Rome, the Italian capital, ranks as one of the most visited cities in the world. The tourist attractions here are almost endless, and filling your much-anticipated vacation days with sightseeing, eating, museum-hopping, more eating and Rome shopping will certainly make for an unforgettable holiday.
When looking for Rome apartments, look no further than the area around the Vatican City. The attractions here are excellent, but finding something to see or do which isn’t restricted by Papal walls may be a little more challenging. To this end, we’ve compiled a short list of the very best things to see and do around the Vatican area, just to help you keep your vacation varied. So put on some comfy shoes, grab a map and have yourself a bellissima vacanza!
Originally built by Emperor Hadryan as a mausoleum for his family, Castel Sant’Angelo is an ancient Roman ruin and an absolutely gorgeous place to retire to for an afternoon of peace and quiet. Located merely 500m east of Piazza Pio XII, this amazing castle lies on the shores of the Tiber River and served as a Papal fortress from the beginning of the first millennia. Various remains of succeeding Roman emperors were buried here, and the imposing building, now part of the National Museums of Italy, is an incredible mix of Ancient Roman and Baroque architecture.
Atop the cupola is a glistening statue of an angel, the castle’s namesake. Legend has it that Archangel Michael made an apparition here to declare the end of the plague in 590 AD.
Villa Borghese, just 5kms north-west of the Vatican City, is itself a small city within a city. Only here, it is opulent gardens which provide much of the attraction.
Spread over 80 acres, this once-private garden-maze is an absolute gem and treasured by locals living in this exciting, but utterly chaotic, capital city. While the gardens are also home to famous attractions like the Modern Art Museum and the local Zoo, we think that in this particular case, keeping your activities outdoors will prove to be an infinitely more enjoyable choice!
The gardens were the brainchild of Cardinal Borghese who wanted to turn his defunct vineyard into a party-garden in 1605. Three hundred years later, the gardens were purchased by the city of Rome and opened to the public for the first time. Intricately designed villas, temples, monuments, gazebos and fountains are just itching to be discovered. Step outdoors for the day and take a relaxing walk through Villa Borghese, we promise you won’t regret it!
There’s just no way of avoiding the topic of food (glorious food) when one even mentions a Roman holiday. For an attraction of the highest gastronomic delight, we suggest you book yourself a spot on an ‘Eating Italy Food Tour’. Regarded as one of the best tour operators in Rome, the guides at Eating Italy Food Tour will take you on a three-and-a-half hour, delectable walking tour through one of Rome’s most iconic suburbs: Testaccio. Visit local markets and specialist food-boutiques and eat your way through Rome like one could only dream about.
In a country like Italy, salumerie and alimentari are as venerated as statues and castle; so discover the hidden gems of Rome and step out of the Vatican shadow for just a day. The meeting point is in Piazza Testaccio, which is easily accessible by bus from the Vatican Area. We recommend you book ahead as these tours can fill up quickly.