Rome, Italy

2013-09-12

Written by: Jennifer Stepniowski, Communications Director, Pro QC International Once synonymous with civilization itself, Rome continues to be a bustling center of tourism and commerce. In fact, this ancient collection of history and culture can be overwhelming. However, while there are many things to do and see, it is entirely possible to capture the heart of Rome with even the smallest amount of time. The one thing to note is that the longer you stay, the more difficult is will be to leave. The relaxed culture and endless amounts of mouth-watering fare will settle in quickly. If you fly into Naples for business, take a day trip or two to Rome. Based on a recent trip to this area, my suggestions include: Day 1: Vatican - St. Peter's Basilica If you really want to see the Vatican Museum, book tickets early online and skip long lines. Be prepared for more people than you expect. It's an impressive collection though, especially when you consider the Sistine Chapel, but the real treat is St. Peter's Basilica. The grandiose achievement of St. Peter's is almost indescribable. It's a place where you put the camera down, forget about work and everything else, and just take in everything around you. One thing I did make note of was the lack of food options in this area. If you have time, catch the train to Trevi Fountain and eat at one of the many choices here. There are better shopping opportunities here as well. Vatican Museum: http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MV_Home.html Trevi Fountain: http://www.trevifountain.net Day 2: Colosseum - Roman Forum - Trevi Fountain - Pantheon If you have time, hire a private or group guide for the Colosseum and Roman Forum. It's worth it to experience the story of Rome inside of the ruins and be able to ask questions. There's no shortage of guides right outside the entrance. They know tourists can't resist avoiding the lines. A short ride, or a longer but enjoyable walk from the Roman Forum is Trevi Fountain. Spend a few minutes listening to the fountain and be sure and throw your pennies in from behind your back. A believer or not, it symbolizes your return trip back to Rome. Food is abundant in this area and any local market or restaurant will have something to accommodate almost any appetite. If you have more time in Rome, don't miss Galleria Borghese and a stroll through the Villa Borghese, Rome's largest green space. You do need to make reservations to see the museum, but a trip through the park and a few moments admiring the amazing view of the city is well worth it and costs nothing. The Spanish Steps are close, offering a busy marketplace and some of the best views of Vatican City. Galleria Borghese: http://www.galleriaborghese.it/borghese/en/einfo.htm Where to stay: Determining where to stay really depends on the purpose of the trip and required location. The online travel sites and guides offer extensive choices. For those staying for an extended period of time, www.airb2b.com is a good option. Depending on where you stay and how long you have, additional sites worth noting include: Capuchin Crypt - While on the morbid side, the experience of the Capuchin Crypt is more insightful than haunted. The bones of thousands of deceased monks are designed as a reminder that death is inevitable. The saying in one of the rooms here proclaims, "What you are now, we used to be. What we are now, you will be." A stroll around this neighborhood is also a good opportunity to see some of the newer architecture. http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/italy/rome/review-180063.html Pompeii - Pompeii offers a full day of adventure whether you're in Rome or Naples. However, the adventure of Pompeii is the journey and not the destination. Plan to spend as little as a couple of hours or the full day touring the preserved city here. During my visit, I can say some of the best pizza I had during the entire trip was across the street from the Pompeii ruins entrance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeii San Clemente - This small basilica, not far from the Colosseum, offers an inside peak of the city's layers all the way back to the 2nd century BC. It doesn't take long to wander around, but it's worth it for an opportunity to use your phone's flashlight app and explore. http://www.basilicasanclemente.com/ The true nature of Rome comes out in the evenings, when piazzas are crowded with locals and tourists alike. Side restaurants quickly become high traffic areas offering fantastic aromas. You can't go wrong selecting a place to eat, even if it's just a quick break to enjoy some house red wine and an antipasto platter. Travelling for work, or fun, doesn't get better than that! Personal favorites: Trattoria Cecio http://www.trattoriacecio.com Hostaria Pantheon http://www.hostariapantheon.com/homeing.html An excellent recommendation for guided walks throughout the city includes Rick Steves' Rome. Additional recommended resources include the DK Eyewitness Travel series. For more information regarding this area, contact Jennifer Stepniowski at jenn@proqc.com. Or, contact your account manager for assistance with travel itineraries.

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