When in Rome...

This majestic open air, citywide museum is only a short flight away and is the perfect destination for both whistle-stop weekend breaks or long, leisurely sojourns in the Eternal City.

The seat of one of the most successful empires in history, Rome hasn’t forgotten its roots and continues to instill a sense of awe in visitors, year after year. This majestic open air, citywide museum is only a short flight away and is the perfect destination for both whistle-stop weekend breaks or long, leisurely sojourns in the Eternal City.

Things to do

Just standing on an average Roman street will give you plenty to look at so be sure to take advantage of the usually good weather to wander about and drink it all in. The Colosseum, the Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and dozens of museums will sate any culture vulture’s thirst and make sure your Instagram feed is packed with beautiful images of timeless treasures. 

But Rome’s delights stretch beyond ancient history. If you’re interested in cinema, check out CineCittà Studios (cinecittastudios.it/en). The studio and set used to make the first in a string of budget-busting classical epics that included Ben-Hur and Cleopatra and is also where Federico Fellini shot most of his films. For the music fans, a visit to the Auditorium Parco della Musica (.auditorium.com/en) is a must. Designed by Renzo Piano, the three concert halls, connected by an imposing foyer/exhibition space, can house up to 2,800 people.

Cinema fans can also head to the Villa Borghese, home to the Casa Del Cinema (casadelcinema.it), which uses specialized projection equipment to make it the most modern cinema in the city. With screenings every afternoon and evening, cinephiles can catch original language films as well as offerings from the most recent European film festivals, all for free.

Rome is a great place for live music and every genre will find a home in one of its many music venues. For opera lovers, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma  (operaroma.it) is simply unparalleled, with perfect acoustics and seats for 1,600 people. Productions are based here from November to May and then move outdoors amids the ruins of Terme di Caracalla for the summer season.

For somewhat more contemporary music, Il Circolo  (circoloartisti.it) is a well-respected and internationally recognised club, having welcomed performers like Glasvegas, Carmen Consoli, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Patti Smith. Keep an eye out for upcoming performances and you’re sure to find something you love. 

Things to eat

Asking where the best food in Rome is served is sure to start any number of passionate arguments. And while it takes effort to find bad food in Italy in general, travelers should definitely seek out the traditional Roman dishes that have been favourites for centuries. 

Pizza in Rome has nothing to do with the kind you find in Naples, just two hours down the road. In Rome, pizza is really thin, with no lip to the crust and a nice char to it. Places like Pizzeria Ai Marmi, on Viale Trastevere, or Nuovo Mondo, on Via Amerigo Vespucci, won’t disappoint but be adventurous – if the pizza smells good, give it a try. 

When Italians think of food in Rome without question the first thing that comes to mind is carbonara; it’s painful to imagine life without it. Try out Da Danilo (trattoriadadanilo.com) for a more sedate dining experience or Da Enzo (daenzoal29.com) for a brisk, trattoria-style meal of the famed Italian favourite. 

Where to stay

Imagine having your very own stately home in Rome. The historic Villa Spalletti Trivelli hotel (villaspalletti.it) near the Quirinale palace belongs to a dashing count and his family, but its yours for the duration of your stay. Opulent rooms and stunning architecture abound, and with starting prices at €350 per night, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich past (while feeling a little noble yourself).

The Residenze Torre Colonna’s (torrecolonna.it) got to be one of Rome’s most unusual small hotels: five rooms stacked one on top of the other in one of the city’s few surviving Medieval watchtowers. All are spacious, and play against the ancient setting with funky artworks and bold colours. With rooms starting from €200, its proximity to Rome’s archaeological centre is well worth the price.

With a double room starting from just €100 a night, the Relais Palazzo Taverna (relaispalazzotaverna.com) is perfect for that quick budget weekend break. The surrounding area is full of artisans’ workshops and characterful restaurants and wine bars, and St Peter’s is just a short hop across Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge.

Two readers have the chance to win a complimentary return ticket each for travel on any scheduled Air Malta flights (excluding taxes and charges). 

All you have to do is answer the question below and send in your name, mobile number and email address to:

Maltatoday competition, Air Malta plc, Sky Parks, Malta International Airport, Luqa, LQA 4000.

Question:  How many weekly flights does Air Malta operate to Rome this winter? 

a) 1 weekly flight

b) 3 weekly flights or

c) 7 weekly flights?

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