’s good to talk
So what’s this Trivia then?Regarding Rome, with its dolce vita lifestyle and home of sword-wielding gladiators.
Did you know?
- The Colosseum in Rome is acknowledged to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
- Each day at the Trevi Fountain, an estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the Baroque architectural splendour. That’s a lot of wishes being made.
- Many global cities around the world are twinned with each other. Although in 1956, Rome and Paris have chosen to exclusively twin together. Apparently, “Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris”.
- To become a Pontifical Swiss Guard, there are specific criteria that need to be met. Not only do you have to be Swiss, male, single, Catholic and have a particular level of education and completed training with the Swiss Armed forces, but you also need to be aged between 19 and 30 and be at least 5ft 8.5 inches tall. Wow, that’s some principles.
- There’s an elevated passageway named ‘Passetto di Borgo’, which connects the Vatican City with Castel Sant’Angelo. The corridor is 800 metres long and was erected in 1277 by Pope Nicholas III. It is known to have been used as an escape route by Popes in peril.
It's famous for...
Food and drink
See & Do
If you've yet to discover the incredible history and architecture in Rome, you're in for a treat. I found this DK Top 10 Pocket Travel Guide invaluable, they're extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more of those tranquil courtyards.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Rome adventure, now you can grab the revised copy.
Movies & Games
Where we stayed
Value for Money
Our value for money index.
Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.
After all, Rome is Italy’s capital city, it’s going to be a little pricey. If you’re on a budget, head a couple of streets back from the main tourist spots, and there are some great eateries to be found.
Also, I find with dishes like pasta and pizza, these are usually reasonably priced.
Places like the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica and other places of worship are free to visit.
What to experience
- Piazzas, there is something so gratifying at sitting in a piazza or on the steps of a fountain. From the enveloping elegance of Piazza Navona to the hidden courtyards down tiny side streets.
- Visit the colourful open-air food market in Campo de' Fiori for your fresh fruit, vegetables and beautifully scented flowers.
- For more information on Rome, why not check out the Italia website.
Getting around town
What's it like discovering the city? Is it walkable? do you need to use public transport? did we leave with weary feet?
We walked everywhere in Rome; it is easily walkable and reasonably flat. Just plan your days out to cover specific regions each day.
If your time is limited there are little electric buses that travel around the historical centre. They are really handy and convenient.
Janis's Hi's & Lo's
Gary's Hi's & Lo's
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