We recommend you update your browser before viewing our site. Thank you.

The Centre Of The Euroverse

An epic, monumental metropolis, Rome has been in the spotlight for close on 3,000 years. As the showcase centre of the Roman Empire, it was the all-powerful caput mundi (capital of the world). Later, as the Renaissance capital of the Catholic world, its name sent shivers of holy terror through believers and infidels alike. Some 500 years on and its name still exerts a powerful hold. Fortunately, the reality is every bit as enticing as the reputation. With its architectural and artistic treasures, its romantic corners and noisy markets, Rome is a city that knows how to impress.


Rome’s iconic monument is a thrilling site. The 50,000-seater Colosseum was ancient Rome’s most feared arena and is today one of Italy’s top tourist attractions. Queues are inevitable but you can usually avoid them by buying your ticket at the nearby Palatine Hill.


Roman Forum & Palatine Hill

Rome’s most famous ruins are what is left of the Roman Forum, the social, political and commercial hub of the Roman Republic. Highlights include: the Tempio di Antonino e Faustina, built by the senate in AD 141; the Curia, once the meeting place of the Roman senate; and the Arco di Settimo Severo, considered one of Italy’s major triumphal arches

From the Forum, you can climb the Palatine. Ancient Rome’s poshest neighbourhood, this is where Romulus is said to have founded the city in 753 BC. Most of the Palatine is covered by the ruins of Emperor Domitian’s vast 1st-century complex. 


Vatican City

The world’s smallest sovereign state, the Vatican is the jealous guardian of one of the world’s greatest artistic and architectural patrimonies. Covering just 0.44 sq km, the Vatican is all that’s left of the Papal States. For more than a thousand years, the Papal States encompassed Rome and much of central Italy, but after Italian unification in 1861 the pope was forced to give up his territorial possessions. 


St Peter’s Basilica & Square

Italy’s biggest, richest, and most spectacular church, St Peter’s Basilica towers over the grandiose St Peter’s Sq. Built over the spot where St Peter was buried, the first basilica was consecrated by Constantine in the 4th century. St Peter’s Sq was designed by Bernini and laid out in the 17th century. The vast piazza is bound by two semicircular colonnades, each comprising four rows of Doric columns, and in its centre stands an obelisk brought to Rome by Caligula from Heliopolis (in ancient Egypt). Dress rules and security are stringently enforced at the basilica – no shorts, miniskirts or sleeveless tops.


Vatican Museums

Boasting one of the world’s great art collections, the Vatican Museums are housed in the Palazzo Apostolico Vaticano. Every inch of this vast 5.5-hectare complex is crammed with art, and you’ll need several hours just for the highlights. There are four colour-coded itineraries, each of which finishes at the Sistine Chapel, so if you want you can walk straight there, although bear in mind that you can’t backtrack once you’re there. Audioguides are available.


Piazza del Campidoglio & Musei Capitolini

The lowest of Rome’s seven hills, the Campidoglio (Capitoline) was the spiritual heart of the Roman Republic. At its summit were the city’s two most important temples: one dedicated to Juno Moneta and another to Jupiter Capitolinus, where Brutus is said to have hidden after assassinating Caesar.



A striking 2000-year-old temple, now church, the Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda) is the best-preserved of ancient Rome’s great monuments.


Piazza Navona

A few blocks west of the Pantheon, Piazza Navona (Corso del Rinascimento) is Rome’s great baroque centrepiece. Built over the ruins of the 1st-century Stadio di Domiziano (Domitian’s Stadium), it is focused on Bernini’s 1651 masterpiece, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). 


Campo de’ Fiori

Dubbed ‘il Campo’, Campo de’ Fiori (Corso Vittorio Emanuele II), is a major focus of Roman life: by day it hosts a noisy market, and at night it becomes a vast open-air pub. For centuries it was the site of public executions, and it was here that the philosophising monk Giordano Bruno (the hooded figure in Ettore Ferrari’s sinister statue) was burned at the stake in 1600. 


Villa Borghese

Once the estate of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, this park, known as Villa Borghese (Porta Pinciana), is a good spot for a breath of fresh air. Bike hire is available at various points. 


Trevi Fountain

Immortalised by Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, the Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi; Piazza di Trevi; Barberini) was designed by Nicola Salvi in 1732 and depicts Neptune’s chariot being led by Tritons, with sea horses representing the moods of the sea. 


Piazza di Spagna & Spanish Steps

A hang-out for both flirting adolescents and footsore tourists, Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps (Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti) have been a magnet for foreigners since the 18th century. 


Piazza del Popolo & Around

One of Rome’s landmark squares, Piazza del Popolo (Flaminio) was laid out in 1538 at the point of convergence of three roads – Via di Ripetta, Via del Corso and Via del Babuino.


The best places to eat are in the centro storico and Trastevere, but there are also excellent choices in San Lorenzo and Testaccio. The Termini area is best avoided although you’ll find some decent takeaways, particularly around Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II.

Arguably Rome’s best gelateria (ice-cream shop), San Crispino (Via della Panetteria 42) serves tubs of natural, seasonal flavours such as crema with honey. Near the Vatican Museums, Old Bridge (Viale dei Bastioni di Michelangelo 5) is perfect for a postmuseum pick-me-up, while Tre Scalini (Piazza Navona 30) is famous for its €10 tartufo nero (black truffle).


Pizzeria da Baffetto

(Via del Governo Vecchio 114) For the full on Roman pizza experience get down to this local institution. Meals are loud, chaotic and fast, but the thin-crust pizza’s good and the vibe is fun. 


(Piazza Augusto Imperatore 9) A lunchtime favourite with office workers, this big 90s-style warehouse operation serves everything from thick-crust pizza to cheese platters, salads and overpriced fusion food. 


(Piazza delle Coppelle 44) Popular with locals and tourists alike, this is the archetypal centro storico trattoria. It’s boisterous, busy and fancy free with a classic Roman menu and an attractive setting near the Pantheon.

Pizzeria Ivo

(Via di San Francesco a Ripa 158) A perennially popular Trastevere pizzeria, Ivo fits the bill. With the TV on in the corner and waiters skilfully manoeuvring plates over the noisy hordes, diners chow down on classic thincrust pizzas.

Volpetti Più 

(Via A Volta 8) A sumptuous tavola calda (a ‘hot table’ where pre-prepared pasta, meats and vegies are served canteen-style). Choose from pizza, pasta, soup, meat, vegetables and fried nibbles.

Dino e Tony

Something of a rarity, Dino e Tony is an authentic trattoria in the Vatican area. Famous for its amatriciana (a spicy pasta sauce made with tomatoes, pancetta and pecorino cheese), it serves a monumental antipasto, which might well see you through to dessert.


(Via Firenze 30) An affordable and popularJapanese restaurant just off Via Nazionale.Sushi and sashimi range from €13.50 to€48, making the €12 lunchtime menu theobvious choice.



A walking tour of the city is a must. It really helped me figure out what and where I wanted to spend more time."

Debbie, Australia

#hopon to Rome