Rome Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages

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Rome Travel Guide : Rome Tours & Travel Services : Hotels Best Deals & Discounts : Low Cost Flights : Affordable Travel & Holidays Packages

Rome (Italian: Roma), the 'Eternal City', is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region. It's the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Rome, as a millenium-long centre of power, culture and religion, having been the centre of one of the globe's greatest civilizations ever, has exterted a huge influence over the world in its c. 2,500 years of existence. The Historic Center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millenium-old churches and basilicas, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe and the world's most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals. Today, also, Rome has a growing nightlife scene, and is also seen as a shopping heaven, being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world (some of Italy's oldest jewellery and clothing establishments were founded in the city). So, with so many sights and things to do, Rome can truly be classified a "global city".

Districts :
Central Rome : Rome can be divided into several districts. The so-called historical center (centro storico) is quite small, only around 4% of the city's area. This is mainly made up of Old Rome and Colosseo. Districts are explained below:

Modern Center : Where many of the hotels are, as well as shopping and dining galore along the Via Veneto; home to the Quirinale, Trevi fountain, Barberini, Castro Pretorio, and Repubblica areas.

Old Rome : The center of the Roman medieval and Renaissance periods, with beautiful plazas, cathedrals, the Pantheon, and plenty of laid-back dining; includes the Navona, Campo de' Fiori, and the Jewish Ghetto neighborhoods.

Vatican : The Papal City State and its endless treasure troves of sights, relics, and museums, as well as the surrounding Italian neighborhood.

Colosseo : The heart of ancient Rome, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum and Markets of Trajan, the Capitoline and its museums.

North Center : Situated in the north part of Rome, home to the Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, and the elegant neighborhoods of Parioli and Salario.

Trastevere : The land to the south of the Vatican, on the west bank of the Tiber River, full of narrow cobbled streets and lonely plazas that served as the inspiration for artists such as Giorgio de Chirico. Now arguably the center of Rome's artistic life.

Aventino-Testaccio : Off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods of Rome with plenty of surprises waiting for interested travelers, as well as some truly great food.

Esquilino-San Giovanni : South of Termini, with an indoor market, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, and the Cathedral of Rome Saint John in Lateran.

Nomentano : Municipio III, the neighborhoods "behind" the train station. Vibrant night life in San Lorenzo.

OutskirtsNorth Rome : the vast suburban neighborhoods to the north of the center  -   South Rome : home of the Appian Way park, several catacombs, fascist monumental architecture at EUR and extensive suburbs.  -  Ostia : Rome's beach resort and the impressive ruins of Ancient Rome's harbour.

Italians are very fond of their landmarks; in order to make them accessible to everyone one week a year there is no charge for admittance to all publicly owned landmarks and historical sites. This week, known as "La settimana dei beni culturali", typically occurs in mid-May and for those 7 to 10 days every landmark, archaeological site and museum belonging to government agencies (including the Quirinale presidential palace and gardens, the Colosseum and all of the ancient Forum) is accessible and free of charge.

Ancient Rome : The main area for exploring the ruins of ancient Rome is in Rome/Colosseo either side of Via dei Fori Imperiali, which connects the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Constructed between 1931 and 1933, at the time of Mussolini, this road destroyed a large area of Renaissance and medieval buildings constructed on top of ruins of the ancient forums and ended forever plans for an archeological park stretching all the way to the Appian Way. Heading towards the Colosseum from Piazza Venezia, you see the Roman Forum on your right and Trajan's Forum and Market on the left. To the right of the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine and the beginning of the Palatine Hill, which will eventually lead you to ruins of the Flavian Palace and a view of the Circus Maximus. To the left, after the Colosseum is a wide, tree-lined path that climbs through the Colle Oppio park. Underneath this park is the Golden House of Nero (Domus Aurea), an enormous and spectacular underground complex restored and then closed again due to damage caused by heavy rain. Further to the left on the Esquiline Hill are ruins of Trajan's baths.

