Flights to Rome from Glasgow Airport take just over 3 hours. Why visit Rome? Choose the Italian capital for your next trip, and it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the temperate climate of the Eternal City.
When you’re not sampling Italy’s world-famous cuisine or visiting galleries with their beautiful Renaissance and Baroque works, you’ll be mixing with stylish locals and wide-eyed tourists in the shadows of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter's Basilica.
To help you out with your itinerary, here are our favourite things to do in Rome — a contemporary city in one of the world’s most historic settings.
Wander Around Ancient Rome
Rome is a sprawling cosmopolitan city. Yet despite the size, there many must-see sights within walking distance of each other. In a single square mile, you’ll find the legendary Colosseum and Roman Forum with its thousands of artifacts. The iconic Pantheon and the Circus Maximus chariot-racing stadium are not far away either, whilst the neoclassical Altar of the Fatherland, which you can climb for a magnificent view of the city, is nearby.
Just across the River Tiber from the Roman Forum and Colosseum is the Vatican City and the second-century Castel Sant'Angelo. The Tiber, a perfect route for an evening stroll, was a significant tactical landmark in centuries past. Take your time to wander along it, perhaps stopping for an espresso, gelato, wine, or beer to fuel your adventures in this magical city.
History fans will love Rome; the city built in homage to Julius Caesar, Augustus, and their fellow Emperors. You’ll be fascinated in this metropolis famous for its gladiatorial combat, which is endlessly depicted in novels and films. Take it slowly to really appreciate it all — from the archways and tree-lined avenues, to the world-famous monuments of the once-powerful epicentre of the Roman Empire.
See Masterpieces from Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci
Rome’s galleries, churches, and palaces are full of Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. The Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, is where you’ll be able to see The Creation of Adam, and gaze upwards at the ceiling fresco, which was completed by Michelangelo in 1512.
Even if you’re not an art expert, the Vatican Museums, Galleria Borghese, Capitoline Museums, and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna are worth visiting. If you don’t make it this time? You should visit on your next trip — they’re all worth seeing at least once. And yes, Rome is somewhere you’ll want to go back to!
Sample the Lazio Region’s Delicious Cuisine
Pasta is integral to local dishes. It’s used in almost every dish prepared across the Lazio region of Italy. Popular pasta sauces include carbonara and guanciale, whilst you’ll find white pizza (pizza bianca), offal (quinto quarto) and fried seafood or rice balls (fritti) on most restaurant menus.
Thirsty? Rome’s just the place. Around 80 percent of wines produced in the Lazio region are white, including Frascati from the Castelli area and Est Est Est from Lake Bolsen, which is close to Umbria. Quench your thirst after a day’s sightseeing by sampling the wine, or if beer’s more your thing, the usual Italian lagers are on sale in most places. The city also has a lively craft beer scene. Check out the ever-popular Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà — with its comfortable atmosphere and healthy selection of locally brewed drinks.
Explore More of the Italian Peninsula
Naples is a two-hour train journey from Rome. It’s the perfect base or connection point, especially if you want to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Set aside at least half a day to explore the baths, amphitheatres, and more, all set in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius.
Looking for a lazy retreat? Take a boat to see the gorgeous island of Capri with its small sandy coves and luxury shopping. You’re also close to Sorrento at the southern tip of the Bay of Naples, as well as the delightful Amalfi Coast. Wander the steep cliffs, picturesque harbours, medieval architecture, and traditional fisherman’s cottages. When you’re back in Naples, treat yourself to a Neapolitan pizza — it's perhaps the best pizza in the world.
Other day trips from Rome include Florence which is an hour and a half away, the Scavi Archeologici di Ostia Antica, which is similar to Pompeii but on a smaller scale, and Castelli Romani (Roman Castles) where food lovers can indulge in the local dishes prepared in small towns scattered around a stunning volcanic area.