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Rome, Italy

Rome

Great Destination:

4.5

Value for Money:

2.5

Total Stars:

7.0

Personality Types that Like it Best

Centric-Venturers and Centric-Authentics give highest ratings, but also liked by Mid-Venturers

Did You Know … ?

  • Rome’s main street, Via del Corso (Way of the Course), was once a horseracing course.
  • Visitors toss roughly $220,000 a year into Trevi Fountain.
  • The famous city on seven hills today sprawls over about 20 hills.
  • About 2,000 gladiators died in the festivities celebrating the debut of the Colosseum.
  • The Pantheon’s diameter and height are the same: 141 feet, nine inches; its dome required 5,000 tons of concrete.

From emperors to popes

Rome is beautiful, it is noisy with outrageous traffic, it is a 21st century capital noted for an abundance of scandal — and it is the place to look deeply at more than 2,700 years of history.  Indeed, it is a place where ancient and not-so-ancient events had a profound influence on the shape of today’s world, for two reasons: The city was the hub of a great empire for hundreds of years, then Roman Catholics made it their “capital.”

The ancient Romans left place names, roads and remains of amphitheaters, aqueducts, temples and forums all around the Mediterranean and north to England, but most of all in Rome itself. The ancients endowed the city with the magnificent Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum plus countless other sites.

As if that were not enough, early Christians also made Rome theirs. The popes built and rebuilt the city to suit themselves, commissioned great works of art — and saved the Colosseum.

Today, it is a capital city whose citizens love their opera, know how to avoid the traffic on a motor scooter and treat good food with the reverence it deserves.  Perhaps nowhere else in Europe do art, history and myth combine to enthrall visitors to such an extent. Visitors say that seeing and touching legacies from the time of the Caesars or St. Paul evoke tremendous emotion.

The city also offers plenty of opportunities to wreck a budget in fashionable shops or feel like someone special while riding a horse-drawn carriage. Almost everyone returns home carrying a few extra pounds and raving about the food.

A word of caution: Petty crime — such as purse snatching, often from motor scooters; pick pocketing, and theft from parked cars — is a problem. Thieves target crowded tourist sites.

Acknowledged as one of Europe’s great capitals, it draws from all personality types, but especially those at the center. Similarly, it is popular with religious pilgrims regardless of personality type.

Rome gets most of its tourists in high summer, which means it’s better to go at another time! Avoid August because many Romans close up shop and leave town. Besides, August can be very hot.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Sample the nightspots, from casual outdoor bars to discotheques to Irish pubs. Stay out all night.
  • Cycle through Rome and the area. There are several designated bike tracks.
  • Take a hop-off, hop-on Archeobus tour along the old Appian Way, hopping off along the route when you wish, to discover the heritage of Ancient Rome along that famous highway.
  • Tool about town on a rented motor scooter, or on a motorcycle.
  • Stay in an apartment rather than a hotel. Or, stay in a convent, or a villa.
  • Plan your own journey to see seldom-visited archaeological sites. Make that a self-drive excursion —and see how you fare in the traffic.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Sign on for a one-day private cooking course with a walk through the city’s markets.
  • Renew your marriage vows in the English church, the All Saints Anglican Church near the Spanish Steps. The Renewal of Vows Blessing is open to members of all denominations and requires no special planning.
  • Take a hop-off, hop-on bus tour of Rome, or a more focused version that concentrates on Christian Rome.
  • Attend a wine tasting in a city wine bar. Take a moonlight stroll over the Tiber.
  • If you can bear the crowds, join the Good Friday procession of the cross, and experience in person the Pope’s blessing to the city and the world at Easter.
  • Attend a summertime concert at the Roman theater at Ostia Antica, Rome’s ancient port and now an archaeological park.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Go to the opera. In summer, see and hear opera at the Baths of Caracalla.
  • Eat a typical Roman meal at a certified typical restaurant. A number of restaurants carry the Ristorante Tipico trademark. Ask your concierge. Also, eat gelato as often as you want.
  • Take a packaged tour that is built around the arts and wine. On another day, join a guided tour that takes you to the catacombs, multi-storied cities of the early Christian dead located just outside the city. There are Jewish catacombs, too.
  • Take a dinner cruise on the Tiber. Or, use the river cruise option as a way to sightsee in Rome by day.
  • Buy souvenirs big (antiques, designer clothes) and small (kitsch gifts like glowing Madonnas).
  • Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return visit. (However, aim straight into the water; coins that hit the sculpted figures damage the marble.)

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Rome’s Tourism Promotion Department at www.turismoroma.it and choose your language, if needed.