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					© Izzet Keribar. Lonely Planet Images.

Sights Dining Entertainment Hotels Fast facts LUXE City Guides recommend

a whistle-stop tour, check out Stanze di Raffaello, the Pinacoteca, Gallerie delle Carte Geografiche and the Sistine Chapel. Mercifully, four colour-coded itineraries make navigation easier. Viale Vaticano Città del Vaticano tel: 06 698 83 333 underground rail: Ottaviano-San Pietro

Museo e Galleria Borghese

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

This sprawl of badly labelled ruins was once the centre of the ancient world, lined with gleaming marble temples, law courts and offices. Rev your imagination with the sweeping overview from behind Palazzo Senatorio on Piazza del Campidoglio before grabbing an audioguide or joining the daily 1pm tour in English. Intriguing anecdotes pepper the toppled columns: Mark Antony asked Romans to lend them his ears at the Rostrum; the Lapis Niger supposedly sits on Romulus’ tomb; the Vestal Virgins tended the sacred flame at Tempio di Vesta; and Roman Jews avoided

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rome is halfway down italy’s western coast, about 20km (12mi) inland. it’s a vast city, but the historic centre is quite small. most of the major sights are within a reasonable distance of the central railway station, Stazione Termini. it is, for instance, possible to walk from the Colosseum, through the Forum, up to Piazza di Spagna and across to the Vatican in one day, but you wouldn’t really want to. All the major monuments are west of the train station, but make sure you use a map. While it can be enjoyable to get off the beaten track in rome, it can also be very frustrating and time-consuming. The Palatine Hill and the Forum are the centre of ancient rome. Via del Corso runs north from the Forum to Piazza del Popolo, with the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain just to its east. The Vatican

is northwest of the Forum, across the river Tiber.

Oft-overlooked, GNAM is one of Rome’s coolest art museums, packed with a brilliant collection of mostly Italian painting and sculpture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Highlights include works by Canova, Modigliani and the macchiaioli (Italy’s ‘impressionists’). There are also works by pre-Surrealist de Chirico; futurists Boccioni and Balla; Transavanguardia icons Clemente, Cucchi and Paladino; and canvas-ripping Lucio Fontana. International stars include Degas, Cezanne, Duchamp and Klimt. There’s a gorgeous garden-party café for a charming cultural epilogue. Viale delle Belle Arti 131 Flaminio tel: 06 323 40 00

There are good art museums. There are great art museums. And then there’s the Museo e Galleria Borghese. Upstaging most of the national competition (no mean feat in Italy), it’s a no-excuses must-see, and one that’s well worth the slight hassle of the phone call or mouse click required to book a ticket. To limit numbers, visitors are admitted at two-hourly intervals (9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm) for a maximum twohour visit, so after you’ve picked up your pre-booked ticket you’ll have to wait for your allocated entry time. Note that the quietest times to visit are 9am and 5pm, and that prebooking is necessary. Flaminio Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5 tel: 06 3 28 10 09:00 - 19:00 Tue-Sun, prebooking necessary

Colosseum

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Vatican Museums
Home to some of the world’s longest queues, Vatican City (Città del Vaticano) is also its tiniest sovereign state. A mere 0.44 sq km, it comes complete with inhouse currency, postage, newspaper, radio station, camply garbed Swiss Guards and toy-town railway station. It might sound cute, but it’s anything but quaint. Bombastic St Peter’s is the world’s secondlargest basilica, and the biggest, richest and most magnificent church in Italy. Crafted by the deities of Renaissance and baroque architecture, it can easily pull 20,000 visitors a day. Next door, the Vatican Museums can make a hardened art buff weep. Don’t let the infamous queues put you off (Saturdays and Mondays are worst) – art collections of this magnitude are rarer than a female Catholic priest. For

Had the World Society for the Protection of Animals existed in ancient times, Emperor Vespasian’s 50,000-seater would have been in strife: at its 100-day-long inauguration party in AD 80, 5000 animals were slaughtered in gladiatorial battles. Karma caught up with the stadium in the 6th century, when the empire’s fall kick-started its devolution into a forlorn quarry – travertine from its exterior clads Chiesa di Sant’Agostino. It’s now home to fascinating temporary exhibitions (a recent show focused on classical theatre). Piazza del Colosseo Campitelli tel: 06 39 96 77 00 underground rail: Colosseo 08:30 - 19:15 Apr-Aug, 08:30 - 19:00 Sep, 08:30 - 18:30 Oct, 08:30 - 17:30 mid-end Mar, 08:30 - 17:00 midFeb-mid-Mar, 08:30 - 16:30 Nov-mid-Feb, ticket office closes 1hr before closing time

© Eric Wheater. Lonely Planet Images.

