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No other city comes close. It may no longer be capital of the world, but Rome is an epic, bubbling-over metropolis harbouring lost empires. One visit and you'll be hooked. Rome has a glorious monumentality that it wears without reverence. Its architectural heirlooms are buzzed around by car and Vespa as if they were no more than traffic islands.
Getting to Rome
Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport is the largest airport in Italy and the main gateway to Rome for travellers. It served nearly 38 million passengers in 2011.
The base is situated in the town of Fiumicino in central Italy, nearly 22 miles west of the historic centre of Rome.
There are a number of transport options for people travelling from the airport to the capital city, including a direct rail connection to the Termini station. The Sabina-Fiumicino line stops at some of Rome's major train stations, including Tiburtina, Tuscolana, Ostiense and Trastevere.
It is also possible to catch buses from Fiumicino Airport to locations such as Piazza del Cinquecento and the Cornelia station, which is on line A of the underground rail network.
Travellers who would rather go by car can hire their own vehicle or access taxi services from terminals one, two, three and five.
Several major airlines operate flights to Rome Fiumicino, including British Airways, easyJet, KLM and Jet2.com
The Italian capital is also served by the smaller Ciampino Airport, which is situated 7.5 miles south of the city centre.
Get to know the city
Rome is famous for its rich and fascinating history, which spans some 2,500 years, stretching all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire at its peak. The capital is home to many landmarks, monuments and ancient buildings providing an insight into its history.
Some 2.8 million people live in Rome, making it the largest and most populated city in Italy and the fourth most populous in the EU after London, Berlin and Madrid.
As well as serving as the capital of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire, the city was one of the main centres of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence, and is now the most popular tourist hotspot in Italy.
There are numerous experiences that visitors will be keen to seek out, although sampling local food, seeing historical sites and visiting museums will be at the top of the list for many.
Five must sees in Rome
Arts and culture enthusiasts might want to begin with a visit to the Vatican Museums, which house an array of artworks and artefacts collected by the Catholic Church over the centuries. Situated within the complex is the Sistine Chapel, which is famous for its fresco designs by the likes of Michelangelo and Botticelli.
One of Rome's most iconic and recognisable landmarks is the Colosseum, an imposing amphitheatre that was once the pride of the Roman Empire. Constructed in the first century AD, the arena was used to host public spectacles including gladiatorial contests, mock battles and dramatic productions.
Another location that history buffs should not miss on a trip to Italy's capital city is the Roman Forum. This plaza once served as the busy administrative and commercial heart of Rome and is now home to the ruins of several ancient buildings.
Rome is home to hundreds of churches, but arguably the most impressive of all is St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. This building has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world and a stunning Baroque exterior.
As well as learning more about the city's history, visitors can experience its modern life and culture by visiting busy piazzas and public gathering points. The most noteworthy and popular sites include Piazza di Spagna at the foot of the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Direct Flights travel tip
When to go to Rome
Most people will find that the best times to visit Rome are in the spring months of March to May or the autumn period from September to mid-November. These times of year offer cooler temperatures for exploring the city.
Foreigners can often outnumber Italians in the summer months, particularly in August, when locals leave the city en masse to escape the hot conditions.
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Map of Rome