In Old Rome you must see the Pantheon, which is amazingly well preserved considering it dates back to 125 AD. There is a hole constructed in the ceiling so it is an interesting experience to be there when it is raining. If you are heading to the Pantheon from Piazza Venezia you first reach Largo di Torre Argentina on your left. Until 1926 this was covered in narrow streets and small houses, which were razed to the ground when ruins of Roman temples were discovered. Moving along Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle and crossing the Tiber river into the Vatican area you see the imposing Castel Sant' Angelo, built as a Mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. This is connected by a covered fortified corridor to the Vatican and served as a refuge for Popes in times of trouble.

South of the Colosseum are the Baths of Caracalla (Aventino-Testaccio). You can then head South-East on the old Appian Way, passing through a stretch of very well-preserved city wall. For the adventurous, continuing along the Appian Way (Rome/South) will bring you to a whole host of Roman ruins, including the Circus of Maxentius, the tomb of Cecilia Metella, the Villa dei Quintili and, nearby, several long stretches of Roman aqueduct.  Returning to the Modern Center, the Baths of Diocletian are opposite the entrance to the main railway station, Termini. The National Museum of Rome stands in the South-West corner of the Baths complex and has an enormous collection of Roman scultures and other artifacts. But this is just one of numerous museums devoted to ancient Rome, including those of the Capitoline Hill. It is really amazing how much there is.

Catholic Rome :There are more than 900 churches in Rome. Probably one third would be well worth a visit . In Catholic tradition, St. Peter is said to have founded the church in Rome together with St. Paul. The first churches of Rome originated in places where early Christians met, usually in the homes of private citizens. By the IVth Century, however, there were already four major churches, or basilicas. Rome had 28 cardinals who took it in turns to give mass once a week in one of the basilicas. In one form or another the four basilicas are with us today and constitute the major churches of Rome. They are St Peter’s, St Paul’s Outside the Walls, Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni. All pilgrims to Rome are expected to visit these four basilicas, together with San Lorenzo fuori le mura, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, and the Sanctuary of Divino Amore. The latter was inserted as one of the seven at the time of the Great Jubilee in 2000, replacing San Sebastiano outside the walls.

The Seven Hills of Rome : To the modern visitor, the Seven Hills of Rome can be rather difficult to identify. In the first place generations of buildings constructed on top of each other and the construction of tall buildings in the valleys have tended to make the hills less pronounced than they originally were. Secondly, there are clearly more than seven hills. In Roman days many of these were outside the city boundaries. The seven hills were first occupied by small settlements and not recognized as a city for some time. Rome came into being as these settlements acted together to drain the marshy valleys between them and turn them into markets and fora. The Roman Forum used to be a swamp. The Palatine Hill looms over Circus Maximus and is accessed near the Colosseum . Legend has it that this was occupied by Romulus when he fell out with his brother, Remus, who occupied the Aventine Hill on the other side of the Circus. Also clearly recognisable as hills are the Caelian, to the southeast of Circus Maximus and the Capitoline, which overlooks the Forum and now hosts the Municipality of Rome. East and northeast of the Roman Forum are the Esquiline, Viminal, and Quirinal hills. These are less easy to distinguish as separate hills these days and from a distance look like one.

Museums : If you are in Rome for the Arts there are several world-class museums in the city. The natural starting point is a visit to the area of Villa Borghese in Campo Marzio, where there is a cluster of art museums. Galleria Borghese houses a previously private art collection of the Borghese family, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia is home of the worlds largest Etruscan art collection, and Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna houses many Italian masterpieces as well as a few pieces by artists such as Cézanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh. The Capitoline Museums in the Colosseo district opens their doors to the city's most important collection of antique Roman and Greek art and sculptures. Visit the Galleria d'Arte Antica, housed in the Barberini palace in the Modern center, for Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. Rome's National Museum at the Baths of Diocletian in the Modern Center has a vast archaeological collection as does the national museum at Palazzo Altemps, close to Piazza Navona. Further afield, the Museo di Civilta Romana (Museum of Rome's Civilization), in EUR is most famous for an enormous model of Imperial Rome, but also has an extensive display of plaster casts, models and reconstructions of statues and Roman stonework.