Roman Forum

Rome
passing under the Arco di Tito – built to celebrate Vespasian and Titus’ victories against Jerusalem, and the historical symbol of the Diaspora’s beginning. Admission also includes entry to the Palatine and Colosseum. Piazza Santa Maria Nova 53 & Via di Monte Tarpeo Campitelli entrances at Largo Romolo e Remo 5-6, Piazza di Santa Maria Nova 53 & Via di Monte Tarpeo tel: 06 399 67 700 underground rail: Colosseo 08:30 - 19:15 Apr-Aug, 08:30 - 19:00 Sep, 08:30 - 18:30 Oct, 08:30 - 17:30 mid-end Mar, 08:30 - 17:00 mid-Febmid-Mar, 08:30 - 16:30 Nov-mid-Feb

Pizzeria da Baffetto

Once a meeting point for ‘60s radicals, no-frills Baffetto offers the full-on wham-bam Roman pizza experience, complete with loud locals, lovingly worn furniture and bubbling hot thin-crust pizzas. Via del Governo Vecchio 114 Parione tel: 06 686 16 17 18:30 - 01:00

ENTErTAiNmENT
Fluid
Glowing ice-cube stools, Gucci-glam touches and seethrough floors set the scene at this popular evening hangout. Crowds are gorgeous and chatty, drinks are well-mixed and well priced (the Grasshopper is the house speciality), and the slinky DJ-spun tunes make for a buzzing drink and mingle. Via del Governo Vecchio 46 Parione tel: 06 683 23 61 18:00 - 02:00

Crudo

Il Convivio di Troiano

DiNiNg
Arancia Blu
Don’t miss the chance to dine at this elegant bistro, lauded for its inspired vegetarian tasting menus – think asparagus polpette (meatballs) with bergamottea sauce, and ricotta, parmesan and lemon-rindstuffed ravioli. The 400-plus wine list comes with a clued-up sommelier, and Tuesday evenings feature live, soulful jazz. Via dei Latini 55-65 San Lorenzo tel: 06 445 41 05

Tucked away in a 16th-century palazzo, this intimate, elegant, Michelin-star heavyweight is a progressive gourmand’s nirvana – think lemongrass-scented calamari sauté with candied tomatoes and licorice polenta, or bay leaf–scented roasted pigeon in a green pepper casserole with spicy peach salad. Predictably, bookings are a must. Vicolo dei Soldati 31 Colonna tel: 06 686 94 32 20:00 - 23:00 Mon-Sat

More Manhattan than Mediterranean, Crudo gets the thumbs up with criminally cute hipsters for its modernist furniture, video art and award-winning mixologist. While the intimate upstairs dining is scrumptious, the best vibe is the dimly lit lounge-bar, with its streaky street-smart murals, killer aperitivo (happy hour) and smart, sharp sippers. Via degli Specchi 6 Sant’Eustachio tel: 06 683 89 89 Tue-Sun

Auditorium Parco Della Musica

Uno e Bino

Rome’s new cultural heart is a thumping mix of music gigs, art exhibitions, literary events, noshing and culturally savvy shopping. Catch anything from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra to a Steve Reich retrospective, or simply explore the Renzo Piano architecture on a weekend guided tour, in Italian. Viale Pietro de Coubertin 10 Flaminio tel: 06 802 41 281 11:00 - 20:00 Mon-Sat, 10:00 - 20:00 Sun

Chic, softly lit, award-winning Uno e Bino does obscenely clever things to classics, such as combining pigeon with almond milk, ash-cooked potato and onion. Desserts are a revelation, the sommelier speaks English, and tables are highly coveted – so book ahead. Via degli Equi 58 San Lorenzo tel: 06 446 07 02

Stadio Olimpico

© Ada Chan

Freni e Frizioni

© James Braund. Lonely Planet Images.

