Destination Rome! The Best of Rome Trip Plan
Contributor: Tia Meridith
“Roma, a chi nulla in cent’anni, a chi molto in tre di” (In Rome, there are those who have had nothing in a hundred years, those who had much in three days) ~ Roman Proverb
Nestled in a history and culture well beyond 100 years, Rome, Italy has the largest concentration of historical and architectural riches in the world. As the capital of the Italian Republic and with over 16% of the world’s cultural treasures within its borders, the aesthetics to be had and experienced cannot possibly be contained within three days’ time.
If ever there was a time for a private tour, Vatican City is that time. Making Rome the only city in the world to host an entire foreign state within it, Vatican City is a must-have experience. Because the lines are long for tickets on this tour of Rome, planning ahead with a private guide will provide an exclusive experience beyond the average tourist. The Sistine Chapel will come to life as you are guided through a dramatic meeting of history and religion above you. In addition, you will visit St. Peter’s Basilica and stroll through St. Peter’s Square on your personal tour.
The piazzas, or public squares of Rome, are another sought after experience in Italy. As the center of life for people there, many important public squares can be found in the city. One of the most frequented is that of the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square). This grand piazza rests affront St. Peter’s Basilica and is a popular gathering place for tourists. If you are around St. Peter’s Square on Sundays at noon, the Pope (when in Rome) gives the Angelus prayer from his window overlooking the square. On Wednesdays, he also gives his weekly general audience in the square or inside the Pope Paul VI auditorium (tickets are required for the latter).
After these more popular Rome, Italy attractions try searching nearby for the Gianicolo hill for one the best views of the city. Though this hill is not counted as one of the seven hills Rome is known for, it is close to the historic center and is just above the Vatican and Trastevere neighborhood. If you happen to make it there around noon, you will witness a 19th century tradition of a single canon shot. If not, the panoramic view of Rome’s ancient landmarks is a great visual history lesson as well as the 19th century busts of heroes who helped unify modern Italy that you will see along the path leading to the top.
As this city offers much in the way of history and art, it also provides elegant shopping opportunities. Located near the Piazza di Spagna, the famous Via Condotti has the best known Italian designers in a quaint 330 foot radius. If you are in a group of travelers and some prefer cultural sights to fashion, there is the Giorgio de Chirico House-Museum across the piazza (by appointment). Or meet nearby at one of the most famous landmarks in Rome, the Spanish Steps. As some are shopping, others may take in this square with its monumental stairway leading up to the Trinità dei Monti church.
With memories captured on camera and shopping bags in hand, you can retreat in ‘La Dolce Vita” to a nearby hotel such as the Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese. With its backdrop of the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto, you will close your day resting in one of Rome’s luxury hotels and leaving you inspired to experience the next in one of the most fantastic destinations in the world.