For me, no trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to the Vatican
, the world's smallest sovereign state, with its impressive square, and if it's a Sunday I like to be there for the Papal blessing at noon.
As with any visit to an Italian city, shopping is a delight, so in Rome a stroll along Via Condotti, Via Frattina and Via del Babuino until you reach Il Corso is a must, even if only window shopping.
is a delightful area across the River Tiber where I like to spend the evening, enjoy an aperitivo and find a trattoria for dinner. For a treat, I recommend Michelin-starred La Pesa. On warm summer evenings, for a more casual bite to eat, I like to pick a trattoria with tables spilling outside to enjoy a hearty plate of pasta and a glass or two of cool Frascati together with what seems like the whole of Rome!
And before I leave, along with every other tourist, I have to toss a coin or two in the Fontana di Trevi
to make sure I return, of course!
I confess I haven't taken the girls to Rome yet, but they are dying to go and visit all the famous sights they have been learning about at school. So I think this year might just be the right time to visit the Eternal City. Perhaps we'll combine it with a trip to Umbria
with its rural charm and quaint medieval hilltop villages. Or perhaps during the summer holidays with a trip to the Amalfi Coast
. To visit Rome itself, I recommend any time of the year, even winter is fairly mild and Christmastime is wonderful with the amazing display of Presepi (cribs) in beautiful Piazza Navona.
Liz loves Rome too, but her favourite Italian city is Venice
for the fact there are no cars and there isn't, I suppose, another place like it in the world! One of the things she likes best is to have afternoon tea at the famous and historical Caffe Florian in St Mark's Square. Venice, like Rome and Florence
, is not restricted to any particular time of year, however, if you come at Carnival time, just before Lent begins, you will be in for a treat. Combine Venice with Lake Garda
for a perfect romantic getaway.
You could combine the three major Italian cities, Venice, Florence and Rome, all in one holiday. With comfortable, high-speed trains linking all three and Citalia taking care of you all the way, there is no better way of seeing these Italian gems.