Once the centre of ancient empires, Rome today is the capital city of Italy. Travel to Rome and you will be surrounded by beautiful architecture of the past and warm people, creating a most romantic atmosphere to rival that of Rome's sister city, Paris, France.
Romans tend to be friendly and socialising is a very important part of their culture. Leisurely lunches with friends, families and even strangers are a common scene throughout Rome.
Food is a big part of Roman culture, not just any food, but good food. There are hundreds of restaurants, pizzerias and trattories in Rome offering tasty, authentic dishes that showcase traditional Roman recipes to the more popular pizzas and pastas. For the best food in Rome, look out for restaurants filled with locals, you can't go wrong!
Rome Coffee Culture
Italy is the birthplace of espresso and Romans take their coffee as seriously as their food. Romans flock to cafes to drink some of the best coffees in the world with friends often standing up. The best coffee in Rome is found at Caffe Sant'Eustachio where the barristi have been serving a delicious secret recipe to customers ever since 1938. Avoid touristy areas when dining or drinking as you can be charged up to four times more for table service.
Rome is an international centre for music. The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is an internationally acclaimed musical institution based at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, one of the largest musical venues in the world. If you are lucky enough to be in Rome when the orchestra or the chorus are performing, do not miss out on what is guaranteed to be a breathtaking show.
Located within Rome is the city-state of Vatican City. Inside Vatican City, is where you will find the Apostolic Palace where the Pope resides and for the faithful can even be blessed by the Pope in St Peter's Square on Sundays at noon. As well as seeing the Pope, visitors are also surprised by the parks and gardens which cover half of Vatican City. Visit the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica to see some of the best artworks from Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli.
The Roman Colosseum built in 80 AD is a magnificent ampitheatre that still stands from the days of the Roman Empire when the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial games and public spectacles. Surrounded by the busy metropolis of Rome, the Colosseum is now showing the effects of time and is beginning to deteriorate. As such, of the millions of tourists who come to Rome to see the Colosseum, only a few hundred people can be accommodated inside.
The Pantheon in Rome is one of the best preserved buildings from the ancient Roman Empire. The Pantheon's use has varied throughout its history but the building has stayed the same since built in the early 2nd century AD. The Pantheon's dome still remains as the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The Pantheon is best known now as a tomb, and visitors come to visit the final resting places of Renaissance artists like Raphael and Italian royalty.
The Spanish Steps in Rome carry the distinction of being the longest and widest staircase in Europe. The Spanish Steps connect the Piazza di Spagna at the base and the Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top. When visiting the Spanish Steps, be aware that you should not eat on the staircase, or you could end up with a fine.
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