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11 Best Things to Do in #Rome

@Italia @Turismoromaweb #VisitRome Rome is one of the most ancient yet admirable cities in the world. It has a very wealthy history that stretches over 2400 years, for it has been a Centre of culture, power, politics, and development since its birth. The inception of the city has been based on folk tales and legends. There are numerous different descriptions of how Rome came to be.

Different Roman emperors and Caesars have dominated the legendary Rome while, on the other hand, it is also the setting where the colossal Roman Empire lengthen. In the fullness of time, several religious places, monuments, and palaces have been built in the town, which now stands as magnificent tourist attractions that remind us of the city's eminent past.

Rome is the essence of European culture. Rome is popular for its beautiful architecture, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Colleseum. Visit the Pantheon and the Roman Forum to learn about history. Art lovers can praise art at the Vatican Museums. They say Rome wasn't built in a day. This means that to see and experience Rome, you definitely need to spend some time there. And experiencing Rome could be one of the best things that happen to you.

Rome is a city that will take your breath away and win your whole heart over. The museums are filled with famous paintings of celebrated artists. Galleries, restaurants, and shopping districts are located in small, Italian streets. Cafes are filled with people who enjoy Italian coffee. Anywhere you go, you will be able to learn something new and exciting.

Rome is a very old city. It is rich in art and history. Painters, sculptors, kings, singers, and many other very meaningful and well-known people have lived and worked here throughout time. Rome is a modern city with luxurious hotels, designer shops, and many cafes and restaurants. Foodies can also enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine at various restaurants. Seek help from travel guides to travel around the city and enjoying attraction sites.

Rome truly is an amazing city as it is the capital of Italy. It is simply one of those Italian tourist attractions that you can't and shouldn't miss if you find yourself in Italy. And the best part about Rome is that it is suitable for people of all ages so you can plan your dream family vacation to Rome. It is a great way to bring art and history closer to children.

Not to forget to mention the sights and the hundred-year-old buildings that you are going to fall in love with as soon as you start exploring this amazing city.

best things to do in rome italy

This is the reason Rome is constantly being ranked the best tourist destination in Europe and the world at large with sites like Colosseum, the Vatican, the Pantheon, St Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and a lot more. We shall look into some of these sites.

1. Visit the iconic Colosseum

To start with, a trip to Rome would be incomplete if you do not visit the mighty structure and most famous and iconic landmark, the Colosseum. It was built between 70-80 AD, and its pinnacle was approximated to hold over 80000 spectators. It is also called the Flavian Amphitheatre. The palace can be easily accessed as it has a metro station close to it.

It is located southwest of the central train station. The Colosseum was used to hold boxing tournaments, games, and other leisure forms and would be from time to time present with the Roman Emperors. It is the greatest tourist attraction today, with around 6 million tourists each year globally. It also became one of the Seven Wonders of Modern World. You absolutely cannot miss visiting this place if you happen to be in Rome.

Often overlooked by tourists visiting the nearby Colosseum are the remains of the Temple of Claudius. Located literally across the street and due south of the famous amphitheater, the temple complex was initiated by Claudius’s fourth wife, Agrippina the Younger, shortly after the emperor's death in 54AD.

After Nero came to power, he had most of the still unfinished temple complex demolished, and incorporated the podium into his massive 'Domus Aurea' (Golden House). In addition to starting work on the Colosseum, Emperor Vespasian also resurrected and finished Claudius's temple complex sometime between 69 and 79AD, and he and his two successor sons, Titus and Domitian, also began the long process of demolishing much of the 'Domus Aurea'.

Today, little remains above ground of the actual temple, but if you travel down Via Claudia, south of the Colosseum, you can still see the massive eastern podium wall of the temple complex to your right, including the niches where statuary would've sat when Nero converted it to a nymphaeum/fountain.

A large segment of the eastern podium was converted to a fountain and nymphaeum which drained into an artificial lake where the Colosseum now sits.

