When in Rome…

Rome has many historical and cultural attractions to offer the traveller. As the capital of Italy, it’s also a dynamic modern hub blending old and new. There are many places to visit in Rome, which include the famous Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, The Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel. One item you should not forget to pack, along with your travel insurance, is some comfortable walking shoes!

When to go?
April to June and late September to October are the best months for travelling in Italy, temperatures are usually mild and the crowds aren’t quite so intense. Starting in mid-June, the summer rush really picks up, and from July to mid-September the country is popular with visitors. For the best flight deals, shop around on cheapflights.co.uk.

There are a great range of hotels in Rome, with something to suit everyone. Check out lastminute.com for some great Rome hotel deals.

Rome attractions:

  • St. Peter’s Square is located directly in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City a popular tourist hotspot where 2000 years of history come together. In ancient times, the land underneath the portico was part of a popular racetrack.
  • Museums – a collection of Renaissance art is housed in the Vatican Galleries and Museum. The Museum and the Basilica are the only buildings in Vatican City that are open to the public.
  • Vatican City covering about 108 acres and with a population of just over 500 (including the Pope), is one of the youngest and smallest European states. However, Vatican City does have a grocery store, chemist, post office and a train station. The Pope, the religious leader of some 900 million Catholics worldwide, is its governing sovereign ruler.
  • The Sistine Chapel, built toward the end of the fifteenth century is most famous for its elaborately decorated ceiling. Be sure to bring along binoculars to view the 10,000 square feet of ceiling painted by Michelangelo. In the summer, approximately 1600 people visit the chapel every hour! Leave your cameras behind as no pictures are permitted.
  • Trevi Fountain. Trevi is short for “tre vie” or three streets, which converge on the small square containing one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. There is also a legend linked to the famous fountain. If a visitor tosses a coin into the fountain, they are bound to return to Rome. It is also said that it brings good luck is a person throws in three coins with their right hand over their left shoulder. Over 3,000 Euro are thrown into the fountain daily!
  • The Colosseum is a former Roman stadium that is 150 feet high and was used for holding gladiator contests and shows for the Roman people. During its heyday, the 80 entrances allowed 50,000 spectators to take their seats within 10 minutes. The crowd watched shows involving exotic animals, naval battle simulations and fights with lions. The most popular games held were the venationes (hunts) and the munera (gladiatorial games).

Getting around:
The best way to explore Rome is definitely on foot with many sites of interest often clustered together. By exploring Rome by foot, you will discover endless monuments, unusual cafes and bars, and find charming family restaurants.

Finally, don’t forget your holiday insurance!
If after reading this blog you like the sound of Rome, make sure you take out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip. Buying direct from the travel insurance provider is certainly cheaper than from your travel agent.

You can purchase great value travel insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a 3-day break in Europe, it will cost you just £5.32* – a small price to pay to really relax and enjoy your Rome holiday all the more!

*Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 55 taking out a Standard Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (October 2009) and are subject to change.