Encompassing 3,000 years of art and culture, Rome is a truly special place to visit. With many archaeological sites, churches, piazzas and monuments to discover, it can be a challenge to see everything in one trip. Luckily, a lot of the top cultural attractions lie in the heart of the Centro Storico – the historic centre of Rome. Spend some time exploring the city centre and take in sights such as the Pantheon temple, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona square and the Santa Maria del Popolo church. The Fontana di Trevi fountain is one of the most photographed sites in Rome, with millions of visitors flocking to the site each year.
Fontana di Trevi, Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Rome
For a cocktail: Hotel de Russie’s Stravinskij Bar
Once you’ve exhausted the plethora of shops, seen the sights and dodged the crowds, head over to the Hotel de Russie for a well-earned drink. The perennially chic hotel is one of the most tranquil spots in the historic centre. This is a place to see and be seen, and tables in the restaurant and bar are in great demand. Be sure to get a seat at the al fresco dining spot – decorated with roses and orange blossom, it’s a stunning place to start or end the day. The Stravinskij Bar is the perfect place to sit and watch Rome’s most discerning clientele.
Stravinskij Bar, Hotel de Russie, Via del Babuino 9, 00187 Rome, +39 06 328881
For the best shopping: Via dei Condotti
While the historic centre boasts an incredible amount of architectural highlights, its shopping is also second to none. Via del Corso is one of the city’s longest streets and can be compared to London’s Oxford Circus. Head here for top high-street stores such as Zara, H&M and Massimo Dutti. If it is designer shops you are searching for then look no further than Via dei Condotti. Home to some of Italy’s most prestigious brands, it is synonymous with luxury. From Gucci to Bulgari and Dolce & Gabbana there is plenty to tempt the discerning customer, while the striking architecture makes this the perfect place for window shopping.
For a famous café: Pompi
Rome’s coffee shops are a great place to experience the city’s social scene. Pompi is one of the city’s most renowned cafés and pastry shops, thanks to its celebrated desserts. While the bakery has a superb selection of sweet treats, its signature offering is tiramisu. With variations on the famous dish ranging from classic coffee and liquor to strawberry, pistachio and chocolate, Pompi is a great place to enjoy Rome’s top coffee culture.
Pompi, Via Albalonga 7B, 00183 Rome, +39 06 700 0418
For ice cream: Il Gelato di San Crispino
While in Rome’s historic centre, make sure to invest in some culinary heritage with a scoop of gelato. Said to have first been served at the wedding feast of Italian noblewoman Catherine de Medici in 1533, the Italian-style ice cream has now become an irresistible treat worldwide. For some of Rome’s best scoops, head to Il Gelato di San Crispino. Every flavour here is made using the highest-quality seasonal ingredients, from classic flavours such as pistachio to more innovative creations including fresh walnut and dried fig and pine nut. With refreshing seasonal options such as lemon ice cream, this is sure to be a welcome treat.
Il Gelato di San Crispino, Via della Panetteria 42, 00187 Rome, +39 06 679 3924