2. Visit the St. Peter's Square

Secondly, you cannot afford to miss visiting the iconic St. Peter's Square. Numerous important activities have taken place in this religious site. It is found in the Vatican, which is the smallest country in the world. The square is round, surrounded by two huge sets of an arcade with beautiful statues of different religious figures standing on those columns.

The sculptures are also of previous popes. In the middle of the square, there is a striking obelisk taken from Nero's Circus that resembles more like Egyptian rather than Roman. At the posterior of the square, your eyes will catch the sight of the renowned St. Peter's Basilica with chairs arranged in front of it set out for the papal events. You will also see crowds of people dying to catch a sight of the pope.

3. Visit the St. Peter's Basilica

Thirdly, the famous and most celebrated religious structure globally, St. Peter's Basilica. It is held as one of the holiest shrines of the catholic religion followers. It has a stunningly designed face ordained with statuses of the Apostoles and Jesus. When you go inside the Basilica, you will be amazed at the planning and ornament; it is regarded as the most stunning buildings in the world.

You can see and appreciate the good work done on the design. Individuals get to see a good aerial view of St. Peter's Square by climbing on top of the dome.

4. Visit the mighty Pantheon

Another iconic thing to do is to visit the mighty Pantheon building. The Pantheon, located on the Campus Martius, is the greatest surviving building from Ancient Rome (and arguably, one of the greatest man has ever built). Most tourists are rightfully awed by its spectacular domed interior and its grand pediment supported by those magnificent granite columns facing onto the Piazza della Rotunda.

But if you're facing that columned portico and take a short walk to the left of the building along Via della Minerva and look down to your right, you'll see the remains of a walled structure adjacent to the temple (that rectangular structure attached to the rear of the circular Pantheon are the remains of Agrippa's Basilica of Neptune).

This is all that remains of the Porticus Argonautarum (named after the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts), the western segment of a quadriporticus which once enclosed the Saepta Julia. The Saepta was a large open area where Romans traditionally assembled to deliberate before casting their votes for two of its constituent assemblies, the Comitia Centuriata and the Comitia Tributa.

The votes were actually cast in a large hall to the south of the Saepta, called the Diribitorium, and were counted by officials called Diribitores. Conceived by Julius Caesar(thus its name Saepta 'Julia'), it was intended to replace an earlier, purely functional, wooden voting structure known as the Ovile, so named because it resembled a sheep pen(presumably no pun was ever intended?), and was possibly located on or near the site of the new Saepta.

The new structure was completed by Marcus Agrippa in 26BC, but was rebuilt several times due to fires, the last in conjunction with Hadrian's rebuild of the Pantheon circa 126AD. By the time of the death of Augustus in 14AD, the powers of the two assemblies had been thoroughly transferred to the Senate, and thus ultimately to the emperor.

Its porticos, once the place of intense democratic debate and deliberation, became luxury market stalls, and during the reigns of future emperors, the Saepta was used to hold athletic competitions, gladiatorial games and was even flooded to hold mock sea battles. Though now rendered politically irrelevant, it never the less remained a popular public meeting place well into the Imperial era.

It is the most preserved old roman building which attracts the world. The building constructed in 118AD by Emperor Hadrian, commissioned by Agrippa, still stands strong today. The site where it was built was earlier a temple. You will see a rectangular entrance with huge columns built in front of the building to commit Agrippa to the gable wall.

The inside of the striking dome is a neat series of rock patterns and a median trunk that allows light rays to pass through. Its central location makes it a true climax and a must-visit destination.

5. Visit the lavish Trevi Fountain

Lastly, a trip to Rome would not be complete without visiting the lavish Trevi Fountain. You know there are not many fountains in the world that are decorated as the one in Rome. It's a unique one and must-visit. It was constructed in 1762 by Nicola Salvi; tributes are paid to the Roman God Oceanus, who you can see riding chariots pulled by Tritons.

You can see how much work was done in the art of the fountain's front face, plus the details in the statues make it more beautiful. There is this tradition where it is believed that if you throw coins into the water over your back, you will get good luck; it is, however, tough to do so in front of 100 other tourists. You are likely not to pass this fountain as you tour Rome's streets because it is positioned close to the Pantheon and Quirincle palace.

