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It is said that no other city comes close. Rome or Roma, as it is known in Italy, may no longer be "caput mundi" - the capital of the world, but it is still a beautiful city, an epic, bubbling metropolis of lost empires, with a history still alive, as it ever has been. It is also said that it takes only one visit for this gorgeous Italian destination to makes its way in to your heart and never leave.
As the country's largest and most populated city, with 2.7 million souls living within its limits, Rome tends to overwhelm visitors, from the very first step taken. As walking through the streets, elderly ladies chatting, priests with cigars, the sound of traffic jams and the arousing smell of freshly made pizzas and other delicious treats that characterize the world-wide popular Italian cuisine, from the packed outdoor terraces spread around the city, start to paint the big picture that make Rome such a popular and buzzing destination.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the European Union, Rome draws enthusiasts from all over the world, with its world-famous historical landmarks that include the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Forum, but also because of its romantic spots such as Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona or the Spanish Steps, as well as due to the fact that it is home to Vatican City, the heart of the Catholic religion, including St. Peter's Cathedral, with its wonderful statues, fountains and gorgeous church dome, plus many, many other such appealing attractions.
To get a taste of what the city has to offer its visitors, in addition to the already reminded attractions, also to be reminded there are the many captivating and interesting museums found within the city, of course, the city's so popular and beautiful squares and fountains, Temple of Hercules, The Mouth of Truth, Santa Sabina, Knights of Malta, Temple of Portunus, Isola Tiberina, Quirinal Palace, Trastevere, Villa Borghese and the list could go on and on.
There are so many places to see and things to do in Rome that it is impossible for one to say that visiting the city is a boring experience. Regardless of the duration, no stay could be anywhere close to boring.
"The Eternal City", as Rome is also known, has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, which are two of the things that make it one of the most influential and most beautiful capitals, and one of the most visited and most famous world-wide destinations. The city is also known for its sparkling and thriving nightlife scene, as well as for being heaven for "shappaholics", also being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world.
It is, arguably, correct to say that the city could be divided into two popular tourist areas: Ancient and Catholic Rome. The main areas for exploring and admiring the ruins of ancient Rome is in the Colosseo, on either side of Via dei Fori Imperiali, which links the Colosseum and Piazza Venezia, dating from the 1930's, from the time of Mussolini.
After visiting the Colosseum, visitors could, perhaps, head south to the Baths of Caracalla, and afterward, south-east on the old Apian Way, passing along the city's well-preserved historical wall, and continuing to the Roman ruins, which include the Circus of Maxentius, the Villa dei Quintili and the tomb of Cecilia Metella.
Being home to more than 900 churches, for a real Catholic religious experience, the only thing visitors have to do is just pick. Regardless of the choice, a pleasant and unforgettable experience is certain, giving that each and every church is characterized by a rich range of astonishing decor, ranging from fine classical art to tacky electric candles.
The Seven Hills of Rome are also a delight for the eyes and definitely worth checking out. Given that generation of buildings had been constructed on top of each other and the construction of tall buildings in the valley have made the hills less pronounced than they were originally, it could be a little difficult for a first-time visitor to identify them, but they're there, just waiting to be discovered and admired once again!
In fewer words, Rome is a city of love, wonder and most of all, culture and history, with more than enough appealing attractions to offer its visitors, in order to give them an unforgettable, memorable travel experience. It is part of Italy - a tourist destination extravaganza, and that says it all!
Getting to Rome
Rome is served by two main international airports: Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino International Airport, well connected to the city center by public transportation, and Ciampino International Airport, which is situated southeast of the city - Rome's low-cost airline airport.
To reach the city, from the airport, visitors can either take a taxi, with the usual charge being a fixed price of 40 EUR (but they often tend to over charge), take the train, if flying into Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino Airport, which is served by 2 train lines - the Leonardo Express trains and a suburban train, or, by taking the bus - COTRAL/Schiaffini operates bus services to the city, from both airports.
From Ciampino Airport there are several direct bus services, all of which stop at Termini, in Downtown Rome: Rome Airport Shuttle (15 EUR per person), Sit bus shuttle (6 EUR one-way or 10 EUR with return), Terravision (6 EUR one-way or 12 EUR return when booked online), and COTRAL's direct line, which costs about 5 EUR one-way, the trip lasting approximately 40 minutes.
Getting Around in Rome
There are many ways to get around in Rome, but, of course, the most pleasant one is by walking, this way being able to see everything and not miss anything. However, preferences may vary, so the alternatives are: by car, by bus, by bike, by taxi, by tram, or by metro.
If planning on staying more than 3 days in the city, perhaps, a good idea would be to purchase a Roma Pass, which costs around 25 EUR, and, which gives you free admission to the first 2 museums of archaeological sites visited, including full access to the public transportation service, as well as discounts and reduced tickets to any museums or sites you may want to visit, also exhibitions, theatrical and dance performances, music events or other tourist such services.
The public transportation service within the city is operated by ATAC. You can buy tickets from "Tabacchi", which you can easily spot by looking for the big "T".
You can use the tickets for bus, metro or tram. The fares are as follows: a single ticket ride costs 1 EUR, an Integrated Daily Ticket is 4 EUR, an Integrated Tourist Ticket is 11 EUR, an Integrated Weekly Ticket is 16 EUR, a Monthly Pass is 30 EUR, and an annual pass is 230 EUR.