Rome, the city of seven hills, enjoyed a mythic beginning. Romulus and Remus — twin brothers who were nursed by a she-wolf and fathered by a war god — reportedly founded the Eternal City. And although historians are a little skeptical about this epic entry into the world, most travelers are absolutely certain that there is something magical about Rome. Whether it’s the mystery of nearby Vatican City or the ghosts of theColosseum, an afternoon caffè onPiazza Navona or a piled-high plate of pasta at a trattoria, Roma is sure to enchant.
Italy’s capital city, Rome is also known for a history that dates back to the eras of Octavian, Julius Caesar and Hadrian, among others. Left behind are structures like the Pantheon, the Roman Forum and dozens of churches, among other historic gems. Art enthusiasts will relish the trove of art housed at the Vatican Museums, and foodies will enjoy the splendid Italian fare, not to mention the gelato. And though its momentous past is the focus for many vacationers, Rome is also a fast-paced, modern and relevant city, with gleaming designer storefronts, sleek hotels and cutting-edge restaurants.
Trying to look like a resident isn’t difficult, especially if your own wardrobe is filled with high-end designer labels. Italian women strive for a sultry look, wearing tight-fitting dresses, tops and pants, accompanied by a pair of steep heels. Men wear immaculately cut suits. On the streets, snug jeans and fitted shirts are the norm for both men and women.
Rome is overflowing with restaurants, from trattorias that cook up family recipes spanning generations to fusion restaurants that plate up the latest culinary trend. Don’t miss out on Italian specialties — scampi alla griglia (grilled shrimp), carciofi alla romana (artichokes with white wine, mint and garlic) and Saltimbocca alla romana (veal with ham, cheese and sage), among other regional and country-wide specialties. Restaurants’ wine lists are also not to be ignored and neither are the gelato shops.