The Baths of Agrippa, constructed in 25BC, were the first of the city's great public bath complexes. Built by Marcus Agrippa, Augustus's close friend, soon to be son-in-law and victor over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the naval 'Battle of Actium', the baths were located just south of the Pantheon.

To supply the complex with water, Agrippa also built and paid for the construction of the Aqua Virgo, which is still in use today and supplies water to the Trevi Fountain. Though destroyed by a fire in 80AD, the baths were rebuilt by Titus or his brother Domitian. By the late 6th century, the complex had been converted to a nunnery.

The majority of the complex still existed into the 16th century, but was continually mined for its marble and other architectural elements. Today, a small segment of the curved walls of the once domed rotunda, all that remains of the once grand structure, can still be seen on Via dell'Arco della Ciambella.

6. Museo Nazionale Romano

The Museo Nazionale Romano is actually a series of palaces each containing some amazing finds: the actual rooms of Livia, wife of Caesar Augustus (found, and then brought and placed), the Balbi Crypt, a Roman Mummy, stunning bronzes, the Baths of Diocletian and so many more.

7. Visit Castel Sant'Angelo

If you like castles or have kids or and want to enjoy an awesome view from the top, visit Castel Sant'Angelo! In summer, they open up the passetto - the walkway leading to the Vatican City - and you can get an extra ticket to the dungeons as well. It's pretty neat, and highly undervalued.

8. Trajan Forum

Only a stones throw from the much more popular 'Forum Romanum' are the remains of the later 'Imperial Fora'. One of these, the Trajan's Forum, is believed to have been designed by the architect Apollodorus of Damascus, and it, along with Trajan's Market, were inaugurated in 113AD.

9. Trajan's Market

The market, with its giant exedra which cuts into the slope of the Quirinal Hill, is clearly visible from the Via dei Fori Imperiale, and was a complex of enclosed, arcaded shops. In essence, it was a very early shopping mall. But just behind the curve of this exedra is an intact segment of an ancient Roman street, now referred to as Via Biberatica.

This is the best preserved street from antiquity in the city of Rome, and its basalt paving stones and sidewalks can compete with anything that Ostia Antica, Pompeii or even Herculaneum can offer. On both sides of the street are original buildings, many with their second and third stories still intact, and their ground floor shopfronts appear as though they're just getting ready for the day's business.

In ancient times, the upper floors likely contained offices and apartments. Its believed that this street contained a number of taverns, thus the name 'Biberatica', from the Latin 'bibere', meaning 'to drink'. The north end of the street today ends abruptly with a modern brick retaining wall, above which today's Via Quattro Novembre bisects it, but buried beneath modern Rome.

It's believed the street continues on before diverging at a 'y' intersection. Via Biberatica offers a remarkable glimpse of what much of workaday ancient Rome must've looked like, and it shouldn't be missed!

10. Walk along Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus was a huge building in antiquity. There is a large field covered with grass. The contours of the landscape reveals that something was there once, but it is not there anymore. At one of the two short ends (the semi-circle) the seating is partially preserved, but the area is fenced off. Place this item at the bottom of your list of attractions in Rome.

If you wish to see a Roman circus (aka a hippodrome), there is a much better way to do it: go to the south of Rome. Go to Via Appia antica. As you walk along the ancient road, the monument will be on your left hand site. It is smaller than Circus Maximus but better preserved. There is much more to see here.

11. Visiting the Vatican Museums

Visiting the Vatican Museums is one of the 'obligations' inherent in any visit to the city of Rome. This small state embedded in the western bank of the Tiber River is, in itself, a work of art. They say there are more than 80,000 works of art in the museums guarded by the Peter's in Rome.

Everything fits: archaeological remains of the greatest civilizations of antiquity; Greek and Roman sculptures; works of art signed by the greatest geniuses of humanity; old floats; frescoes signed by Miguel Angel or Rafael; Ethnographic artifacts sent by missionaries from all corners of the world. Seeing everything as it deserves is a task that takes weeks.

