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Holiday Guides for Europe - Italy

Roman Conquest Holiday

Rome is referred to in tourist guides as the "Eternal City". This could be because ...

Rome is referred to in tourist guides as the "Eternal City". This could be because it would take an eternity to see everything. Italy's capital has tourist attractions that could compete with almost any city in the world. From historic buildings and monuments to bustling piazzas, Rome is an experience most would struggle to cram into a long weekend.

Like most European cities, Rome is now more accessible than ever before with at least two budget airlines servicing Rome Ciampino airport. The full service operators also fly into Fiumicino, which is also known as Leonardo Da Vinci airport.

The city itself is accessible from both and there are some great deals to be had at the accommodation centres provided at the airports. That said, Rome is a popular destination and during the summer, hotel rooms can be difficult to come by at short notice. Booking in advance is highly recommended.

With the height of the tourist season comes soaring temperatures. The big attractions like St Peter's Basilica, the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Pantheon get really crowded between the Easter holiday and the end of the summer. Out of season you can not only get cheaper accommodation but won't find yourself being herded around the streets.

Getting around Rome is actually quite easy and most of the main attractions are relatively close together ? or at least close enough to walk. Traffic in the city is a nightmare so don't expect to get anywhere fast if you're driving. The locals stick to scooters for good reason, as they can nip in and out of the snarled up traffic. All this makes for a rather claustrophobic feeling as you traverse the city streets.

Walking really is the best way to get around as you can set your own pace, avoid getting stuck in traffic and duck off somewhere else if the next attraction looks too busy. You will also find that walking through the back alleys and side streets you'll come across monuments, statutes and other curios that you probably weren't even looking for.

After a hard day's sightseeing you will probably want to treat yourself and won't find Rome wanting on this front. The piazza culture, which is basically a square surrounded by bars and restaurants, is alive and kicking in the Eternal City. Most of the action at night is around Piazza Navona and Campo di Fiore, both of which have a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of venues for both food and drink.

For fans of the beautiful game Rome is also home to two of Italy's biggest football teams. Both Lazio and Roma play at the Olympic Stadium, which is on the outskirts of the city and not blessed with the greatest public transport links. Again the locals have the best idea, which is why you will see a swarm of scooters heading away from the stadium after matches.

Temperature wise Rome enjoys pleasant weather the year round and you would be unlucky to experience anything below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).