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Rome
 
  To Airline   Fare  
  Rome British Airways fr £75
  Rome BMI Airlines fr £75
  Rome Air France fr £59
  Rome KLM Airlines fr £55
  Rome Alitalia Airlines fr £66
 

The sheer imperial scale of Rome is sure to knock you out.

It's hard to say what you'll find most breathtaking about the Eternal City - the arrogant opulence of the Vatican, the timelessness of the Forum, the top speed of a Fiat Bambino, the gory resonance of the Colosseum, trying to cross a major intersection, or the bill for your caffe latte.

Make like the locals and souse your senses in the glut of pleasures the city has to offer, from the grandiose thrill of feeling centuries of turbulent history under your feet to the small but potent intoxication of eating chestnut gelati on a hot day.

Weather

Rome's mild climate makes it visitable year-round; however, spring and autumn are without doubt the best times to visit, with generally sunny skies and mild temperatures (although late autumn, November, can be rainy). July and August are unpleasantly hot (many Romans desert the city in August so many businesses close at this time); from December to February there is briskly cold weather, although it's rarely grey and gloomy.

The main tourist season starts at Easter and runs until October; peak periods are in spring and autumn, when the tour buses pour in and tourists are herded around like cattle. Numerous outdoor festivals and concerts and the fact that Romans desert the city for the beaches and mountains, which means very light traffic and a less-crowded city centre, makes summer almost worth the heat. If you do visit in summer, try to hit the sights early, take a long lunch and a nap, and then head out again around 18:00 to take advantage of the cooler evening. Be aware some restaurants and shops close for the month of August. Winters are usually mild with few tourists and some fun events around Christmas time.

A Top Day in Rome

Try packing this little sampler into three days: start with the obvious choices of the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and St Peter's Basilica. Catch your breath over a leisurely lunch around Piazza Navona. Pass by the Pantheon before exploring the Roman Forum and Colosseum in the afternoon. Make a night of it in lively and atmospheric Trastevere.

Spend a morning at the market in Campo dé Fiori and the Capitoline Museums. Let the ancient wonders at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme captivate you, before plumbing Rome's multilayered history at the San Clemente Basilica. Wander through Villa Borghese and visit the magnificent, and hopefully prebooked, Galleria Borghese.

Or get some retail action at the swish designer stores around Via Condotti. Naturally, spend your evenings on a passeggiata (stroll) - with gelato - from Piazza di Spagna to the Trevi Fountain.

 
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