They say all roads lead to RomeThey say all roads lead to Rome

10 Best Weekend Getaways From Washington DC

Just seeing the US Capitol, Supreme Court and White House is alone worth the visit to Washington DC. There's also the magnificent Lincoln Memorial, solemn Vietnam memorial, impressive Korean memorial and the best of all them - WW2 memorial. There's also the many Smithsonian museums (one has the Hope Diamond). All these buildings/monuments are all in the National Mall (a big park).

You need to spend several days just to see the highlights (there's a free tour of the Supreme Court and US Capitol). The Arlington Memorial is close by, where is the tomb of the unknown soldiers buried, and JFK and other historical figures in US history. If you fly, fly into JFK airport, you're right in the city. And stay right next to National mall, so you don't have to take a cab to get to all the sites.

Are you longing for a short break from your hectic D.C. life? Washington DC or D.C. has plenty of nearby weekend escapes suited to all travel personalities.

Washington DC is a huge, bustling city, located near a ton of great places for a casual weekend getawayWashington DC is a huge, bustling city, located near a ton of great places for a casual weekend getaway

Here are the best weekend getaways from Washington DC:

1. New York City

A must-visit on the list of D.C. weekend getaways, New York City is reachable by train in only about three hours. You can look forward to having a great time here, enjoying Broadway shows and world-class cuisines. You'll also love the city's art museums - BRIC House, the Rose Museum, and the Frick, to name a few. If you're looking for luxury, the Plaza Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel are some of the best places to stay in New York City.

2. Gettysburg

If you mean to see the battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park has maps with distances. The Billy Yank trail is about 10 mikes long, and gets you to the main points of fighting south of town, e.g. the Peach Orchard, Little Round Top, Pickett's Charge. A 14 mile itinerary will include the sites north and west of town, where they fought on the first day, as well as a walk through Gettysburg itself.

Several of these hikes start and end at the Visitors Center, where you can find parking, too. Bring binoculars, especially if you mean to go up any of the three towers for panoramic viewing. In the Park, not much in the way of food or water, so be prepared. Early to mid fall is your best bet for good weather. If you want what the soldiers experienced, sun and upper 80s temps, then Summer time is for you.

A significant battlefield site, Gettysburg, is reachable by road in less than two hours. Tour the Gettysburg Memorial Battlefield and its one-of-a-kind history museum. Complement the battlefield visit with a wonderful stay at the historic Gettysburg Hotel. You can also camp at one of the town's several campgrounds and RV sites. Stroll downtown, shop to your heart's content, and take exciting food and brewery tours.

How about taking an adventure road trip in the surrounding countryside of Adams County? Ensure that your vehicle has a roof rack to carry your luggage so that you can travel stress-free through the scenic landscape.

3. Old Town Alexandria

A short road trip from D.C., Old Town is a charming, walkable escape. It features beautiful, centuries-old architecture. Explore this vibrant district's cobbled, historic King Street. Visit the continually operating 18th-century Saturday Farmers' Market. Stay over at any of the elegant hotels on King Street, e.g., The Hilton.

4. Baltimore

Baltimore is the city of dreams. That's why it developed the nickname, Charm City! A colonial city, Baltimore got this gritty, rust-belt vibe, but it also feels like a city on the rise. It's dense and pretty walkable and chock-full of American history. The city surrounds the bay beautifully. Definitely one of America's most underrated cities.

Merely an hour's drive from D.C., Baltimore is the best escape for culture vultures. This charming city offers museums showcasing eclectic artworks - for instance, impressive 19th-century impressionist paintings. Visit the elegant Brewer's Art brewpub, famous for homemade beers. Stay over at one of the waterfront hotels here. Savor local seafood delicacies like crab cakes while taking in amazing water views from the hotel.

Maryland Blue Crabs are very popular, and are delicious steamed or boiled. Buy them by the bushel, serve them with beer, Maryland sweet corn and creamy coleslaw.

