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Holiday Guides for Europe - Italy

Rome Holiday

The unmistakeable aura of imperialism, surroundings which doff their cap to years of turmoil, and rich Baroque and Renaissance influences - the Eternal City has it all.

Traditions and culture in Rome

The city simply oozes culture and tradition, stretching back for around 2,500 years - indeed, it would be easier to list the attractions which have not been influenced by cultural trends.

Rome was a major centre of western civilisation, emphasised by the great early dominance of the Roman Empire across most of Europe and the Mediterranean.

It is also, of course, the seat of the Roman Catholic church, which controls the Vatican - an enclave within the city - as its sovereign territory.

Nowadays, the city is particularly cosmopolitan and is ranked as the third most popular European holiday destination - although the historic centre is still evident enough to be named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Things to do in Rome

Any holiday guide of Rome must pay tribute to the vast array of architectural wonders on offer, each with its own unique history and enduring resonance.

One of the city's main symbols which is undoubtedly worth checking out is the Colosseum, which was originally able to host 60,000 spectators and played host to gory gladiatorial battles.

Other timeless tributes to Rome's glorious past also come in the shape of the Forum and the Pantheon, while the array of art in the city - not least the Piazza del Campidoglio by Michelangelo - is also impressive.

Travellers looking to be entertained can always head to the opera or dance performances, while the nightlife in Trastevere and Testaccio is relatively lively, even though the locals don't necessary involve themselves in the drinking scene.

Weather in Rome

Summers in Rome feature searing heat, with temperatures often hitting 35C by midday, while average temperatures during July and August are around 30C.

Indeed, such is the discomfort caused by the climate during August that many Romans put their businesses on hold to head on holiday to cooler places.

The mid-winter is decidedly mild, with the average temperature in December sitting at 13C, but the clear-skied, warm weather in the city is particularly appealing during spring time.

Destination checklist for Rome

Rome has a population of 2,705,603.

The city is one hour ahead of BST time.

The official currency is the euro.

Italian is the official language spoken.

Rome's international dialling code is +39.