Rome wasn’t built in a day and its restoration project is proof of that. Since the 1930’s, Rome’s continuous discoveries of what once stood tall are slowly being restored its original form. Experience Caesar’s and Augustus’ forums as you sit or walk through a state-of-the-art light show. The show features holographic images of what the city looked like two-thousand years ago. Ancient Rome, a city already famous for its iconic monuments, comes to life at night.
Municipio I District
If you head to this area, just follow the signs to the various light shows. Headsets are equipped to narrate (in multiple languages) not only how the the city was built but also, how Ancient Rome would look like today. Three dimensional images turn brick walls into a city of marble covered with lush green foliage, gilded gold walls, mosaic tiles, flowing fountains, paintings and large gold statues honoring the Greek gods. Experience the center of Caesar’s Forum on a 45-minute walking tour, or sit in awe of Augustus’ Forum’s 30 minutes show. Each tour costs 15 Euros and start as scheduled, so we advise arriving 15-20 minutes early for a guaranteed ticket.
We were thrilled to have walked the Spanish Steps last year when we visited Rome, because this year, they were closed for restoration. One site that we could not wait to see (because it was closed last year) was the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) located in the Quirinale district. The fountain was made mostly of travertine and originally built to represent the end of the aqueduct era. It stands over 86 feet high, nearly twice as wide and complete with water. Its monumental presence takes on new form at night as everything surrounding it disappears. Flashes of light from cameras at every angle, ignite like fireworks capturing the majesty of one of the most famous fountains in the world. Funded by Fashion house Fendi, it took 17-months and over two million dollars to finish the restoration. This is a true reflection on Roman’s love for art and fashion!
Fun Fact: The outside facade of the coliseum’s restoration project was funded by Italian leather maker, Tods.
Whatever you decide to do in Rome, the city does not disappoint day or night! I can only describe Rome as an outdoor museum, with so much to see on every corner. We encourage you to visit all of the popular sites such as:
The Vatican City
St. Peter’s Basilica:
How did we get here:
If you are looking for Business and First class flights to Rome, we offer discounted flights on all major airlines. Discounted flights are available on airlines such as Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, United, American Airlines and many more. We flew to Rome from Florence (since we were already in Italy) on Alitalia Airlines. The 35 minute flight from Florence is short, but you may opt for a spectacular train ride through Italy’s countryside. Words of advice: If you want to save more money while traveling within Europe, and opt to fly, we recommend flying economy as much as possible. The only difference between business and economy flights are the middle seat partitions that separate you from the passenger next to you. The seats are exactly the same with average legroom.
Places to eat:
Everywhere! Some of our favorite restaurants included a strip of food vendors near the Saint Angelo castle. Foods ranged from Italian, Mediterranean, and small appetizers along the river, so if you worked up an appetite this is the best place for outside dining. Rome is also full of Gelato and ice-cream shops, so for the traveler that is craving sweets you can not go a block without eating a bowl or waffle cone of your favorite cold sweets.
Places to Shop:
Shops near the Spanish Steps offer everything from high to low-end items, including merchandise exclusively sold in Rome. Stores are also divided by type of item, so you will find high-end stores, athletic shoes, makeup, clothing and cooking shops and boutiques grouped together. Therefore, if you have something in mind, you should find it easily. Because of the VAT- you can also take advantage of purchasing high-end items, so if you are in “need” of your favorite Chanel bag or Valentino shoes, you might want to consider purchasing it in Europe. When you get to the airport, just got to a tax-free window to get cash back on your purchase. Rome refunds you within a few weeks, but Florence gives you cash back immediately as long as your last destination in Europe is Florence.
Where to Stay:
The BEST hotels in Rome are located on Via Veneto. This street is lined with five-star hotels and Embassies. Plenty of restaurants are also close to the hotels, so you can save time searching for places to eat. You’ll also find local markets with cheap products and drinks if you’re on the go. We stayed at the Westin Excelsior, Rome and had the pleasure of seeing Roberta (front desk concierge) again. We had a nice room on the fifth floor, which had a balcony that overlooked the front of the hotel and beyond. The hotel is situated within walking distance to the Villa Borghese, the Borghese Gardens, Spanish steps, Coliseum, Ancient ruins and shopping. We also stayed at the St. Regis hotel which is located near the Coliseum, and walking distance to other major tourist sites.