5. Middleburg Wine Country

Spend the weekend in this rolling countryside in USA, only an hour from D.C. Middleburg Wine Country offers excellent wineries and world-class wines from the local Norton grape. Visit the sprawling Chrysalis Vineyards and enjoy wine-tastings while admiring the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Check into the quaint Red Fox Inn, a relaxing retreat conveniently located in the middle of wine country. You can shop, dine, and tour local wineries within walking distance from the Inn.

6. Rehoboth Beach

Reachable in about two hours from D.C., Rehoboth Beach offers watersports, gourmet dining, and tax-free shopping. Stroll the beach's boardwalk, kayak its peaceful inlets, or indulge in deep-sea fishing. If you're traveling with kids, treat them to thrill rides and carnival games on the boardwalk. Stay at one of the hotels closest to the boardwalk.

The Victorian-style Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, situated right on it, is a charming mix of old and new, offering antique furnishings and a heated indoor pool.

7. St. Michaels

A perfect getaway for a relaxed weekend, St. Michaels is a small coastal town, less than two hours by road from D.C. The town's miles of picturesque coastline makes sailing a truly pleasurable experience. If you're a newbie at sailing, you can take an informal, 2-day course at the Sailing Academy here. Enjoy tasty seafood at the several waterfront restaurants and visit the town's history museums and an ancient lighthouse.

Stay at excellent B&B inns such as Parsonage Inn or the George Brook's House. Experience gracious hospitality during your stay in comfortable rooms.

8. Mercersburg

A perfect winter weekend escape, Whitetail Resort has more than twenty ski trails, all compatible with night skiing. From D.C., you can be on Whitetail's slopes in less than two hours. Don't worry if you're a newbie at skiing. The resort offers runs suitable for all skill grades. What's more, you can even take skiing lessons here.

Whitetail also offers three rapid lifts for snowboarding and snow tubing. You can enjoy a luxurious B&B experience at the nearby Mercersburg Inn, a baroque turn-of-the-century mansion.

9. Lancaster

How about driving through the rural country and stopping to buy fresh farm produce at roadside stands? Enjoy this rural experience in Lancaster, a mere two-hour drive from D.C. Visit the Lancaster Central Market, USA's most ancient farmers' market. Indulge in a full steam adventure by riding on a steam train through Lancaster's scenic farmland. Stay right in the middle of farmland at one of the several cozy farm-stays.

10. Middleburg

A sprawling 25-acre estate, Goodstone Inn & Restaurant has several luxurious rooms exuding country charm. Full of horse farms, this luxury country inn is just an hour from D.C. Goodstone offers delicious, French-inspired cuisine and grows most of the food on its farm. You can also enjoy trekking, biking, and bird watching at the property.

Conclusion

Now you know some of the best weekend getaways from Washington DC. So, where are you heading to this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

9 Traditional Greek Foods You Must Eat in Greece

One of our main goals while visiting a new country or destination is to try out their local cuisines and to get a taste and flavour of the place. Greece is one such country which has a rich variety of tasty and unique delicacies that everyone should try during their Greece vacation. A summer in Greece is not complete without tasting the local cuisine.

You can visit some of the many taverns on the island or buy fresh fish from local fishermen and cook it at home. Overall, Greece generally is famous for its amazing food and so is Crete. In Crete try some of the tasty Cretan Cheeses, Kalitsounia (a proper cheesy delight) and Dakos, (made from chunks of rusk, ripe tomatoes, sheep's cheese and lashings of Greek olive oil), among many others.

Greek food is a contemporary explosion of flavoursGreek food is a contemporary explosion of flavours

Here are the top must-try delicacies in Greece:

1. Moussaka

The Moussaka is an eggplant based dish which is usually served as the main course in Greece. It can often be found in the lunch and dinner menus. The dish is made with a tomato base, a ground meat casserole and the eggplant. Post this it is served with a creamy layer of Bechamel sauce on the top. Moussaka is one of those dishes which has innumerable varieties and variations with which it can be done.

Ideally every greek household has its version of the Moussaka which they would serve for their family and guests. The best place to try these dishes is via a traditional greek restaurant.

