Choosing a Rome holiday means time spent likely queuing, especially around the Colosseum and the Vatican, but this doesn’t have to be the case for your complete trip. There are many wonderful places to visit in Rome and not all come laden with queues.
For example you could head to Gianicolo (Janiculum) Hill and Trastevere for unparalled panoramic views across the city. This view includes all the buildings with the bonus being St Peter’s Dome. If you want a bit of peace and quiet than this is the place to achieve this as the locals had here for a bit of down time.
For something more central, stroll to Villa Borghese Park where the excellent Galleria Borghese Museum is housed, but don’t neglect the garden on your way out. The garden also has a swan lake with paddle boats, the old horse track which joggers currently use, café’s, fountains and enough room for many to sit down and relax with a good gelato! But don’t be deceived by the maps – this park is vast and will easily take an hour walking end to end.
When you want a bit of history, head to the lesser known Villa Torlonia, Mussolini’s villa. This villa was Mussolini’s party home and has a wonderful museum and park. You are likely to see many locals with a picnic basket and a good book enjoying the park!
Another villa not on most people’s radar is Villa Farnesina, located in Trastevere. This villa is a Renaissance style building with ceiling frescoes adorned by Rafael.
Both these villas are queue-free meaning you have the time to enjoy at your leisure.
Once you feel like you have seen most of the main sights of the city, start looking at the ones just outside. On your doorstep is Ostia Antica, the original ancient port city which served Rome. Whilst there are tours happening around you, it is easy to avoid these without too much bother. Another must do for your Rome holiday is the Catacombs. Visit San Callisto, San Sebastiano and Domitilla before returning to your hotel.
Another great day trip is Villa d’Este in Tivoli. This villa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and includes fountains, nymphs, grottoes, and plenty of water! It was created by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este as a project to distract him from his unsuccessful bid to become pope.
Lastly, for a moment of quiet contemplation and literature fans, head to The Cemetery for non-Catholic Foreigners. This beautiful cemetery is very peaceful and is the final resting place of both Keats and Shelley, along with many others. Indeed most faiths are represented here including Buddhism, Islam, Orthodox Christian and Judaism.
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