Legend has it that Rome was founded by the brothers Romulus and Remus, who had been nurtured by a she-wolf when they were marooned on the Tiber. Since then, Rome has been a republic, the capital of the Roman Empire, the holy city of the Catholic world and is currently the capital of Italy.
When you come to Rome (FCO) with your SWISS flight, you will need time on your hands to see the most important sights of the city. Those fascinated by the Roman Empire and its artifacts are in for an endless parade of ancient architecture and art. From the obvious highlights like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trajan's Column, Circus Maximus to lesser known places like Caracalla's bathhouse, Hadrian's mausoleum (today's name is Castel d'Angeli) and the former Roman Port of Ostia Antica.
The catacombs of early Christianity are all around the city. More than a thousand churches are scattered all over Rome, dating from the 5th Century through medieval and renaissance times right to the present.
Equally stunning is the old infrastructure like the mighty aqueducts, that brought fresh water to every household and public fountain in ancient Rome, as well as power to the thousand watermills of the bakeries; the many Roman roads still working today, that went through the whole empire to carry goods, news and legions; or the massive underground sewage system, that made the swampy area inhabitable in the first place. You cannot dig a hole in Rome without digging something up that is from the Roman Empire or Republic, which is the primary reason the current Metro is still waiting for its third line that has been under constructions for decades. Every time they find historical artifacts, the work stops, and the archaeologists move in.
You can find masterpieces of art from Michelangelo not only in St. Peters Basilica, in the little church San Pietro in Vincoli there is one of his finest works: the mighty Moses. Caravaggio's Madonna of the Pilgrims, frescoes by Giotto, Byzantine Mosaics, the churches of Rome hold more art treasures than any museum could show. Then there is the beautiful Rome of today with its famous Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps between Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinita Dei Monti, the world-famous Trevi Fountain, the lively quarter Trastevere, the parks like Villa Borghese; there is no end to the beauties of Rome.
When the daily sightseeing is done, try to get a nice place at a restaurant in Trastevere and enjoy the many treats of Roman specialties: Gnocchi Alla Romana, Saltimbocca, Cicoria, Maritozzi Romani are but a few of the local goodies. The excellent wine from the many wine growing regions of Italy will be the perfect beverage for a warm night on the buzzing Piazza. The Romans are outdoor people, so the nightlife happens as much in the many open spaces of Rome as in night clubs and bars.
For a history-free day head to the beaches of Sperlonga, Fregene, Ostia or Fiumicino and spend a typical day at the beach with the locals. Don't worry if you cannot make it all in one go; there will always be another SWISS flight to Rome available for you.