2. Gyros

Gyros is one of the most popular dishes in Greece. It is predominantly considered as a street food and can be found frequently in small cafes and shacks across Greece. The Gyros is a handheld Pita bread dish which is usually served with different types of meat. The meats that are usually served in Greece are lamb, chicken, beef or pork.

In some places across Greece and even in other countries, you can also find a vegetarian option of the Gyros being served. The Gyros is also very similar to dishes from the middle east or turkey and there is a great chance that you might have tasted the dish even before your arrival to Greece. The Gyros is also very popular in Greece as it is fast food that can be relished without having to spend too much time at a restaurant.

3. Greek Salad

We all know that you have ordered the ever so famous greek salad from your neighbourhood, but in all honesty, it probably was not prepared as an authentic greek restaurant would. The Horiatiki or the traditional Greek salad is made with the ingredients such as the Tomato, Cucumber, Green Pepper, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives and is usually served with a large brick of Feta cheese on top of the salad.

The Greek salad is then served with a drizzle of olive oil on top of it. The Greek salad is known to be one of the lightest and tastiest salads in the world. The salad is so popular that almost everyone serving international cuisine has its version of it.

4. Saganaki

Saganaki is a cheese-based dish that is had before every meal as a starter. If you are someone who loves cheese, you are going to fall in love with this dish. Saganaki is a fried cheese dish. The name of the dish - Saganaki is derived from the name of the frying pan that is used to fry the cheese.

It can be made with any kind of cheese and not just the greek cheese. It can be made with cheeses like the graviera, kasseri and halloumi as well. The dish is eaten as an appetizer, or as an evening munch or as a tasty snack for a drink. This simple yet versatile dish is a must-try in Greece.

5. Greek Bouyourdi

The Greek Bouyourdi is one of the most popular appetizers in Greek cuisine. This dish can majorly be found in parties and gatherings and makes for a perfect communal food on the plate. The dish is made with a base of tomatoes, feta and chillies like jalapenos. The dish is usually had with bread but is great to be had all by itself.

Once the ingredients are added it is baked in an oven to make it all toasty and smokey. This elevated the taste to a whole new level. While the main base of the dish is tomatoes, you can see a lot of people customize the dish with bell peppers, onions and lots of Feta.

6. Tzatziki

Tzatziki is the Greek variation of a dish found all over the Ottoman Empire, Iran, the Caucasus and Northern India. The Greek dip, like its Balkan, Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi brethren is yogurt, garlic and cucumber based. The Levantine variety called tarator is made from tahini, walnuts, garlic and vinegar.

Greek style tzatziki is a dip made from strained yogurt, shredded and strained cucumber, garlic crushed in salt, olive oil, lemon juice and dill. It is typically served as a side dish or meze to accompany alcoholic drinks. Do not forget to try the Fatourada, a cinnamon liqueur typical of the island.

7. Strapatsada

The cuisine of Corfu is very famous for the numerous and tasty dishes it offers, excellent combination of Greek cuisine and Venetian cuisine. Sample of it are Strapatsada scrambled with tomato, butter and a little brandy. It is served hot. Sofrito is a venetian dish of beef with a sauce of garlic, salt, pepper, white wine and vinegar.

8. Pastitsada

Pastitsada is the most famous dish on the island. It comes from the Venetian Spezzatino. Kumquat is the fruit of a Japanese tree similar to lemon and is very popular in Corfu.

9. Soutzoukakia me Hilopitakia

One of the other famous main course dishes in Greece are the Soutzoukakia me Hilopitakia. The dish has a base of egg pasta which is then served with meatballs and tomato sauce. It is sort of like the Greek version of spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta that is used for this dish is not always the same.

This is yet another dish where there are multiple variations of the same dish. It is a very popular dish that is served for either lunch or dinner and is also loved by the kids.

Before leaving, make sure you have tried the ladopaksimadia, a kind of toast, and to buy seeds of siempreviva, a yellow flower that only grows on the island and stays fresh for a long time after cutting it.

These are just some of the unique and tasty dishes that one can get to experience in the country of Greece. Reach out to the destination experts at Pickyourtrail.com to customize your Greece packages from India.