Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Traveller's Guide To Rome

A Traveller's Guide To Rome
By John Morris

Roman ColosseumRome is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The very cradle of human civilisation, its many landmarks are a joy for the eyes to behold. The Eternal City remains unrivalled when it comes to the sheer aesthetic supremacy of its antique structures and its impressive, widely venerated history. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that Rome has claimed the number two spot in the top travel destinations in the world.

With a climate mild and rainy in winter rather than full of snow, many find Rome the perfect place to holiday during any time of year. You do not need a Visa if you’re only staying for 90 days or less. Experts recommend visiting Rome in the off peak months between October and March to avoid the summer rush. If you can, try to book a hotel near or within the centro storico or historic district.

Take The Tour
Sistine Chapel CeilingBe sure to make a list of locations you intend to visit within Rome beforehand to save you time and money. Private tours are a great way to get around and at the same time soak up the local culture. Another great way to economise is by taking the TramBus system which goes around the city and provides a fascinating tour of Rome’s neighbourhoods.

Don't Miss These Locations
The Coliseum is probably, next to the Vatican, the best structure to visit in the city. You can tour the premises on your own or join tours conducted every hour by guides dressed as Gladiators. Operating hours vary throughout the year, it’s best to call in advance whenever possible.

The Roman Forum
Roman ForumCheck out the civic centre of Ancient Rome where political, religious, and economic activities took place. Many of its columns remain standing among the ruins even after 2000 years, displaying the intricacies of Roman architecture. Admission is free and doors open at 9am, closing an hour before sunset. If you like, you can spend a little more to get a personalised guided tour complete with audio pedestals where you can learn more.

The Vatican
One of the most popular spots to visit in Rome is of course, the Vatican. In addition to its religious importance, the Vatican has a fine collection of sculptures, paintings, books, and many other artefacts that chronicle the Catholic Church’s history. You can view St Peters Basilica, marvel at Michelangelo’s Pieta, its detailed masonry, or the papal catacombs. Move on to the Vatican Museum where even more magnificent antiquities are housed, not the least of that are Egyptian mummies from BC era.

The Sistine Chapel
If pressed for time, skip everything else and proceed to the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo, primarily, was known as an excellent sculptor so when Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the Bible on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he thought it was a ploy by his rivals who thought Michelangelo, not being a professional painter, would yield mediocrity and embarrass himself. Of course, we all know it didn’t quite turn out that way. In fact, the Sistine Chapel is probably the most recognised piece of work from the Renaissance period.

About the Author
Article written by John Morris. For more information about Rome and other great holiday destinations visit
Travel Haven.

Roman Colosseum
Sistine Chapel ceiling section
Roman Forum

Other European Destinations
France, Paris
Venice Travel Guide
Barcelona, Spain
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
London, England
Travel To Germany