We forgive the stingy servings simply because this is possibly the world’s best gelato. Religiously stored under stainless steel lids, the flavours are seasonal, strictly natural and unforgettable - ranging from the piquant fig to the zesty ginger and cinnamon. Via della Panetteria 42 Trevi tel: 06 679 39 24 underground rail: Barberini 12:00 - 00:30 Mon, Wed, Thu & Sun, 12:00 - 01:30 Fri & Sat

Copyright © Cathay Pacific Airways Limited I Publishing date: 2008-12-01

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Il Gelato di San Crispino

Once a garage (the name means ‘brakes and clutches’), this is now one of Rome’s coolest bars. It’s a designergrunge concoction of concrete floors, funky furniture, chandeliers and spritz-loving arty types. The gut-filling aperitivo is a bargain, and tables can be booked in advance if you insist on sipping seated. Via del Politeanna 4 Trastevere tel: 06 5833 4210

Weekend football at the Olympic stadium is as Roman as offal, and from September to March you can cheer or jeer one of Rome’s two teams - AS Roma and SS Lazio - most Sundays. Tickets are sold through www. listicket.it and at the many Roma and Lazio club stores around town. Photo ID is required for entry to the stadium. Villa Borghese Viale del Foro Italico underground rail: Ottaviano-San Pietro

Rome
HoTElS
Hotel Forum
A stately old pile, the Forum offers some of the best views in town. From the rooftop restaurant, you can look down on all of ancient Rome, from Il Vittoriano on the right down to the forums and the Colosseum on the left. Inside, the appeal is olde-worlde with antiques and leather armchairs strewn about the wood-panelled lobby, staff in ties and tails, and chandeliers hanging from every ceiling. Rooms are similarly styled, offering charm in place of high-tech wizardry. Monti from Cavour metro station, climb the steps to Via Cavour and walk downhill for about 10 mins; Via Tor de’ Conti is last on right Via Tor de’ Conti 25 tel: 06 679 24 46 underground rail: Cavour

Gregoriana

Eschewing the limelight, this charming hotel offers stylish Art Deco rooms and friendly, unpretentious service. Polished wood predominates in the guestrooms with circular bedsteads made of maple and evocative rosewood furniture. Unusually none of the rooms are numbered but are adorned with letters by the 1930s French illustrator Erté. Campo Marzio Via Gregoriana 18 tel: 06 679 42 69 underground rail: Spagna

Hotel Campo de’ Fiori

What was a reliable, if uninspiring, option has transformed itself into a wicked modern hotel. Rich red and lime green walls have been hung with gilt mirrors and restored bric-a-brac, modern bathrooms invite you to try them, and everywhere there’s an air of provocative playfulness. There’s a stylish rooftop terrace with 360-degree views and the basement breakfast room boasts an original vaulted ceiling. Parione Via del Biscione 6 tel: 06 688 06 865

When to go

The tourist high season starts at Easter and runs until October. Be aware some restaurants and shops close in August. Winters are usually mild with few tourists; Christmas is fun.

Electricity
220v 50hz

Phone

country dialling code: 39 mobile network: GSM 900/1800

Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi

Daphne

© Will Salter. Lonely Planet Images.

Copyright © Cathay Pacific Airways Limited I Publishing date: 2008-12-01

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A top contender for the title of best small hotel in Rome, the Daphne is a star. Rooms come in various shapes and sizes but the overall look is minimalist modern with cooling earth tones and linear, unfussy furniture. The superhelpful English-speaking staff go out of their way to help, even lending you a mobile phone for your stay. Other extras include free wi-fi, an iron and board in each room, and a delicious breakfast. There’s a second outfit, the Trevi Daphne (Via degli Avignonesi 20). Ludovisi exit Barberini station onto Via Vittorio Veneto; Via di San Basilio heads uphill (NE) from the bottom of Via Vittorio Veneto Via di San Basilio 55 & Via degli Avignonesi 20 tel: 06 874 50 086 underground rail: Barberini

