HG2 A hedonist's guide to... The UK's best-selling luxury city guide.
Everything we love in Rome
Explore the city by district:
Monti, Esquiline and San Lorenzo
Testaccio and Trastevere
Vatican and Prati
Via Veneto and Villa Borghese
There will never be too few reasons to visit Rome, and rarely a good excuse not to go back again and again. The city is looking good these days as the grime of decades of neglect has been wiped off, partly provoked by the 2000 Giubileo. Rome has spruced up and is becoming a viable modern destination, no longer frozen in time and celluloid dreams but with its very own cosmopolitan agenda.
As a city Rome is culturally overwhelming - a palimpsest of nearly 2,800 years of history which can be traced from the early tribes of Romulus and Remus, the glory days of republic and empire to early Christian, Renaissance and the Baroque and the hegemony of papal patronage and power through to neoclassical and aggressive Fascist architecture. Each epoch has left its own definition, making for a dramatic architectural patchwork. Yet still Roma transcends any pigeonhole definitions.
The city is no longer defined by its ancient ruins and dusty churches, there’s a newly thriving contemporary scene, comprising art, nightlife, innovative architecture and cuisine and the contrast between the traditional and nouveau has proved increasingly stimulating. Up and coming areas such as Ostiense and San Lorenzo have all the creative dynamism of Berlin, Manhattan’s Lower East side or London’s Hoxton, softened with Mediterranean balminess.
Of course today, as ever, Rome is frustratingly chaotic and seemingly lawless. Surprisingly the Romani are slaves to rules, whether it be what time of day you’re allowed to drink a cappuccino, to what you should be wearing that season, to a mindless respect for petty bureaucracy.
Getting around on foot or by taxi is the most advisable. Rome’s metro system is limited for obvious reasons of archaeological preservation. Although much of the centre is closed to traffic you’ll be dodging unapologetic motorini (scooters). Spot a true Roman by his ability to cross five lanes of traffic without flinching while on the phone.
There are some ineffable rules to keeping your cool in Rome, one being to always have a long lunch and never feel guilty about slackening the pace on the sightseeing. Rome has a funny knack of showing you what it wants when it wants, and rarely disappoints.
More than any other Italian city, Rome has the power to enrapture those who land on her soil and is as intoxicating for the first time visitor as the long time inhabitant. Despite all the pitfalls, brashness and intolerable chaos, when the sun shines over the Palatine hill and your belly is full with some bucatini amatriciana, the sense of something very special and eternal stings the senses. Viva Roma.
Terms and Conditions
Web design by Surge Solutions