Each year millions of visitors from around the world flock to the Eternal City of Rome. Although ancient landmarks like the Coliseum and the Vatican grace the skyline, below is a city that has found a balance between preserving the past and embracing modern trends in food, fashion and luxury. There is a lot to appreciate in Rome and its surrounding seven hills, so much so that you’ll be hard pressed to find time for it all...
Shopping At The Home Of High Fashion
Credit: creativecommons.org/Nathan Bobbin
International fashion houses like Fendi, Valentino and Bulgari originated in Rome and visitors will find some of their flagship stores, as well as the lavish boutiques for Prada, Armani, Versace and Gucci.
Fashionistas should flock to Via Condotti at the base of the Spanish Steps. This street gained popularity when the Bulgari workshop opened there in 1905. Since then it has attracted the flagship stores for elegant designers such as Valentino, Fendi, Gucci, Versace, Armani and Louis Vuitton. Due to the collective congregation of luxury labels, Via Condotti is often packed full of visitors, although many are there to merely window shop.
Via Condotti may draw the crowds, but the boutiques along Via Borgognana, Via Frattina and Via Sistina can prove all too alluring to shoppers as well. Rome is truly a paradise when it comes to luxury shopping and fashion.
Skip The Line-Ups
Touring the city’s legendary sights like St Peter's Basilica, the Coliseum and the Galleria Borghese with a large group of tourists can really take some of the majesty out of the whole experience.
Thankfully, there are many tour operators that provide private tours of these attractions. For example, the Galleria Borghese offers private tour options, so that you don’t have to struggle and strain to catch a glimpse of Bernini’s breathtaking Apollo and Daphne, which the museum houses.
Those who choose to spend a day in the Vatican City should consider contacting a private tour operator called Skip the Line Tours. The company offers walking tours through Vatican City as well as St Peter's Basilica. The three-hour tour grants access to the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museum and up to the roof of St Peter's Basilica for sweeping views of this independent state.
Alternatively, the Archeological Rome Tour offers guests private tours of the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, as well as the Mammertine Prison where St Paul and St Peter were kept.
Dine At The Finest Restaurants
The Michelin-starred Imago in the Hotel Hassler serves up excellent Italian cuisine with international flair. Imago is what can best be described as an Italia- fusion restaurant, blending Italian flavours with flavours from around the world. With the young, yet immensely talented Francesco Apreda at the helm as head chef, Imago is reinventing Italian cuisine.
From the rooftop of the Palazzo Manfredi Hotel, Aroma boasts the most breathtaking views of Rome. From an up close and personal view of the Coliseum to St Peter's Basilica in the distance, you will be impressed long before the food arrives. The skilled hand of executive chef Giuseppe di Lorio masterfully combines Mediterranean flavours.
With all the culture, fine dining and fashion on offer in the Eternal City, the demand for a lavish place to sleep is in extremely high demand.
Just off the Spanish Steps, the Hotel Hassler is the place to go if you want to feel like royalty. Those who stay at the Hassler are attracted by its authentic 18th century artwork and inspiring views of the city. Alternatively, check out the Regina Baglioni on the other side of Villa Borghese Gardens. The rooms are elegantly decorated, with a style that blends 18th century glamour and modern technology.