Boasting the best outdoor swimming pool in central Rome, this luxury hotels sits on the edge of Villa Borghese. Decidedly traditional in look, it features wood-panelled walls, marble columns, chandeliers, heavy drapes and gilt-framed paintings. Upstairs, the terrace restaurant commands some wonderful tree-top views over to St Peter’s Basilica. The swimming pool is open to nonguests for around Euro60 per day. Via G Frescobaldi 5 Villa Borghese tel: 85 44 21

FAST FACTS
Population
2550000 Italian Euro EUR

Local Cathay Pacific contact information
Reservation numbers: 199747340 Check-in counters: Fiumicino Airport, Terminal C, Counters 339-343

Language Currency

Money & cost

Eating and sleeping in Italy is not cheap. You aren’t expected to tip but if there is no service charge, you might consider leaving 10% or so.

Rome
lUXE CiTY gUiDES rECommEND
The following suggestions are selected exclusively for Cathay Pacific by LUXE City Guides, the consummately stylish pocket travel guide, packed with astute, opinionated information for the busy and sophisticated visitor. Da Nino. Step back to the fifties in this lovely, classico, wood-panelled, busy but elegant Tuscan eatery with gruff waiters and a crosssection local crowd. Divine ribollita (hearty veggie soup). Our hands down favourite in tutta la Roma. Via Borgognona, 11 / Spagna / 06 679 5676 / book ahead / closed Sun & Aug Caffè Chiostro del Bramante. Magic, hideaway cloister-modester, with glowbar, continational menu and delicious Sunday brunch. Hip. Church of Santa Maria della Pace / Via della Pace, 26 / Navona / 06 6880 9035 / chiostrodelbramante.it / closed Mon / as you face the church the entrance is to the left

Spa

Antica Barbieria Peppino. Take it on the chin at this charming old-style barber shop for a tip-top to toe clip snip, buff and polish. Something for the weekend, sir? Via della Vite, 62 / cnr of Via Mario de' Fiori / Spagna / 06 679 8404

Capitoline Museum. This museum in former palaces perched atop Capitoline Hill showcases stunning classical Roman art from the C.8th BC to the C.5th AD. Piazza del Campidoglio / Centro / 06 6710 2071 / en.museicapitolini.org Wine Academy. Brush up on your Chianti, or just get quietly sloshed at these nifty and informative tastings. Salute! International Wine Academy of Roma / Vicolo del Bottino, 8 / Spagna / 06 699 0878 / wineacademyroma.com

Accommodation

Hotel De Russie. Rocco Forte’s modern, classic-glam gem bordering the sylvan Pincio gardens, is not only ideally situated for shop n’ scoff, but features the perfect blend of style, comfort and service, with svelte Stravinskij Bar and courtyard, Jardin de Russie restaurant and Wellness Zone spa. Via del Babuino, 9 / Popolo / 06 328 881 / hotelderussie.it

Shopping

Profumeria Materozzoli. Stock up on Florentine master parfumer Lorenzo Villoresi’ s products at this old, wood panelled box of fragrant treats, truly the loveliest in town. Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina, 5 / Centro / 06 6869 2686

Restaurants

Bar

Activities

Antico Arco. Atop the Janiculum Hill above Trastevere, this mod converted villa has blossomed into the perfect blend of home and hip, with stylish crew and zippy, classic Italian menu. Piazzale Aurelio, 7 / Janiculum / 06 581 5274 / dinner only / closed Sun / anticoarco.it

Roof Top Lounge Bar. Sophisty rooftop terrace with timber decking, white sails and divine views. Sadly, it’s only open in summer, so try the Raphaël Hotel for year-round rooftop sips. St. George Hotel / Via Giulia, 62 / Campo / 06 686 611 / open Tue-Sun 7pm-midnight / summer months only / stgeorgehotel.it Raphaël Hotel / Largo Febo, 2 / Navona / 06 682 831 / raphaelhotel.com

The Scavi Tour. Severely restricted in numbers, highly atmospheric (and claustrophobic), this visit to the pagan necropolis and purported resting place of St. Peter himself, directly under St. Peter’s Basilica, is fascinating. You can only book directly through the Vatican Excavations Office by email or fax - full details can be found by typing 'scavi' into the search engine at vatican.va / book way ahead

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