With a history spanning 28 centuries, it’s clear that Rome wasn’t built in a day, making it hard to know where to start. The hot-blooded capital of Italy and the Lazio region is the only city in the world with a country within its boundaries and is one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe.
The sophisticated, cosmopolitan capital of Italy has an incredibly vibrant cultural atmosphere in a unique environment, drenched in globally influential art, architecture and culture spanning 3,000 years. Located on the Italian Peninsula along the banks of the Tiber River, Rome is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Upon arrival, it’s immediately obvious why. Everywhere you go, you encounter awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping art by masters including Bernini, Michelangelo and Raphael without even trying.
This charismatic city is steeped in culture, romance and nostalgia with a cityscape that is the stuff of legends. Ancient icons including the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Pantheon punctuate the Roman skyline, while St. Peter’s Basilica lords it over Vatican City. Buildings, fountains, sculptures and churches in the Italian Baroque and Renaissance architectural styles greet you at every corner. In particular, the legacy of Baroque architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini is seen all over Rome in areas such as the impressive Fontana di Quattrio Fiumi (Fountain of Four Rivers) at Piazza Navona.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey on an extended getaway to explore the Eternal City. Book your flight from Los Angeles to Rome now.
How to get to Rome from the airport?
FCO is 26 km (16 miles) southwest of the city and has two rail connections to and from Rome. Central station, Roma Termini, is connected to FCO by a 30 minute journey that leaves every 30 minutes on the Leonardo Express train. There are also stopping metropolitan rail services connecting the airport to the city. Furthermore, 7 daily bus services make 5 stops and run between the airport and the city on a journey that takes around 70 minutes.
What about getting around the city?
Rome has plenty of options for getting around using public transport. Its underground railway is small but visits the majority of the major tourist attractions. Buses service over 350 routes covering all 4 corners of Rome and can be a good way to cover some ground and sightsee along the way.
What else is good to know?
The public transport system in Rome is integrated, meaning one ticket is valid across all forms of public transportation. Remember to validate your ticket before you board.
Attractions: When in Rome…
Central to the experience of Rome is the quintessential Roman lifestyle – la dolce vita. While away hours at a cafe on the piazza, marvel at the refined beauty of the centuries-old masterpieces that surround you, take a leisurely stroll around picturesque street and, of course, people-watch. As the sun sets over the piazza, watch the tempo of Rome increase as the beautiful people gather in trattorias for aperitivo before heading to the cocktail bars and late-night clubs that come alive after dark.
Find the most popular attractions of Rome below:
- The Borghese Gallery
- The Trastevere district
- Baroque Trevi Fountain
- Via delle Muratte
- Via di Pietra
The Borghese Gallery is home to the collection started by Bernini’s patron Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The Villa Borghese park provides an elegant backdrop to an internationally renowned collection of masterpieces including Bernini’s The Rape of Persephone and Apollo and Daphne, Antonio Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte, Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael’s The Deposition and other works by Rubens and Caravaggio, amongst others.
Take a stroll through the narrow streets and closeted squares of the Trastevere district across the Tiber before stopping at any of the many trattorias that set tables out along the cobbled streets as the sun goes down. Trastevere moonlights as one of the most dynamic nightlife scenes in Rome and comes to life after sunset.
Discover Rome by foot
The heart of the city is amenable to walking due to pedestrianization, with several major tourist attractions located close to each other within approximately 1.5 km (less than 1 mile). Explore on foot at your own pace as you discover the jaw-dropping delights of central Rome. Start at Salvi’s iconic Baroque Trevi Fountain, where legend states that you should toss a coin over your shoulder with your back to the fountain. Then head down Via delle Muratte and into Via di Pietra until you reach the Pantheon, Raphael’s final resting place and the most complete ancient building in Rome, dating back to 125 AD.
Visit the Vatican City State!
A visit to the Eternal City would not be complete without crossing the border into the 44-hectare (110-acre) country in its midst that is home to the Catholic Church HQ, the Apostolic Palace, residence of the Pope and the Bishop of Rome, the Pontifical Swiss Guard and a trove of iconic architectural, cultural and artistic treasures. Vatican City is the dominion of St. Peter’s Basilica, which represents the combined work of Bramante, Michelangelo, Bernini and Maderno, and is believed to be the resting place of the Apostle Saint Peter. The seat of the Catholic faith reigns majestic from the top of Bernini’s expansive St. Peter’s Square, which is lined by massive Doric colonnades standing four deep. Visitors can climb to the top of Michelangelo’s dome to gather Instagram-worthy content of expansive and sweeping views across Rome. Marvel at the opulent marble and gilt interior of St. Peter’s and Bernini’s 29-meter (95-foot) baldachin centerpiece in bronze above the Papal Altar. Sculptures and artworks galore are also resident in the niches and chapels of St. Peter’s including the first in Michelangelo’s series of marble sculptures Pietà.
The Vatican Museums are one of the most impressive collections of art, sculpture and treasures in the world, containing approximately 70,000 pieces, of which 20,000 are on display at any given time. On the visitor route to the Vatican Museums are the Stanza di Raffaello (Raphael Rooms) and famed Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s spectacular ceiling fresco The Last Judgment.
Find out more tips about Rome and it's attractions in our guide.
Dining out is undoubtedly one of greatest pleasures in Rome. The local cuisine is defined by a unique collection of ingredients, techniques and dishes that favor aggressive flavor. Although dining options are still dominated by traditional trattorias and osterias serving delicious local specialties, there are also an increasing number of alternatives, from local twists on fast food to neo-trattorias and international cuisine.
Eat like the Romans do
After a day of sightseeing, dine al fresco while savoring a flavorful pasta dish at a neighbourhood trattoria or stop at a boisterous pizzeria for a super-thin base pizza and a glass of chilled white wine from the surrounding Castelli Romani hills. For the seriously hungry are the Roman specialties like Saltimbocca alla Romana, a veal cut with ham and sage, the traditional Filetti di baccalà, grilled or fried cod, or Pasta alla Carbonara, pasta with egg, bacon and cheese.Finish with gelato and an espresso chaser – not for the faint hearted.
Feast like a Roman, find out how to eat and drink in Rome.
Shopping in Rome
If you’ve come for some retail therapy, Rome will deliver. Via del Corso is home to all major brands. If you prefer a high-end retail experience and a credit card workout, head straight to Via Condotti for an elegant shopping experience amongst premium luxury brands. Temper your retail therapy with a little culture – Via Condotti leads directly to Piazza di Spagna at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. In the right corner, you’ll find the museum dedicated to the English poets Keats and Shelley. Take a left at the Spanish Steps to continue your high-end retail therapy down Via Babuino.
Los Angeles - ZurichFlight duration: 10:55 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Departure Los AngelesTerminal: Tom Bradley InternationalCounter opening time: 3 h prior to departure
Boeing 777-300ERHeight: 18.50 mLength: 74 mSeats: 340
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 14
Transit Zurich (ZRH)Arrival: 15:15Transit time: 2h 30m
Zurich - RomeFlight duration: 01:35 hrs total, Frequency: 5 x daily
Airbus A320-214Height: 11.80 mLength: 37.60 mSeats: 136-168
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 4
Arrival RomeDistance to city centre: 35 km