When it comes to cultural wonders and artistic marvels, all roads lead to Rome! Roma (or Rome) is the beautiful Italian capital, famous for its countless attractions and historical heritage, making it an absolute must for anyone looking to indulge in a cultural getaway in one of Italy's most enchanting destinations. What's more, this city is also a cosmopolitan centre, ensuring visitors from all over the globe have always something to enjoy when they visit. And, getting there is very simple, thanks to a good rail network and low-cost train tickets. Roma Termini is the main station in Rome, providing regional, national and international connections. Trains to Rome from Naples take approximately 1 hour, from Florence 1h30mins, while the journey from Venice takes less than 4 hours. Direct services are provided by both Trenitalia, via the famous Frecciarossa and Frecciargento, and by Italo, via their new high-speed trains, allowing people to travel to and from the city in a fast, easy and comfortable way. Other than Termini, Rome's other main stations are Roma Tiburtina and Roma Ostiense; all of them connect the city centre to its two major airports (Fiumicino and Ciampino Airport) via the Fiumicino Aeroporto and Ciampino Aeroporto train stations.
Popular train routes to Rome
Rome: the perfect city break destination
The saying goes that “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither should you try to cram in all your sightseeing within the same timeframe. With over two thousand years of history to discover, a long weekend would be enough to scratch the surface, but you might be tempted to stay longer to explore the city’s beautiful surrounding countryside or take to the coast.
Think of the must-see sights as being divided into three main groups. First, there’s ancient Rome. Take the metro to the impressive Colosseum and book a guide to learn about the activities that used to take place here. Walk past the Forum and you’ll see the ruined remains of what was once the bustling heart of the city.
Next, head into the part of the city where elegant piazzas have spawned a thousand cafes. Wander through the backstreets on foot to discover the Trevi Fountain, whose legend has it that if you throw in a coin you’ll be back, or the Spanish Steps leading to Trinita dei Monti church. Also within this central area, you’ll be able to see the Pantheon, a 2nd-century temple now completely swallowed up by the city.
Cross the Tiber at Castel Sant’ Angelo to walk up to St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. This city-state within Rome is home to the Pope, of course, who has his own guard. The Swiss Guards, in their mediaeval costumes, are a little camera shy, but there are plenty of opportunities for people watching as you queue to visit the Sistine Chapel and its beautiful 16th-century Michelangelo-painted ceiling.
There will come a point where you tire of the souvenir stands and crowds, and that’s the time to head for one of Rome’s most charming neighbourhoods, Trastevere. Stop off on Isola de Tiberina where the city used to quarantine infectious cases in its hospitals. Then take a foodie tour around Trastevere’s many trattorias, delis and ice cream parlours to learn about Italy’s food culture whilst sampling some of the best dishes the city has to offer. Hang around, for this is also one of the best places to experience Rome’s vibrant nightlife.
Need to know
Rome is well connected by high-speed train from other Italian cities such as Florence, Milan and Naples. If you choose to fly, the Leonardo Express is the fastest option from Fiumicino Airport into the centre of the city, arriving at Rome’s Termini station; note that the local stopping train takes you to Tiburtina station which is less central. The metro is the easiest way of getting around and very quick; it’s handy for the Colosseum and for Piazza de Spagna. To reach Trastevere, take the H bus from Termini station. A day pass for all buses and metro rides costs just 7 Euros.