Flight and hotel Rome
When in Rome…
As the saying goes, 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do'. You'll find there are few greater pleasures than embracing la dolce vita in Italy's balmy capital. Thronged with monuments that set travellers spinning and hand-spun, stone-baked pizzas, there's nothing not to love about package holidays in Rome.
Pinnacles of civilisation such as the Colosseum and Pantheon are still crowd pleasers to this day. The vast Vatican, with its world-renowned Sistine Chapel, is just the beginning. Baroque churches overflow with masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael and Bernini.
What to know before booking a flight to and hotel in Rome
Luckily, Rome flights and hotels are easy to organise. Flights from Dublin to Rome run frequently, as do flights from Cork to Rome. If you're coming from the UK, you can be enjoying prosecco and pasta in Rome's sunny squares after a flight of just 2.5 hours. Rome is just one hour behind and uses the euro. English is spoken by most hospitality workers, but the Italians will love you if you try to use a few words. 'The bill please' is 'Il conto per favore'. Don't forget to sing those vowels.
When is the best time to take city breaks to Rome?
April to June and September and October combine pleasant temperatures with slightly diffused crowds. Between July and September, visitor numbers rise dramatically. Bear in mind that most Italians take August as a holiday, so many establishments close for much of the month. Arrive in time for spring's Cultural Heritage Week and you'll enjoy free entry to all state-owned monuments and museums. Alternatively, for a uniquely Roman spectacle, watch Santa Francesca's nuns dole out blessings to Rome's motorists on March 9th.
What is there to do during weekends in Rome?
The answer is just to try to see all of the attractions that Rome has to offer. Here are some ideas:
- Skate or cycle through Rome's Borghese Gardens. Couples canoodle on the benches of this verdant park boasting elegant fountains and architecture, and it won't be hard to see what put them in their amorous mood as you stroll through this earthly paradise. Bikes and boards are rentable in the park and will add an extra dimension to your exploration. You can also visit the art gallery housed in the Villa Borghese to explore its star-studded collection spanning Titian, Raphael and Bernini.
- Are you not entertained? Head to the Colosseum to stand in the space that spawned a myth and still represents an ancient seat of civilization. This spectacular building seated 50,000 Romans some two millennia ago. It is still nothing short of stupendous.
- Meet Romulus at the Capitoline Museums. Rome's oldest museums have been open to the public since 1471. The collection of classical sculptures here is breathtaking and includes the Capitoline Wolf, which narrates the story of Rome's namesake. A further gallery filled with Tintoretto, Rubens and Titian is a sight for sore eyes.
What is there to see on city breaks in Rome?
From Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel to soaring cupolas to ancient Roman ruins, the sights Rome has in store are simply unmissable. As you gaze out on the Roman Forum, it's easy to imagine the ancient influencers who defined the modern age in action.
Come eye to eye with the host of heaven in the exquisite Sistine Chapel, situated adjacent the main entrance of St Peter's. The seat of the Catholic church is even grander than anticipated. Glittering in gold and swathed in power, the ecclesiastical edifice took 120 years to build. Inside, you'll enjoy heavenly visions of Michelangelo's Pieta and Bernini's altar-topping masterpiece. A red disc on the floor marks the spot where Charlemagne and subsequent emperors were crowned by the pope.
Rome has many hidden treasures up her sleeves. In a misleadingly quiet backwater stands the equally ancient Pantheon, with its remarkable open-air dome. One of the West's most important buildings, this temple-turned-church was erected by Hadrian and remains the largest unreinforced concrete dome in existence.
Eating in Rome
For gastronomers, Rome is certainly one of the world's greatest meccas. Weekends in Rome are about the scent of delicately baked pizzas, perfect with a pop of sparkling local prosecco. The feast begins at breakfast, when locals imbibe superlative coffee standing up at the cafés on street corners. Cool down with the world's best gelato, smoothly swirled and garlanded with fresh accents.
Nothing beats eating al fresco among the hubbub of the nightly passeggiata, when Romans pour onto the streets for a social stroll through their neighbourhood. Indulge in a glass of the refreshing white wine produced in the Castelli Romani hills. Rome's culinary delicacies abound. Try fiori di zucca (courgette flowers), mozzarella, and anchovies. Buttery artichokes dusted with herbs and lemon are found at many a trattoria. Tired of the typical Italian pasta dishes? Try bucatini all'amatriciana, which combines unctuous pork jowl with often handmade pasta. For a quick fix, grab a trapizzino pizza pocket stuffed with parmesan and other goodies.
Where to find the best souvenirs on package holidays in Rome
The only problem with city breaks in Rome is that you have to part with the Roman cuisine afterwards. Take a little home with you by stocking up at Volpetti. Here, you'll find pecorino cheese, truffles and Barolo wines that you can have bubble wrapped and vacuum packed for portability.
Italian leather is among the best in the world, so a pilgrimage is as important as your visit to the Vatican. It's located conveniently close to the Pantheon and purveys wallets, luggage and briefcases. Gammarelli, proud to have outfitted the pope and his cardinals for 200 years, also sells gloves, belts and socks that will make you feel more than mortal.