While Italy’s capital city is best known for its iconic ancient ruins and artistic riches, it is also a thriving modern metropolis – as well as one of Europe’s foremost emerging start up hubs. A city of pulsating energy and truly awe-inspiring cultural attractions, Rome is an ideal place to find yourself with some free time if you’re travelling on business. We’ve counted down five of the best things to do on your visit.
- The Colosseum
Probably the most quintessential symbol of Rome and Italy at large, the Colosseum is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Inaugurated in 80 AD and built as a grand gladiatorial arena, the Colosseum has tiered seating encircling the area and accomodatese 50,000. Spectators once gathered to watch brutal games involving gladiators fighting wild animals or one another, and today tourists flock from all over the world to admire one of the world’s most impressive ancient ruins.
- Vatican City
You won’t want to miss a visit to the Vatican City – an entirely separate country within the confines of Rome! A guided tour is recommended, as it will help you to navigate the many museums and churches, as well as providing some interesting information and context for what you’re seeing. Whatever else you do, make sure you prioritise a visit to the breath-taking Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo.
- Visit a Market
Rome is home to such a plethora of lively outdoor markets that it can be difficult to know which ones to choose if you have limited time. If you’re looking for delicious food, the market at Campo de’ Fiori is definitely worth a visit: open in the mornings, it is where the discerning locals come to stock their own kitchens. For a friendly atmosphere and good-quality shoes and bags at low prices, head to the Testaccio market at via Galvani/via Volta.
- Eat Like a Roman
Romans – like most Italians – take their food and wine very seriously, and you will never be short of excellent places to eat in Rome. From cosy, family-run pizzerias to elegant Michelin star restaurants, the streets are teeming with different options. Try the Cacio e Pepe, a simple but traditional Roman pasta dish, or head to the old Jewish ghetto for a plate of carciofi, a local delicacy of deep-fried artichokes.
- Borghese Museum and Gallery
Home to an unrivalled private art collection, the Borghese Museum and Gallery boasts paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael and Titan, as well as exceptional sculptures by Bernini. Visitors are admitted at two-hourly intervals to limit crowds, so you will need to pre-book tickets in advance.