A guide to visiting Rome for culture vultures

Are you a total culture vulture?

Visit Rome.

Is culture at the very pinnacle of your holiday agenda? If so, visiting Rome could be the ideal holiday for you. It may seem obvious, but for good reason. Known as the city of seven hills, Rome was the former capital of what was once the biggest empire in the world. It’s full of amazing cultural experiences at every turn, that lovers of art and history simply have to visit at some time in their life. Have we convinced you into visiting Rome?

Architecture and Ancient History Galore

If looking at all things art and archaeological is your idea of the perfect day, you’re going to feel absolutely spoiled for choice in Rome. The Capitoline Museums are among the oldest museums in the world and include some outstanding examples of classical-era sculpture.

The whole of the city is a museum in many ways, with spots like the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum just existing alongside buildings from every century since. If you’re from a young country  (like New Zealand for example…) the sheer amount of ancient history on display when you’re visiting Rome is astounding.

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Blue sky in The Vatican City in the heart of Rome

Visiting the vibrant Vatican

Visit Rome and you may be surprised to find it isn’t just home to one city. It’s also where you’ll find the world’s smallest sovereign state, the Vatican City. The Vatican is only 110 acres in size, and its population is around 1000. But it’s also a vitally important part of the world as far as religion as concerned, as the home of the pope, the head of the Catholic Church.

But whether you’re Catholic or not, the Vatican is a must-do for anyone visiting Rome. St Peter’s Basilica is a beautiful example of Renaissance church architecture, while the nearby Sistine Chapel dates to a similar era but is most famous for its painted frescos on the ceiling, by the master artist Michelangelo. It sounds strange, but while you’re in The Vatican, be sure to check out the ATMs – you can use them in Latin, the official language of the country!

The home of Pizza, Pasta and Gelato

Of course, a trip to visit Rome would be incomplete without some serious eating. Enjoy everything from proper Roman gelato to tender potato gnocchi to olive oil dressed artichokes – and more!

Rome is particularly famous for its pasta, with local favourites including amatriciana (featuring pork cheek, pecorino cheese and tomato), carbonara (one international visitors are probably more familiar with – featuring egg, pecorino, pepper and pancetta), gricia (similar to carbonara but with no egg), and cacio e pepe (a simple but delicious combination of black pepper and pecorino cheese). Rome even has a pasta museum, so if you’re a carboholic, look no further! Atkins – who?

Italian 101:

Hello! – Buon giorno!

Goodbye! – Arrivederci!

Please – Per favour.

Thank you – Grazie.

You’re welcome – Prego.

Do you speak English? ­– Parla inglese?

Need more basic Italian? Here’s one link – but the internet is full of amazing options.

Rome not sound like the place for you? Check out our other suggestions to find your perfect European holiday destination here.

Travel Insurance

Have you booked your trip to Italy already? If so, have you arranged your travel insurance? If not, head over to our Compare Plans page to find the travel insurance policy to best suit your needs.

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