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From: Carolyn Spinks
Date: 02-06-2015 13:16:39 pm
Subject: Discovering Italy - City Breaks to Rome
Discovering Italy - City Breaks to Rome
By Carolyn Spinks
Heading to Italy? City breaks to Rome, the country's capital are becoming more and more popular for time-poor travellers. Affectionately known as The Eternal City, Rome can account for nearly three millennia of history, much of which has influenced the farthest reaches of the globe. For visitors to Italy, city breaks are the perfect way to get a taste of authentic Italian life. For shorter trips, it's important to have a little inside information on how to avoid tourist traps and how to focus on the old adage: 'When in Rome... '
Exploring the Eternal City
Rome is a city of history and tradition, one of the most enduring of which is 'la passeggiata'. La passeggiata happens in just about every city and town in the country, during which locals take to the streets for a leisurely stroll, enjoying the cool late afternoon and early evening air, socialising in the piazzas or promenades, and often enjoying a glass of wine in one of the street cafes. Although there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to participating in la passeggiata, it's easy to separate tourists from locals even in a crowd, so be sure to dress smartly and walk at a leisurely pace if you want to fit in!
In Rome, one of the most popular routes for la passeggiata begins in the Via del Corso, one of the straightest and widest streets in a city known for narrow and winding streets - which, of course, makes it the perfect place for a leisurely walk. Follow the road to the Porta del Popolo, the gateway to the heart of the city, which is easily recognisable by the Piazza del Popolo, which is framed by two famous baroque churches, Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto. Walking up the stone steps of Pincio (or Pincian Hill) will bring you to the famed Pincian Hill gardens, the perfect place to wander under the shade of the tall pines and enjoying an amazing sunset view of the Piazza Popolo, and the rooftops and domes of the city - as far as St. Peter's Basilica. When you visit the capital of Italy, city breaks are just long enough to give you a taste of what you can enjoy, but seeing the city spread out before you like a huge sprawling patchwork only serves to show you just how much more there is to see and do.
Another wonderful (and less crowded) route for your passeggiata is the tree-lined Gianicolo (or Janiculum Hill), the second tallest hill in Rome. From the top you can admire the city skyline bordered by the botanical gardens - a truly spectacular sight. You should also take time to visit the church of San Pietro, in Montorio, which is said to have been built on the site of St. Peter's crucifixion. Take in the spectacle of the Fontana dell'Acqua Paola, a lovely 17th century Baroque fountain built by Pope Paul V, before heading downhill to the Trastevere district, where you can enjoy a leisurely al fresco dinner in a traditional osteria.
In Rome, as in all of Italy, city breaks can give you a healthy dash of la dolce vita with your culture and history. The challenge of Rome, however, is finding enough time to do a short itinerary justice.
Carolyn Spinks is COO of ABTOI - The Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy. If you're looking for the perfect holiday in Italy, city breaks or longer visits, the LoveItaly website provides information, contact details of Italian tour operator members, insider tips, year round special offers and information on everything from beach holidays in Sardinia, cycling in Sicily, to a wedding or honeymoon in Tuscany.
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Europe - 03-02-2007 02:21:52 am
Italy - 07-14-2007 05:49:01 am
Rome - 10-29-2011 02:00:00 am
Discovering Italy - City Breaks to Rome - Carolyn Spinks 02-06-2015 13:16:39 pm