The Piazzas : The narrow streets frequently broaden out into small or large squares (piazzas), which usually have one or more churches and a fountain or two. Apart from Piazza Navona and Piazza della Rotonda (in front of the Pantheon), take in the nearby Piazza della Minerva, with its unique elephant statue by Bernini and Piazza Colonna with the column of Marcus Aurelius and Palazzo Chigi, meeting place of the Italian Government. On the other side of Corso Vittorio Emanuele are Piazza Farnese with the Palazzo of the same name (now the French Embassy) and two interesting fountains and the flower sellers at Campo dei Fiori, scene of Rome's executions in the old days. All of these squares are a short distance from each other in Old Rome. The enormous Piazza del Popolo in the North Center, which provided an imposing entrance to the city when it represented the northern boundary of Rome, is well worth a visit. A short walk back towards the center brings you to Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps. Yet another fascinating fountain here. The area was much used as backdrop for the 1953 film Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. On the other side of the river is, of course, the magnificent square of St Peter's at the Vatican. Further south, in Trastevere is Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, a great place to watch the world go by, either from one of the restaurants or bars that line two sides of the square or, if that is too expensive, from the steps of the central fountain. The square attracts many street entertainers. Moving back to the Modern Center you have to see the Trevi Fountain, surely a part of everyone's Roman holiday. Visitors are always amazed that such a big and famous fountain is tucked away in a small piazza in the middle of side streets. Take extra-special care of your possessions here. Further up the Via del Tritone you will come to Piazza Barberini, now full of traffic but the lovely Bernini fountain is not to be missed.

Viewpoints : With no tall buildings in Rome, views of the city come from climbing the many hills, either the original seven hills of Rome or others that surround them. The two most popular views of Rome are from the Janiculum hill overlooking Trastevere and the Pincio at the edge of the Borghese Gardens. The former, best reached by car, has sweeping views of the center of Rome, as long as the authorities remember to prune the trees on the hillside in front of the viewpoint. Cross over the piazza for an excellent view of the dome of St Peter's. The Vatican is the main sight from the Pincio (metro Line A, Piazza del Popolo, and then a good climb). Less popular, but just as nice, is the orange grove at Parco Savello on the Aventine Hill.

Take in a show. There are lots of theatres, but you will need to know Italian to enjoy them. The main concert venue is the Auditorium in Viale Pietro de Coubertin to the north of Rome. The Auditorium at Parco della Musica is a large complex composed of three separate halls whose shapes are inspired by musical instruments. These are positioned around an open air amphitheatre, that is used nearly every night in the summer for concerts. The Parco della Musica hosts a constant stream of classical, popular, and jazz music, featuring national as well as international musicians and groups.

Events :
Estate Romana Festival (Roman Summer Festival) - from late June through early September offers various musical events of jazz, rock, and classical music, and film, sport, theater and children’s fun.
White Night (Notte Bianca)  - in early to mid-September, various events until dawn, plus shops and restaurants, museums stay open while the Roman Notte Bianca stages music, dance and theater events. Expect enormous crowds; buses and trams will be packed to the brim.
Opera at Caracalla Baths of Caracalla (see Rome/Aventino-Testaccio) : If you are in Rome during summertime don’t miss the chance to experience a lyric opera in the truly unique setting of the Caracalla Baths. The 2009 program included Tosca, Carmen and Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances start at 21.00

Rome Flights & Airports : Rome  has two main international airports:
Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport  (Rome Fiumicino, FCO) - Rome's main airport is modern, large, rather efficient, and well connected to the center of the city by public transportation.
Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport  (Rome Fiumicino, FCO) - Located to the southeast of the capital, this is the city's low-cost airline airport, serving Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizzair flights, among others .

Summit Tours offers travellers intrested in Rome plenty of travel options and Travel Services Including Holidays Packages , wide range of Best Hotels offers and discounts , Return Flights to and from : Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport  (Rome Fiumicino, FCO) and  Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport  (Rome Fiumicino, FCO) . Our Holidays Pakages Include Rome Culture & Classic Tours - Rome Christmas & New Year Tours - Rome City  Tours - Rome Holidays Packages .

 


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